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black Mount Brown Lookout

  4.3 ( 10 ) Favorite


10.3 mile 16.6 kilometer loop


Ascent: 4,203' 1,281 m
Descent: -4,203' -1,281 m
High: 7,428' 2,264 m
Low: 3,225' 983 m


Avg Grade: 15% (9°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)


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A journey along a crazy steep trail with absolutely no reprieve leads to a well worthwhile viewpoint

Craig DiCarlo

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers


This route includes travel on a very demanding trail. It climbs and climbs and climbs. There are no level spots on the trail! Wonderful views throughout make all of that effort worthwhile though!

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water, there is no opportunity to replenish.


This trail climbs nearly 5,000 feet in five miles, so it's a strenuous ascent. There are wonderful views of Lake McDonald along the way. Be well prepared as there is no water along the way and zero flat ground.

At about mile three, you'll come to the first significant viewpoint. From here, there are great views of the surrounding mountains. You'll really be able to appreciate how much you've been climbing, as the views have changed, even from McDonald Lake. Once you've caught your breath, continue along the trail. At about 4.4 miles, you'll reach another great viewpoint and stopping spot. About a half mile later, you get the first view of the Lookout. This is about the area I ran into the goats.

I was ultimately cut short of reaching the lookout due to two mountain goats who blocked the trail and were rather aggressive. They forced my retreat about a quarter mile from the lookout. They actually followed me down the trail for a third of a mile or so, and there was no way around them. The appearance of these goats is a good reminder to respect the wildlife in the park. Don't get too close to ANY of the full-time residents of the park.

Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

You'll enjoy typical alpine natives such as pine, pika, marmots, and even mountain goats.

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Aug 2, 2018
Brianna Hawthorne
Completed the hardest hike in glacier alongside Cassidy, Heidi, Brandon, Majesty, Becca and David. Spent 3 hours napping at the top
Jul 12, 2018
Mags Carvalho
Amazing lookout totally worth it. Our gps said 12 mikes not 10.5 12mi
Jul 4, 2018
Brittany Cuff
Great hike with wonderful views. Very tiring though so start early in the day. Beware of bears.
Jul 4, 2018
Emilie Kitt
An incredibly hard hike. The burn from 2017 opened up tons of beautiful views of Lake McDonald and the surrounding mountains. The view from the loo… 10.3mi
Jun 21, 2018
Melodie Prevost
+ almost to summit of Mt Brown!
Jun 19, 2018
Olivia Smith
Jun 17, 2018
Chris Purcell
Jun 12, 2018
Matt Smith
Curious Mountain goats!!!

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 10 votes


  4.3 from 10 votes
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