From Kalispell, MT, take MT 35 E to MT 206 N to US 2 E to West Glacier. Turn left onto Going to the Sun Hwy. In 2 miles, turn left onto Camas Rd. In 11.7 miles, turn right onto MT 486. In 13.2 miles, turn right onto Polebridge Loop. In .3 mile, turn left to stay on Polebridge Loop. In .7 mile, continue on Glacier Dr. In 1 mile, turn right onto Bowman Lake Rd. Follow 5.5 miles to parking at Bowman Campground. Start at Bowman Campground on Glacier National Park's west side and hike northwest to a small saddle on Numa Ridge. At mile 1.5, the trail dips down for a brief descent and then climbs back up to a shoulder above a glacier-carved valley. From here, it's a .8-mile descent through stands of lodgepole pines to the banks of Akokala Creek. The trail turns right onto Akokala Lake Trail at mile 3.4 and follows the creek 2.1 miles to the northeast up the valley to the lake.
6.8 Miles RT
Take the Apgar Horse Corral Road, halfway between Apgar and West Glacier Entrance. The sign is clearly marked on the Going-to-the-Sun Highway. If you reach either the Entrance Station or the three-way stop near Apgar turn around and look for the sign from the other direction. After turning onto Apgar Horse Corral Road follow the road past the left hand turn to the Glacier Institute to a Y-intersection at the Quarter Circle Ranch, keeping to the left along the horse corral/pasture, follow the road to the Quarter Circle Bridge which crosses McDonald Creek at the confluence of the Flathead River and follow the road for one mile. Continue on the road until reaching the trailhead sign in another half mile.
The route to Apgar Mountain and Lookout begins as a dirt road. After about 1 mile, near Rubideau Springs, the trail begins to climb through burned trees from the 2003 Roberts Fire via three long switchbacks. Upon reaching the third switchback most of the elevation gain is completed. The trail flattens out and in just a few hundred feet the lookout can be seen.
2 Miles RT
From Babb, drive west on Many Glacier Road for about 10.25 miles to the Poia Lake car park and trailhead. From the trailhead, the trail to the lake forks to the right while the trail to the falls forks to the left. There are signs posted here to help you pick the right path. The trail starts as a gradual rise across a wildflower meadow. When the trail enters the woods it quickly begins to climb. From this point the trail goes up, there are a large number of side spurs on this trail, the actual trail itself is always going up.
2.8 Miles RT
The hike to Aster Falls begins from the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake. Just going to the trailhead is a worthwhile experience. Roughly one half-mile from the trailhead hikers will arrive at the first in a series of small beaver ponds. At 1.1 miles you’ll cross over Aster Creek, and in a short distance will reach the Aster Park Trail, which leads to Aster Falls and Aster Park Overlook.
Autumn Creek Trail
The Autumn Creek Trailhead is a primary access point along the southeastern side of Glacier National Park. It is easily located due to being located just to the northwest of the large obelisk and statue of John F. Stevens. The Autumn Creek trail can also be accessed west of Marias Pass where Autumn Creek confluences with Bear Creek on U.S. Highway 2. It is 5.6 miles from this trailhead to the Autumn Creek (Marias Pass) Trailhead and has an increased elevation gain to reach Marias Pass. This is a popular trail in the winter for skiers and snowshoers.
Avalanche Lake Trail
5 Miles RT
The trail head starts about a tenth of a mile in from the Trail of the Cedars across the Going to the Sun Road from the Avalanche Lake Ranger Station in Glacier National Park. There is limited parking in this area and it fills up quickly as this is a popular trail. The trail breaks off to the right. Stay left at the next intersection to head up to the lake. A short climb later you come to a bit of a clearing where you can hear, and look over the edge at Avalanche Creek. Avalanche Lake is created by melting glaciers. This is a family friendly hike with a gradual incline to the lake.
Belly River Trail
Stoney Indian Pass Trail Junction-12 Miles RT : Belly River Ranger Station-12.2 Miles RT : Cosley Lake Cut-Off Trail-15.2 Miles RT : Elizabeth Lake-18.6 Miles RT : Helen Lake-27.2 Miles RT
Belly River Trail begins at Chief Mountain Customs, on a ridge overlooking the Belly River Valley. The trail continues up the river to the Belly River Ranger Station. At this point trails to Gable Pass and the Mokowanis River valley converge with the Belly River Trail. The highlights of this trail are the Belly River, Dawn Mist Falls, Elizabeth Lake and Helen Lake.
A nice feature of the Belly River Trail is there is not a lot of elevation gain or loss, which makes it ideal for overnight backpacking when you're not in the mood for a big mountain pass to hike over. The trail drops 741 feet in the first few miles, then the rest of your hike in the Belly River Area or Cosley Lake Area is relatively level. The Belly River Trail is also used to gain access to the Cosley Lake Area and Stoney Indian Pass Trail, which is one of our favorite overnight backpacking hikes in Glacier National Park.
