“This sparsely maintained trail is a hard to find old road through a burned area to Divide Creek.”
— Jake Bramante
Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers
Bring bear spray.
Before the current Hwy 89, travelers to Glacier National Park took the old Indian Highway that would go down to Divide Creek and then back up and over the ridge, traverse some meadows and end up at the St. Mary Chalet. The chalet has since been torn down and the road is now a shell of its former self.
Finding the trail off of the Red Eagle
Trail is tricky and a GPS is recommended. After the Red Eagle
Trail passes the junction with the Beaver Pond Trail
, it continues southwest, then straight south through an amazing meadow. The trail begins to turn to the southwest again as it drops in elevation. Instead of turning southwest, follow the edge of the trees as if the trail went straight. After some bushwhacking, you'll realize that you're on an old road.
The trail is not really maintained and it's in an old burn area, so expect epic quantities of downfall. The good news is that, once you're on the road, it's easy to stay on, it's a steady grade, and the birding and flowers are epic. The other good news is that you'll have the place all to yourself.
The trail gradually works its way up the ridge with filtered views through gray sticks of burned trees. Pocket pools are occasionally encountered off the trail and prove a nice place for birds. Eventually you reach the top of the ridge giving you views of the lovely divide creek coming out from in between Divide Mountain and Curly Bear Mountain.
The banks have been eroded, so getting down to the water is a tricky, but doable affair. Overall, the route is mainly interesting for those wishing to check off old trails, to bird in a secluded area, or to explore a historic road.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com
for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.
Flora & Fauna
Loads of meadow flowers such as lupine, gaillardia, geraniums, etc. Birding is fantastic.