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Elk Mountain

Difficult
 4.0 (1)

This incredibly steep trail takes no time to take you to stunning, mountaintop views.


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Map Key

2.4

Miles

3.9

KM

Point to Point

7,755' 2,364 m

High

4,754' 1,449 m

Low

3,001' 915 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

24%

Avg Grade (13°)

48%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Description

This out of the way trail near Marias Pass makes haste to get to the top. The trail breaks off from the Fielding Trail at a patrol cabin and winds its way through an airy forest that is a combination of aspen and lodgepole pines. It begins to climb, and the trail turns west along the slopes. It is an unforgiving grade all the way to the top. Where a trail might opt for a switchback, this trail goes up. Fortunately, there are wonderful views west into the southern end of Glacier, east to the plains and the Blackfeet Reservation, and south to the Great Bear Wilderness.

The forest quickly gives way to scattered clumps of trees providing some shade as you climb, but giving you ample opportunities to look out and catch your breath. The trail eventually leads to a nice, open alpine area covered in beargrass and low growing shrubs. This is where you get your first great views looking north along the wall of mountains that serves as the backdrop to Marias Pass.

From here the trail climbs through the loose, crumbly rock of these mountains to the summit. The top has open panoramic views. Mt. St. Nicholas to the west is the unique, prominent feature. Evidence of the old lookout can easily be found, from some old cables and concrete to nails and melted glass.

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

Thimbleberry, arnica, and other forest plants can be found low, while dry, alpine flowers are found up high such as beargrass and sky-pilot. Moose, elk, deer and bear may be seen with bugling elk frequently heard later in the fall.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#9

in Walton

#11788

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#9

in Walton

#255

in Montana

#11,788

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192 Views Last Month
828 Since Sep 2, 2015
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Photos

View on the last section of the hike up to Elk Mountain.
Apr 10, 2016 near Blacktail, MT
Trip video of the Elk Mountain hike.
Apr 11, 2016 near Blacktail, MT

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Check-Ins

Jun 27, 2017
Mary Kitzig
Aug 16, 2016
Cameron Giebink
Oh my beaten legs. Hard hike but worth it for panoramic views of glacier's south and into the backcountry. Breathtaking — 3h 50m