62 Miles RT
From the West Glacier Park entrance take Camas Road to Outside North Fork Road, north to Polebridge to Inside North Fork Road. North to Kintla Lake. The trail starts at the Kintla Lake Trailhead. The trail follows the shore of Kintla Lake and Upper Kintla Lake. It is 11.6 miles and a 400 foot elevation gain from the trailhead to Upper Kintla Lake Campground. The trail will cross Kintla Creek after reaching Upper Kintla Campground at 11.6 miles. At mile 17.2 you will reach Boulder Pass Campground, then .5 mile more is Boulder Pass. The junction campground is .1 mile to the left. Stay to the right for Boulder Pass Trail, which descends moderately steeply into Hole in the Wall. At mile 21.2 is the junction with the trail into Hole in the Wall Campground. Stay to the left for Brown Pass. From this point Bowman Lake, Olson Creek, Hawksbill Campground, Lake Janet, Waterton Lake Trail, Goat Haunt Ranger Station and Trail, and Rainbow Falls came be accessed.
Bowman Lake Trail
14.2 Miles RT
The Bowman Lake Trail can be reached by following along the Glacier Route 7 north to junction with Bowman Lake Road, just north of Polebridge. Take the Bowman Lake Road to the Bowman Campground. The trail starts near the northeast corner of the campground.
Cobalt Lake Trail-Two Medicine Pass
The hike to Cobalt Lake begins from the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake.
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail travels roughly 3,100 miles along the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains between Mexico and Canada. Along the way it traverses through five states; New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. It also passes through numerous National Forests, Wilderness Areas, BLM lands, state lands, as well as three national parks; Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Glacier.
Cracker Lake Trail
12.2 Miles RT
Cracker Lake Trailhead is located at the south end of the parking lot above the Many Glacier Hotel. Shortly after starting your hike you’ll reach a split in the trail. To continue on towards Cracker Lake you’ll want to take the left fork at this junction.
Cut Bank Pass Trail
The Cut Bank Pass Trail can be accessed by taking Montana Highway 49 to junction with Cut Bank Creek Road, 17 miles north of East Glacier. Drive 4 miles over this improved gravel road past the Ranger Station to the back country parking area. Trail runs west from this parking lot.
Cut Bank Pass Trail ascends, following the North Fork of Cut Bank Creek. Hike 0.1 mile to junction with old Cutbank Chalet access road, stay to the right for Morningstar Lake. At 3.9 miles, junction with Triple Divide Trail (3.3 miles to Triple Divide Pass or 2.1 miles to Medicine Grizzly Lake). Stay left for Morningstar Lake, then the trail turns to the south and continues ascent of Cut Bank valley. The trail passes Atlantic Falls at 4.1 miles. at 6.6 miles you will come to Morningstar Lake Campground, trail then ascends to reach Pitamakan Lake. At 8.6 miles you will reach Pitamakan Lake, the trail then crosses the lake outlet and heads to the west side of Pitamakan Lake, ascending steeply to the Pass.
Dawson/Pitamakan Pass Loop
18 Mile Loop
One of the more spectacular hikes in all of Glacier National Park is the 18-mile Pitamakan-Dawson pass loop in the Two Medicine area. It provides both a grueling workout and some of the most amazing views you will find in all of the Northern Rockies. Due to the snow, this hike likely won't be passable until late July or even August. Upper Pitamakan is above 8,000 feet and the entire stretch between Pitamakan and Dawson passes is above 7,000 feet. The trailhead can be a little hard to find. You have to actually go into the Two Medicine campground, and drive as far north as you can. There's day parking in the campground, and a number of the parking areas have trails that lead to the loop. There's no real sign telling you where the trailhead is. There is also another trailhead right at the Glacier entrance station, too, but that adds a couple of miles to the return trip. You cross a bridge over the Two Medicine Creek, and finally a sign shows you the way. You can go to the left or the right - west to Dawson Pass, or northeast to Pitamakan Pass. The northeast trail follows through thick forest around a huge ridge known as Rising Wolf Mountain. It eventually curls back north, then west up the Dry Fork drainage. There is a beautiful, glacially cut bowl-shaped valley. Eventually the trail reaches Oldman Lake. A huge peak, Flinsch Peak (9,225 feet), towers over the lake. Here, you begin the switchbacks up to Pitamakan Pass. On top of the pass, you now look down into both the Cut Bank Creek and Dry Fork drainages, both of which eventually drain to the Gulf of Mexico. The connecting trail between Pitamakan and Dawson passes, which follows the Continental Divide, is one of the most amazing hikes you'll ever take. You get a different marvelous new vista of the Lewis Range every few hundred yards. The trail is only two or three feet wide in spots, and it cuts across a sheer cliff 1,000 feet or more above the valley floor. It also doesn't get hit with much sun, so it can be icy. You go along the west slope of Mount Morgan for a mile or so, then reach a big outcrop. The trail dives straight down a bit then follows the Divide to the flat, wide summit of a ridge. Here, you are quite literally standing right on top of the Continental Divide, looking down at streams that end up 2,500 miles apart in Astoria, Oregon, and New Orleans. The trail follows along the west slope of Flinsch Peak, then you finally reach Dawson, with a view of Two Medicine Lake. It's about a seven-mile hike from Dawson Pass back to the campground. If you time the hike just right, you can catch a boat that goes from one end of Two Medicine Lake to the other to cut about three miles off your hike.
