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Coal-Fielding Trail

Difficult
 3.0 (1)

This poorly maintained trail has you going up and down ridges into a remote section of Glacier.


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Map Key

15.8

Miles

25.5

KM

Point to Point

5,828' 1,776 m

High

3,919' 1,195 m

Low

3,803' 1,159 m

Up

4,576' 1,395 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Description

This stretch of trail takes you from the Fielding area, across a few drainages, leading to the Coal Creek Trail.

The trailhead is located at the end of forest service road 1066 near mile marker 192 on Hwy 2. You begin your journey along a rustic dirt road (rustic even for dirt road standards) all the way to the train tracks. Safely cross the train tracks and look for an official trailhead marker and begin making your way on a well maintained trail.

This trail weaves its way through a wonderful lodgepole and aspen forest with a few nice creeks until you get to the patrol cabin and the junction with the Elk Mountain trail. Continue on the trail through more lodgepole forests where it drops down to Ole Creek. From there, you ford the creek which can be dangerous early in the season.

On the other side of the creek, the trail steeply climbs up the ridge through a forest with limited views then back down steeply through more of the same. From the creek junction all the way to the Coal Creek Trail, the trail is one of the last in this park unit to receive trail maintenance, thus can be a huge collection of downfall. The trail alternates between dropping and steeply dropping down to the Park Creek Trail. Here, you have another ford which tends to be pretty tame later in the year, but can be hazardous during spring runoff.

After fording Park Creek, you work your way back up through more forest. It has another steep section as it descends to Muir Creek which the trail crosses. The trail then gently follows Muir Creek with a couple of small meadows. This remote section receives very little human contact and is a great place for solitude.

The trail departs from Muir Creek and begins climbing the ridge between Double Mountain and Mt. St. Nicholas. Towards the top of the ridge, you encounter the burn from the Coal Creek drainage and get some cool views of one of Glacier's more interesting mountains in Mt. St. Nicholas. The last little bit of the trail cresting the ridge is steep and is also steep on the way down. Finding the trail is a little tricky on the way down to the crossing of Coal Creek. Once again, this is a ford, but you may be able to cross over some fallen logs to get to the Coal Creek Trail.

Overall, it's an adventure of a trip requiring some route finding, lots of elevation change, and plenty of navigation of downfall.

Flora & Fauna

Lodgepole forest with thimbleberries, arnica, etc. Animals can be everything from squirrels and small forest birds to deer and elk.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#15

in Walton

#25820

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#15

in Walton

#525

in Montana

#25,820

Overall
11 Views Last Month
332 Since Sep 2, 2015
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Photos

Ole Creek crossing in the Fall
May 10, 2016 near Blacktail, MT
Trip video of Coal-Fielding trail
May 10, 2016 near Pinnacle, MT

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Check-Ins

Sep 9, 2019
Marcus Myers
10mi — 12h 00m
Aug 15, 2016
Cameron Giebink
Split over two days, the section after ole creek was an absolute killer. Limited views but lovely campsites. 8mi — 7h 05m