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Lee Ridge Trail

Intermediate
 5.0 (2)

From lodgepole forest to an epic ridge with breathtaking, 360-degree views in a remote area.


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Map Key

6.1

Miles

9.8

KM

Point to Point

7,443' 2,269 m

High

5,493' 1,674 m

Low

2,094' 638 m

Up

144' 44 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Bring bear spray.

Description

Approximately 1/4 mile from the US/Canada border on the Chief Mountain Highway, there is a pullout (just before the sign). To the left, you'll see the orange markers for the trailhead.

The trail ducks into an airy lodgepole forest. It wanders for the first couple miles gaining little elevation. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for deer and elk in this area. You'll pass a pond and a couple of wet areas, then the trail increases its climb. You begin to get some intermittent views of Chief Mountain, a mountain sacred to the Blackfeet people and a stunning, block-like summit. From this angle, you get to see the entire serrated ridge full of limestone points; two of them named Ninaki and Papoose that connects to Gable Mountain.

Eventually, the trail breaks out onto the ridge. This winding ridge gradually loses its trees as it climbs giving you unobstructed views in all directions. Chief Mountain to the east, Gable Mountain to the south, and the plains in Canada to the north. To the west, a wall of summits and the U-shaped valleys of the Mokowanis River and Belly River drainages delight. Mt. Cleveland, Glacier's ceiling is clearly visible.

From here, the trail disappears as the rounded ridge enables you to hike anywhere. Thousands of years of freeze/thaw and wind have terraced the landscape giving you steps the rest of the way. Low growing plants flower in the spring and early summer and quiver under the wind. As you get closer to the base of the rocky cliffs of Gable Mountain, the trail gets steeper. At the junction with the Gable Pass Trail, numerous large boulders provide excellent roosts for lunch with a view.

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

Forest flowers, birds and mammals in the lodgepole forest while low growing alpine flowers such as white dryas and moss campion dominate the alpine section.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#3

in Belly River

#1308

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#3

in Belly River

#46

in Montana

#1,308

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29 Views Last Month
1,211 Since Sep 2, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Looking up towards Gable Mountain from Lee Ridge.
May 13, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Trip that dropped into the Belly River from Chief Mountain, then up Lee Ridge from the Belly River Ranger Station, then down to Slide Lake, then up Gable Pass and out Lee Ridge.
Apr 19, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT

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Check-Ins

Aug 20, 2017
Cole Ranch
Gorgeous views to Gable and slide lake, but almost didn't go far enough down to hit the Slide Lake site
Aug 5, 2017
Blake Cilwick