Drive east out of Livingston on US 89. Cross the Yellowstone River on the east edge of Livingston and continue for about 1 mile to a signed turn to the right onto Swingly Road. Follow Swingly Road for 6-7 miles until you reach Bruffy Lane which branches off to the right. Take this gravel road about 1 mile until you reach the 63 Ranch. Turn right toward the ranch and when the road forks bear left and go through the green gate. Continue on for 1 mile to the trailhead. The trail parallels Mission Creek for the first three miles or so. You will reach Elephanthead Mountain after about 4 miles of hiking. Elephanthead Mountain is a large flat topped peak that tops out at 9,430 ft. It is easily climbed with no special equipment required. However, it is a steep hike to the summit. Once you get there you will enjoy great views of the surrounding mountains and out into the Yellowstone Valley. The trail continues on trail #37 until it intersects with trail #337 which can be followed around to its trailhead on the West Boulder River, or you can follow the trail for a short distance until it intersects with trail #388 which will lead you to the Davis Creek Pass and the South Fork Deep Creek trail which will lead into the Paradise Valley south of Livingston. Most hikers will turn around at the base of Elephanthead.
Fielding-Coal Creek Trail/Ole Creek Trail
This trailhead is located in the southern section of Glacier National Park just southwest of Marias Pass on U.S. Highway 2. To locate the correct road travel either from east or west to mile marker 192. This mileage marker is located just east of the bridge that crosses a point near the confluence of Bear Creek and Geifer Creek. If traveling from East Glacier, Montana: Drive over Marias Pass and travel past mile marker 193 be ready to turn right at mile marker 192 before crossing the bridge.
If traveling from West Glacier, Montana:
Drive east from west Glacier, Montana to mile marker 192. Turn left after crossing the Bear Creek Bridge. After turning on to the usually well graded gravel road travel about 1 mile to the Parking area for the Fielding Access Road Trailhead. The sign designating the trail head is on the right side and is near a locked gate. There is ample parking just beyond the trailhead sign.
The trail starts out near the parking area at the trailhead. After a few hundred feet the trail joins a forest road. Continue uphill for about .75 miles to the location where the forest road meets the railroad grade. Cross over both sets of tracks and look slightly to the left for the trail that takes off into the park. About one half mile from the trail sign, The Fielding Patrol Cabin can be found. The trail to Elk Mountain is just beyond the cabin. From that sign it is 2.5 miles to the summit of Elk Mountain.
Firebrand Pass-Ole Lake
15.4 Mile Loop
A day hike or backpack from the Lubec Trailhead to Ole Lake, 7.7 miles; or from the Lubec Trailhead to Firebrand Pass, 4.8 miles. The Firebrand Pass Trail begins at a false summit near Marias Pass and winds around Calf Robe Mountain to Firebrand Pass before dropping down into the Ole Creek Valley. Ole Lake can also be reached via a longer, less scenic route up the Ole Creek Valley from the Walton Ranger Station or from the Fielding Trailhead. Firebrand Pass makes a reasonable destination for day hikers, while backpackers will find back-country campsites at Ole Lake.
The Garden Wall
To get to the wall start at the Highline Trail at Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road at the Continental Divide. The Loop is located 7.75 miles down the west side of the Divide. The free park shuttle stops at both locations. The bottom of Garden Wall Trail is located near a backcountry lodge, Granite Park Chalet. Garden Wall Trail may also be reached by hiking up Granite Park Trail from a sharp hairpin turn on Going-to-the-Sun Road called The Loop. This route requires 2,000 feet of elevation gain and 4.75 miles of hiking prior to tackling Garden Wall Trail. As a comparison, there is 500 feet of elevation gain spread out across the 6.8 miles on Highline Trail. The ideal way to see Glacier Overlook is to combine both routes for a 13.5-mile through-hike. A free park shuttle between the trailheads makes this hike possible without a second vehicle.
7.6 Miles RT
The hike to Grinnell Glacier begins from the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, located about a half-mile past the turn-off for the Many Glacier Hotel. However, you can shave 3.4 miles off your roundtrip hike by taking the two shuttle boats across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. This hike description assumes you'll take the shuttle boats, therefore this hike begins from the boat dock at the Many Glacier Hotel. Please note that there is a fee to board the two boats. Glacier National ParkMontanaThe glacier is named for George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist and explorer, who was also a strong advocate of ensuring the creation of Glacier National Park. The glacier is in the Lewis Range and rests on the north flank of Mount Gould at an altitude averaging 7,000 feet, in the Many Glacier region of the park. The glacier has been one of the most photographed glaciers in the park and many of these photographs date back to the mid 19th century. When compared with images taken over subsequent years, the glacier has obviously retreated substantially. In 1850, at the end of what has been referred to as the Little Ice Age, Grinnell Glacier measured 710 acres (2.9 km2), including the area of The Salamander Glacier, an ice apron or shelf glacier that used to be attached to Grinnell, but is now separate. By 1993, Grinnell Glacier measured 220 acres and The Salamander measured 57 acres. Between 1966 and 2005, Grinnell Glacier lost almost 40 percent of its acreage. Glaciologists have predicted that if carbon dioxide levels increase at a worst-case scenario, all the glaciers in the park, including Grinnell, will disappear by the year 2030. However, under a modest increase in overall carbon dioxide levels, some glaciers will remain until the year 2277.
