“This trail is steep up and steep down, but passes an incredible alpine section with epic views.
— Jake Bramante
Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Bring bear spray.
This trail takes you from the Belly Ranger Station Trail
to Slide Lake and the Otatso Creek Trail
. The trail starts behind the ranger station by following the orange markers across the corrals or asking the rangers. It then begins its unbelievably steep ascent. You work your way through the trees wondering who made this sadistic trail until you begin breaking out of the trees into the alpine. From here on out, the work was worth it.
As you finally begin to get up on the shoulder of Gable Mountain, more lakes, rivers, and mountains become visible. The peak that truly takes your breath away is Chief Mountain
to the northeast which is sacred to the Blackfeet. You continue to gain elevation as you traverse the base of Gable Mountain's cliffs. Pikas are frequently seen here, so be listening for their signature "eeps" from among the boulder fields.
Once at the junction with Lee Ridge, large limestone boulders among alpine flower meadows make for a perfect spot to relax before dropping down to Slide Lake.
Past the junction with Lee Ridge, the trail continues to traverse, getting closer to Gable Pass proper and the ridge that heads out to Chief Mountain
. Once at the pass, the trail begins another incredibly steep descent. It passes more incredible pika habitat and levels off for a bit, then continues through trees steeply down to the campsite at Slide Lake.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visithike734.com
for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.
Flora & Fauna
Alpine flowers are incredible. Gentian, valerian, white dryas, moss campion, and other dry alpine flowers bloom late into summer. Pikas are the more popular animal, but marmots, squirrels, and bighorn sheep can be seen.