“A steep trail leading to an epic traverse below Jackson Glacier with fantastic views.”
— Jake Bramante
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Bring bear spray.
This little spur trail off the Gunsight Pass Trail
breaks off just south of the bridge going over the St. Mary River at the outlet of Gunsight Lake.
The trail travels through a mix of vegetation such as beargrass, shrubs and some subalpine fir and starts out level for 0.15 miles, then it gets ridiculously steep as it climbs up onto the ridge. Footing here can be sketchy, and you'll need to use your hands in a couple of spots. Thankfully this only lasts for a little over a quarter of a mile before the trail begins to level off.
From here, the trees begin to thin as you break out into incredible alpine meadows. The receding glacier sits higher up the hillside with vast slabs of rock between you and the ice. Meltwater flows down, keeping the meadows wet while wildflowers bloom well into summer. Panoramic views and signs of bear activity everywhere add to the excitement of this trail.
The trail officially ends at a larger stream coming from the glacier, but you can continue to explore on a social trail and through the meadows.
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
Glacier lilies, beargrass, valerian, paintbrush and myriad other flowers are incredible in the meadows. Many forest birds as well as alpine birds such as rosyfinches can be seen. Marmots and ground squirrels are common while deer and bear may also be seen.