Gunsight Pass Trail
The trail is a popular backpacking route that ascends to the Continental Divide from the St. Mary valley and crosses rocky ledges and alpine meadows to Sperry Chalets before descending to Lake McDonald. The Trail begins at Jackson Overlook and follows the course of the St. Mary River. The trail then crosses Reynolds Creek below Deadwood Falls. At mile 6.2, the trail reaches the foot of Gunsight Lake. From the foot of Gunsight Lake, the trail begins a long climb up the open north slope of Mount Jackson to the pass almost 1,600 feet above. From the pass, the trail descends the steep headwall of the Lincoln Creek valley, winding around to the north of Lake Ellen Wilson, then approximately 1.5 miles beyond the pass, a spur trail of .3 mile descends to the lake and campground. From the Ellen Wilson spur, the trail nears Lincoln Pass (7,050 feet), and Lincoln Lake. The trail then descends from Lincoln Pass to Sperry campground and upon entering the Sperry Chalets, the trail then exits this complex in front of the dining hall, and descends .2 mile to the junction with the Sperry Glacier Overlook trail.
Hidden Lake Trail
3 Miles RT
The trail to Hidden Lake Overlook is located directly behind the Logan Pass Visitor Center. The trail starts as a boardwalk which climbs about 500 feet through fields of wildflowers to Hidden Lake Pass. Along the way, you will get inspiring views of Mount Clements, Mount Reynolds, and Bearhat Mountain, as you make your way to the lake. Wildlife is also abundant along the trail, and you are likely to see mountain goats, bighorn sheep, Columbian ground squirrels, and pika. During the early summer, be prepared to cross icy patches and snowfields once the boardwalk ends. At the overlook, you will be standing at an elevation of about 7,000 ft, and directly below are the icy blue waters of Hidden Lake.
The Highline Trail
The Highline Trail is one of the premiere hiking trails in Glacier National Park. The Highline Trail begins at Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun Road and then runs north, following the Continental Divide in the process, to Fifty Mountain Campground, a distance of about 20 miles. From there, the Highline Trail “merges” into the Waterton Valley Trail, which will take a hiker from the campground down to Waterton Lake on the Canadian border. The trail follows the Garden Wall ridge and the continental divide for most of its length. The trail offers very scenic views of glaciated U-shaped valleys. A 1.2-mile round trip side trail takes hikers up the side of the Garden Wall to an overlook to Grinnell Glacier.
Huckleberry Mountain Lookout
12 Miles RT
The Huckleberry Lookout Trail is 6 miles up the Camas Road from Apgar Village on the left side of the road. It can also be accessed via the Camas Creek Entrance Station off the North Fork Road. The trail starts out in dense forest and remains level for about the first half-mile. There is a stream crossing very early in the trail. The trail then begins to climb along the southern side of the mountain. The grade is actually very gentle throughout most of the hike. The steepest part of the hike is cresting the ridge just before reaching the Lookout. A little more than 4 miles into the hike you cross over the ridgeline and the views to the North and the West begin to open up. The trail then wraps around the north side of the mountains until you reach the final ridge to hike up to the Lookout.
Iceberg Lake Trail
9.7 Miles RT
The hike to Iceberg Lake begins behind the cabins near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. There’s enough parking for roughly 10-15 cars in the lot next to the trailhead.
Kootenai Creek Trail
From Stevensville take the Stevi cut-off road to Highway 93. Travel north 0.5 miles and turn west (left) onto Kootenai Creek Rd. Travel 2 miles to the end and the trailhead. From Missoula, drive 28 miles south on U.S. Highway 93 to Kootenai Creek Road. Turn right, and drive two miles to the trailhead parking lot at the end of the road. The trailhead has adequate parking for both cars and trailers. It offers access to Kootenai Creek Trail #53 and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Facilities include a vault toilet, hitching rails and a stock ramp. As with many Bitterroot National Forest hikes, the Kootenai Creek trail slices between pillars of granite cathedral mountains. This is one of the better hikes in the region - and one of the more popular. The out-and-back trail climbs and dives back down along picturesque Kootenai Creek, which cascades clear as a spring-fed creek over large rocks into deep, inviting pools. You can hike as long as you like, find a splash pool to play in during lunch, then head back for the car. The trail ends at Kootenai lakes, nine miles in.
