Teach Through Educational Travel: Lake of the Hanging Glacier, British Columbia

The Lake of the Hanging Glacier is located in British Columbia, near Invermere in the Purcell Mountains. The Purcell Mountains have several major glacial systems, and the Lake of the Hanging Glacier is located in the Kootenay subrange of the mountains. The Purcell Mountains are themselves a subrange of the Columbia Mountains. There is a famous trail there to get to Lake of the Hanging Glacier, where you can hike down in the summer. This Alpine lake is at the base of Jumbo Glacier. In the lake, there are even floating icebergs, from the glacier! If you look up, you will see glaciated lieutenant peaks – Glacier Dome on the right and Granite Peak and Mount Maye on the left. Above the southeast end of the lake is Commander Mountain, the 59th highest peak in British Columbia.

Teach Through Educational Travel


  • Look at this step by step photo adventure of the 16km hike. Would you like to hike it and stick your toes amongst the icebergs? Have you ever been in such an incredibly isolated area?
  • Glaciers have enormous power – to scrape, obliterate, and totally change the landscape underneath of it. View this beautiful aerial video of the area around Lake of the Hanging Glaciers, and then take a look at this topographical map. Discuss how glaciers can change the landscape – and are still changing geography around the world today. Can you name other places with glaciers?
  • The Ktunaxa (or Kootenay) Nation is indigenous to this geographic area. This tribe is working today on four community pillars – renewing their native language and celebrating their traditional knowledge; supporting the people in their community; managing their lands well. “Human beings have the ability to destroy the land and many livings things. Therefore, the Creator gave the Ktunaxa Nation a set of laws on how to live with the land and not against it,’ their website explains; and working toward economic self-reliance. Read the creation story of the Ktunaxa Nation – and see if you can imagine how this began in such a majestic landscape.


Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.