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Red Eagle

Intermediate
 4.0 (1)

Wonderful views abound as you hike through a burned area to a lake tucked beneath massive peaks.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.4

KM

Point to Point

4,835' 1,474 m

High

4,504' 1,373 m

Low

809' 247 m

Up

593' 181 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Description

Just east of the St. Mary Entrance to Glacier, and outside of the park, follow the signs for the old 1913 Ranger Station. The trail starts at the south end of the parking lot.

Follow the trail through open meadows at the foot of St. Mary Lake. The history here is great, but mostly hidden as you take an old road through meadows and trees to the shore of St. Mary Lake. This location is the site of the old St. Mary Chalet and boat dock where park visitors would set out on boats to Going-to-the-Sun Point Chalets (what is now Sun Point) before the Going-to-the-Sun Road was constructed.

From here, the trail veers away from the lake and into the forest. Wonderful pocket meadows interrupt the trees with eruptions of wildflowers in the spring and early summer. While primarily an evergreen forest at the beginning, it transitions to more of an aspen forest and a recent burn area. The stands of silver trees make for fantastic flowers and birding. The meadows open up with a stunning panorama of flowers and rocky mountains.

The trail then alternates between burned forest and open meadows, then descends to Red Eagle Creek where it crosses over on a swinging bridge. More burned forest where it steeply climbs up the ridge, then back down to cross over the creek again.

From here to the lake, the trail goes gently up and down through the burned forest. Wildflowers vary depending upon time of year. Woodpeckers and forest birds are abundant. The trail climbs a bit right before the lake with a wonderful overlook, then leads down to the campground at the foot of the lake, right along its shores. Looking across the lake is a real treat of tall mountain peaks in this crystal blue lake full of waterfowl and frequented by moose at the head.

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

Wildflowers abound with lupine, arrowleaf balsamroot, geraniums, fireweed, and hollyhock all along the trail. Warblers, woodpeckers, chickadees, hawks, waterfowl, wrens, and a host of other birds are seen along this trail. Moose can be spotted at the head of the lake. Less frequent are elk and bear.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#16

in St. Mary

#13604

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#16

in St. Mary

#305

in Montana

#13,604

Overall
21 Views Last Month
685 Since Sep 2, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

View from the foot of Red Eagle Lake.
May 13, 2016 near Rising Sun, MT
Trip video from Red Eagle Trailhead along the south shore of St. Mary Lake, past Virginia Falls and St. Mary Falls to the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Jun 13, 2016 near Rising Sun, MT
Trip from Cutbank Trailhead, over Triple Divide and out via the Red Eagle Trail.
May 13, 2016 near Rising Sun, MT
Rebirth of a forest, Glacier National Park
May 17, 2016 near St. Mary, MT

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