33.6 Miles RT
From US 2 and Going-to-the-Sun Hwy. in West Glacier, head northeast on US 2. In 27 miles, turn left for parking at Walton Ranger Station. The 16.8-mile trek into Isabel Lake from the Walton Ranger Station offers a lesser-traveled route for those seeking an alternative to the more popular Glacier destinations. Start on the Boundary Trail and hike north along the Middle Fork of the Flathead. The trail climbs up a hillside above the river, then wraps around the base of Scalplock Mountain. At mile 3.4, turn right and hike northeast up the Park Creek valley. The 11-mile stretch through the valley crosses marshy meadows and passes the lower and upper Park Creek campgrounds. After 14.5 miles, bear left onto Lake Isabel Trail for the final 2.3-mile climb to Lake Isabel, a trout-filled lake nestled beneath a rugged cirque. Set up camp on the north side of the lake, or turn around and follow the same route back to the trailhead. Overnight camping in Glacier National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm.
Lake McDonald is the most popular destination in Glacier National Park. Several hotels and many other services are located at various points on the lake, primarily at the head of the lake near the entrance to the park at the town of West Glacier. Access to Lake McDonald is easy and excellent. The scenic and very popular Going-to-the-Sun Road follows the lake closely on the south side. Numerous parking areas are found all along the road. All one needs to do is hop out of their car and take a short walk through the woods to reach the lake. A boat ramp - rare for Glacier National Park - is also located at the head of the lake in the village of Apgar. Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park. With a length of 10 miles in length and more than a mile in width, Lake McDonald, which lies in a giant bowl, is, surrounded by thickly forested, towering mountains. On a calm day, which occurs fairly frequently in the mornings and evenings, the mirrored reflection of the mountains in the lake provides a stunning sight.
Lincoln Lake Trail
From West Glacier, head northwest on Going To the Sun Rd. In 9.7 miles, park in the pull-out on the right. Lincoln Lake is a low-elevation cirque lake that sits at the foot of 1,344-foot Beaver Chief Falls. It can be reached by an arduous hike over Snyder Ridge from the shores of Lake McDonald or by taking a longer, poorly maintained route up Lincoln Creek from the South Boundary Trail. Views along both routes are minimal until the lake is reached. The trail begins at a marked trailhead on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and wastes no time in climbing steeply and steadily up forested slopes to the crest of Snyder Ridge. The mossy understory of this forest is home to the pale purple lady slipper orchid, which can be seen in bloom in early summer.
Logging Lake Trail
Logging Lake is located in the North Fork region of Glacier National Park. From West Glacier/Lake McDonald/Apgar area, to get to the trailhead requires going first down to the Fish Creek Campground (located on the north shore of Lake McDonald). From there, the road (called the Inside North Fork Road) turns to a bumpy, twisty and often dusty dirt road that makes its way over two small ridges, crossing Camas Creek and then Anaconda Creek in the process. The drive from the Fish Creek Campground is quite long - 20 miles - and since fast speeds are not possible, allow a good hour for the drive from Lake McDonald up to the trailhead that leads to Logging Lake. From the trailhead, the trail begins a short but moderately steep climb up, gaining several hundred vertical feet in the process. Once done with the climb, the trail flattens out and emerges into the Logging Creek Fire scar area, and passes through it for more than a mile. Enjoy the views you get here, since they will be the last views you get until reaching the lake itself! Beyond the fire scar area, the trail enters thick forest again. The trail in this area can be wet, boggy and buggy at times, depending on how much rain has been received and what time of year you are hiking. So, some prepared with some hiking boots that can get muddied up without a problem - and don't forget your mosquito repellent, either. After 4.8 miles you reach a unmarked spur trail that leads down to the Logging Lake Patrol Cabin. After 5.0 miles, you reach the side trail that cuts down to the Lower Logging Lake Campground. This is the most popular "destination" on this hike, as the campground itself provides for some great views of Logging Lake and the surrounding mountains. The Lower Logging Lake Campground is a great place to go if you want to spend the night in the backcountry - and not be surrounded by a horde of people. Even during peak periods, this campground is normally open. 3 tenting spots are available at this campgroud - two of which are right on the lake. The fishing in Logging Lake isn't bad. However, you really do want to have a boat with you if you want to catch the larger bull trout and lake trout that are found in this lake. The problem with Logging Lake is that much of the shoreline is very shallow. While you'll catch some small trout and whitefish along the shore, the larger bull trout and lake trout will be found out in the middle of the lake, usually down deep. As such, anglers in search of the larger fish will want to pack along either a float tube, an small inflatable raft or inflatable kayak.
This is a day hike from Nyack Creek Ford to Loneman Lookout. Loneman Lookout is a seldom-visited, unmanned fire lookout that rises above the old Nyack Ranger Station. The forest begins to open into grassy meadows halfway to the summit, and the trail makes a complete circuit of the mountain in the last mile of the trail. The summit overlooks Harrison Lake and Walton Mountain to the north, with the peaks of the Great Bear Wilderness looming to the south, crowned with Great Northern Mountain. To the southeast, the fang tooth beyond Threetops Mountain is Mount St. Nicholas.
This is the longest stream within the park at 25 miles in length. Its headwaters are on Mount Geduhn in the Livingston Range. Before emptying into Lake McDonald, the stream had to cut its way through layers of shale, limestone and sandstone of the Belt Supergroup. All major rapids can be seen from overlooks on the Going to the Sun Road.
