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Swiftcurrent Pass

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.9 (17)

Trail travels from moose frequented lakes among rocky summits, past waterfalls to alpine meadows.


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Map Key

7.7

Miles

12.3

KM

Point to Point

7,179' 2,188 m

High

4,944' 1,507 m

Low

2,308' 703 m

Up

448' 137 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly The level section of the trail at the beginning to the lakes and waterfalls are fantastic for everyone.

Bring bear spray.

Description

The trail starts at the east end of the main parking lot at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. The level trail begins in a pleasant lodgepole forest, then crosses Wilbur Creek. It bounces between open areas and a mixed forest of aspen and lodgepole pines. This drainage is perfect habitat for moose, and the first lake that you pass is a popular one for them. There is a small trail that breaks away to Fishercap Lake approximately a quarter of a mile in. Take that and look for these large members of the deer family in the water.

From there, it's more level tree filled hiking until you break out into meadows. All around you are the wonderful rocky walls of the surrounding summits. At the head of the valley, Swiftcurrent Mountain sits with the lookout barely visible on top. The trail continues on a fairly level path, passes into some more trees and nears some red cliffs that are popular with mountain goats. It passes by the cliffs and emerges into more open meadows and views, wandering down to the shoreline of Redrock Lake. Keep an eye out for moose in this lake as it wraps around to Redrock Falls.

From the falls, the trail gently climbs through a mix of trees and meadows along Bullhead Lake with some nice views of the lake. Continue past the lake to the head of the drainage. At this point and a little over four level miles, the trail changes from moose country to bighorn sheep country and begins to climb. This area is covered in huckleberry plants giving you a perfectly valid reason to stop and catch your breath and forage for a snack.

As you gain elevation, you pass waterfalls along a rocky cliff and get amazing views of the valley you traveled up. The trail eventually levels off after many switchbacks and heads up toward the pass in earnest. You pass meadows and subalpine fir until you reach the pass itself marked with a stack of rocks that used to be topped by an old bell before World War II.

The trail continues on down the west side, past the trail to Swiftcurrent Lookout, passing streams that lead to creeks, then rivers below. Granite Park Chalet comes into view and the trail traverses a lovely meadow and joins up with the Highline Trail.

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

An incredible array of flora and fauna due the variety of terrain. This is one of the better trails to see many of Glacier's megafauna from moose to bighorn sheep to mountain goats and deer to black and grizzly bears.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 17 votes

#3

in Many Glacier

#134

Overall
  4.9 from 17 votes
5 Star
88%
4 Star
12%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#3

in Many Glacier

#4

in Montana

#134

Overall
56 Views Last Month
2,237 Since Sep 3, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Red Rock Falls
Sep 18, 2019 near Swiftcu…, MT
The Swiftcurrent Valley from the trail
Dec 6, 2018 near Swiftcu…, MT
View from Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.
Jan 31, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
View towards Many Glacier.
Jan 24, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Trip video day hiking to Swiftcurrent Lookout from Many Glacier.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
The headwall from Bullhead Lake
Dec 6, 2018 near Swiftcu…, MT

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Check-Ins

Jul 14, 2019
Matt Goolsby
Only went as far a Bullhead Lake. Beautiful and easy to that point. 7.1mi — 10h 28m
Jun 21, 2019
Steve B
Sep 1, 2018
Greg Tempel
Aug 30, 2018
Rochelle Hartigan
Gentle inclines and declines. A lake to the left provided moose watching. Falls were a great reward for an enjoyable hike 5mi
Aug 23, 2018
Tilman Giese
Aug 13, 2018
Greg Steinmetz
This was a trail we chose due to the fires causing us not to be able to get to the Highline trail and then the Iceberg Lake trail was closed for bears 9.8mi
Aug 10, 2018
Tim Rau
Aug 9, 2018
Dylan Taylor
Tame hike until 4.1 miles in when ascent starts. Beautiful every step of the way, from scenic vistas to cool forests to reflective lakes. 14mi — 5h 55m