Medicine Grizzly Lake-Triple Divide Pass
14.4 Miles RT
A day hike or short backpack from Cutbank Ranger Station to Medicine Grizzly Lake, 6.0 miles; or from Cutbank Ranger Station to Triple Divide Pass, 7.2 miles. Water flowing from the various sides of this peak will eventually reach the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. An alpinist’s route to the peak’s summit crosses the steep talus bowl to the south and climbs the second of two couloirs, which pierces the Atlantic Valley headwall to reach a flat saddle. From this point, it is an easy scramble up the south slope of the peak to the summit. Bighorn sheep are frequently sighted on the surrounding slopes. These animals begin rutting in September, and the thunderous cracks of colliding rams may be heard as early as late August. Looking northward from the pass, Norris Mountain dominates the head of the valley, while Split Mountain rises on its northern perimeter. The south faces of the peaks surrounding Little Chief Mountain can be seen in the background.
Mokowanis Lake Trail
1.3 Miles RT
Mokowanis Trail is a short side trail from Stoney Indian Pass trail. The trailhead begins by branching south of Stoney Indian Pass Trail, a short distance from upper Glenns Lake. In climbing to Mokowanis Lake, hikers will pass by White Quiver Falls. There is a hiker's campsite and good fishing at Mokowanis Lake.
Mount Brown Lookout
10.6 Miles RT
The actual Mount Brown Lookout Trail is 3.6 miles long, from where it branches off of the Sperry Chalet Trail, that point is 2 miles from the Trailhead for Sperry Chalet. Sperry Chalet is on the West Side of Glacier National Park which is the main trail beginning at Lake McDonald Lodge. Mount Brown Lookout Trail gains over three thousand feet in those 3.6 miles. The shared part of the trail starts across The Going To The Sun Road from the Lake McDonald Lodge parking area. Mount Brown Lookout Trail shares the first two miles of it's trail with Sperry Chalet Trail, Snyder Lake Trail and Fish Lake Trail. Mount Brown Trail, which is the first trail that branches off the Sperry Chalet Trail is the steepest of the day hikes in Glacier National Park! Once you start on the Mount Brown Lookout Trail from the junction with the shared Sperry Chalet Trail the trail starts to go UP! The steepest segments of this trail are the first five trail segments. The first overlook on the Mount Brown Trail provides a good resting spot with a view of Edwards Mountain. It also marks the end of the steepest part of the ascent. The second overlook on the Mount Brown Trail provides a great resting spot at 6,600 feet. This view point is a thousand feet higher than the first view point. Edwards Mountain is the southern edge of the cirque forming Snyder Lake with Mount Brown forming the northern edge of that cirque.
The Nyack-Coal Creek Loop is less traveled than many other areas of the park. Because of that the trails are maintained at a lower standard. Creek crossings are unbridged so be prepared to wade. The area offers a lot of solitude though. The Nyack trail is through heavily forested areas until beginning to circle around Mount Stimson. There is a fantastic waterfall on Nyack Creek low in the valley. I recommend spending some time exploring those falls. If they were along a road they would have their own pullout and the falls would be named. But as they are in so remote an area the falls are virtually unknown. The Coal Creek trail crosses Coal Creek numerous times requiring many wades of the creek. Rock hoping across the creek at the upper fords is possible late in the season but most of the lower fords will always require wading. The Coal Creek valley was burned in 2003(?) and because of that the views are pretty good. Surprise Pass is an interesting and scenic area. I also suggest camping at Beaver Woman Lake and hiking the side trail to Buffalo Woman Lake if you have the time. Reaching either of these trails requires crossing the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. There are no bridges at the Coal Creek or Nyack trailheads. Be prepared for a challenging crossing. I would think this year that the crossing won't be safe until late in July.
Alternative approaches are:
1. The South Boundary trail from West Glacier. This trail fords Lincoln and Harrison Creeks before reaching Nyack Creek.
2. The Fielding-Coal Creek Trail. From Walton head up Park Creek to the Park Creek campsite, ford Park Creek and head over the ridge to Muir Creek (wade) and on to Coal Creek. Or hike in from Fielding wading both Ole Creek and Park Creek.
3. Cross Cut Bank Pass and drop down to the Nyack.
Numa Ridge Lookout
12 Miles RT
Drive through the park for 2 miles approaching the Apgar area. At the first stop sign, turn left and drive up the Camas Road for 11.7 miles until it intersects the Northfork Road. Turn right and drive 12.8 miles up the Northfork Road. Turn right into the Polebridge entrance and follow the signs to the park entrance for almost 2 miles. From the park entrance to the Bowman Lake TH it is an additional 6.3 miles. Hike along the western edge of Bowman Lake for about .8 miles on the Bowman Lake Trail until it intersects the Numa Lookout Trail to the left. The Numa Lookout Trail angles up through old growth forest on the eastern side of Numa Ridge for several miles. The trail begins contouring to the NE around Point 6960 and a few switchbacks toward the end of the trail just below the lookout and you've reached your destination at exactly 6 miles.
10.8 Miles RT
Starting at the Rising Sun Motor Inn in Glacier National Park, follow the trail towards Otokomi Lake. The trail parallels the east side of Rose Creek. Rose creek drainage from St. Mary Lake to the headwaters of Otokomi Lake is dominated by a series of fast-moving water cascades, impressive waterfalls, and turquoise pools of water.
8.8 Miles RT
The hike to Piegan Pass begins from the Siyeh Bend Trailhead, located 2.2 miles east of Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Hikers also have the option of using the Piegan Pass Trailhead from the Jackson Glacier Overlook, but this would add a little more distance to your hike, and several hundred more feet of climbing. The Siyeh Bend Trail offers hikers a much more gradual climb up to their destination. The first two hundred yards of the Siyeh Bend Trail travels beside Siyeh Creek as it cascades down the valley. Roughly 1.1 miles from the trailhead hikers will reach the Piegan Pass Trail junction. A turn to the right here will take you down to the Jackson Glacier Overlook. To continue on towards Piegan Pass, hikers should turn left here. The trail passes through a dense spruce-fir forest along the lower elevations of the hike. The forest, however, begins to thin out as you get closer to the Siyeh Pass Trail junction, located roughly 2.4 miles from the trailhead. To continue on to Piegan Pass hikers should proceed to the left at this junction. A turn to the right would take you to Preston Park and Siyeh Pass.
Poia Lake-Redgap Pass
33.2 Miles RT
A day hike or backpack from Many Glacier Road to Poia Lake, 6.4 miles; from Many Glacier Road to Redgap Pass, 12.0 miles; or from Many Glacier Road to Elizabeth lake foot, 16.6 miles. The Redgap Pass Trail offers a long, arduous route through the desolate Kennedy Creek Valley to the Belly River country to the north. Many backpackers opt for Poia Lake as a short-range backpack.
10.7 Miles RT
Many Glacier is on the east side of the Continental Divide, about 12 miles west of US-89 and the small, unincorporated town of Babb, MT. If coming from the west, one can enter the park at West Glacier, MT and drive the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road across the Divide, descending to US-89 at St. Mary on the east side of the park. From here, it's another 20 miles to Many Glacier. The Many Glacier campground provides direct access to the route trailhead; it is the busiest of Glacier's car campgrounds and often fills well before noon during the peak summer months. The Ptarmigan Tunnel was built in 1930 through the Ptarmigan Wall at an elevation of 7,200 feet. The 250-foot tunnel allows hikers to avoid a strenuous climb over very steep terrain between Many Glacier and the Belly River valley. Two opposing steel jackhammers drilling from either side of the tunnel and a series of ten-hole rounds of dynamite gradually broke through the mountain in less than three months. A wide area, originally for guide and tourist horses, extends from each portal with a masonry retaining wall. Natural rock lines the interior walls. Heavy iron doors were hung across the tunnel adits during the summer of 1975. They remain open from mid-July until October 1, weather permitting.
Quartz Lakes Loop
12 Mile Loop
Cross the bridge over Bowman Creek. The entire loop runs a course up and over a ridge and down to the south end of Lower Quartz Lake. From there it's a level 3-mile hike to the west end of Quartz Lake, then it's 6 miles back over the ridge further north before dropping back to Bowman Lake.
Red Eagle Lake Trail
15 Miles RT
The Red Eagle Lake trailhead is located on a 0.5 mile long road heading south off the Going To The Sun Road just before you reach the east entrance of Glacier National Park at St. Mary. This junction is located between the town of St. Mary and the East Entrance to Glacier National Park, and is well marked with a large sign. Once you find this junction, take this paved road for 0.5 miles to the trailhead. Follow the first part of the Eagle and Elk Loops to the old fire road, now called the Red Eagle Lake Trail, and ski the rolling terrain to the scenic bluff overlooking Red Eagle Creek. There are great views of the mountains along St. Mary Lake and the Red Eagle Valley.
10 Miles RT
Scalplock Lookout is a staffed lookout located in the southern section of Glacier National Park. The trailhead starts at the Walton Ranger Station by Essex, MT and heads up a treed trail for about 5 miles to the lookout. Views really don’t open up until about a half mile from the lookout, but when they do, it’s unsurprisingly grand and beautiful. There are great views into the Middle Fork of the Flathead River to the south, Ole Creek drainage to the East and Park Creek drainage as well as a sea of mountain peaks that make up Glacier National Park to the Northwest. The ridge line is a typical alpine zone in Glacier that sports numerous species of wildflowers in great quantities. The grade is fairly steady and while I wouldn’t consider it an easy grade for a lookout, it doesn’t fall into the strenuous category either.
8 Miles RT
The Scenic Point Trailhead is located 2.7 miles west of the Two Medicine entrance station. Follow the Mt. Henry Trail for most of your route. After a little over a half mile from the trailhead you’ll reach the spur trail leading to Appistoki Falls.
8.9 Miles RT
The hike to Siyeh Pass begins from the Siyeh Bend Trailhead, located 2.2 miles east of Logan Pass on the Going-To-The-Sun Road. Hikers also have the option of using the Piegan Pass Trailhead from the Jackson Glacier Overlook, but this would add a little more distance to your hike, and several hundred more feet of climbing. The Siyeh Bend Trail is a much more gradual climb.
Slide Lake-Gable Pass
You can get to Gable Pass from Slide Lake, but it's quite a steep climb (about 1,200 vertical feet in about 1.5 miles), and the scenery is not nearly as remarkable as the Lee Ridge Trail route. The trailhead to Slide Lake is located about 0.3 miles southeast of the Chief Mountain Overlook. There will be a sign near a barb wire fence that says "No camping aloud on the Blackfeet Reservation without a permit". That marks the beginning of the trail to Slide Lake. Slide Lake is 8.6 miles from this trailhead, and there is a backcountry campground near this location (mile 8.4). At the lake you will see a trail sign indicating the junction and trail to Gable Pass. Gable Pass is about 1,200+ vertical feet above the lake, and the distance to the pass is only about 1.5 miles.
Snyder Ridge Trail
The Snyder Ridge Trail starts near the Apgar Village on the east side of Lake McDonald with a humble trailhead and runs along the eastern shore parallel to Lake McDonald. The trail crosses the Lincoln Lake trail and eventually intersects the Sperry/Gunsight trail and empties at Lake McDonald Lodge. Trail starts out gaining elevation where you’ll end up gaining somewhere around 2500 feet throughout the day as you wander through a mixture of cedar rainforest stands to more lodgepole type forests. The trail isn’t maintained as much as others due to its lack of use, so if you go early season, give yourself plenty of extra time to navigate downfall.
Snyder Lake Trail
The actual start of the Snyder Lake Trail is about the half-way point in both elevation gain and distance. The first part of the shared trail starts at the Lake McDonald parking area, goes near the horse corral and starts up a series of switchbacks. Essentially there are no major view spots on the trail until just before you arrive at the shore of Snyder Lake. Shortly after the turnoff onto Snyder Lake Trail the forest changes from a relatively dry forest to a very wet forest. The remainder of the Snyder Lake trail is a steady but not overly steep climb up to the tarn that forms Snyder Lake. Once you leave the forest the trail crosses a massive rock slide. Shortly after that you are at the valley floor with a view of the Little Matterhorn and Mount Edwards. Snyder Lake is one of the easiest of the strenuous hikes in the park.
St. Mary and Virginia Falls
7.5 Miles RT
The hike to Virginia Falls begins from the St. Mary Falls Trailhead, located 10.6 miles west of the St. Mary Entrance Station on the Going-To-The-Sun Road. With limited parking, and all three waterfalls in this area being very popular destinations, parking can be an issue during peak travel season. I would recommend arriving early to find a space, or taking the shuttle from Sun Point or Rising Sun to the St. Mary Falls Trailhead. The hike begins on the St. Mary Falls Cutoff Trail.
The trailhead begins at the end of the Many Glacier Road, right in front of the concession store and restaurant that is located in Many Glacier. The Swiftcurrent Pass Trail itself is essentially divided up into two sections, the easy section and the “climb” section. The easy section of the trail runs for about 4 miles, up to Bullhead Lake, passing Fishercap Lake and Red Rock Lake along the way. This part of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail consists of very gradual rises followed by long periods of flat hiking. When hiking the “easy” part of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail you get views of Mt. Wilbur, Grinnell Point, Mt. Grinnell, the Continental Divide and Swiftcurrent Mountain.
Trail of the Cedars
.75 Mile Loop
The trailhead begins across the Going to the Sun Road from the Avalanche Lake Ranger Station in Glacier National Park. There is limited parking in this area and it fills up quickly as this is a popular trail. There is a $20 fee to enter the park. This is a short hike through the woods over wooden boardwalks and bridges that are accessible for wheelchairs. There are many informative and interpretive signs along the path to guide you and explain the flora and fauna of the area.
Trout Lake Trail
7.4 Miles RT
To reach the trailhead, from West Glacier, follow the Going to the Sun Road up past the Lake McDonald Lodge. Once past the lodge, take a left on the North Shore Lake McDonald Road. Follow this road for about ¾ of a mile as it winds it way around the head of the lake. A small parking lot and sign mark the trailhead. While the parking lot is quite small, the Trout Lake Trail doesn’t receive that much hiking pressure. From the trailhead, the Trout Lake Trail begins a moderately steep ascent of Howe Ridge, gaining just a little bit over 2000 vertical feet over the course of 2.5 miles. The first third of the ascent is the steepest part of the climb, with the trail leveling off a little bit as it gets near the top of Howe Ridge. From the top of Howe Ridge, the Trout Lake Trail descends steeply, utilizing numerous switchbacks, as it drops 1300 vertical feet in just over a mile. Following the descent, the Trout Lake Trail meets up with the Camas Lake Trail. Take a right on this trail and follow it for about a ¼ of a mile of flat walking to the shores of Trout Lake.
Upper Two Medicine Lake
4.8 Miles RT
You have the option of starting the hike from either the North Shore Trailhead at the Two Medicine Campground, or the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake. However, you can shave roughly 4.8, or 6.4 miles, off your roundtrip hike by taking the shuttle boat across Two Medicine Lake.