Glacier National Park: Chief Mountain Customs to Goat Haunt

This 28.8-mile shuttle hike travels to the southern tip of Waterton Lake, touring remote landscapes peppered with pristine lakes and glacier-covered peaks.
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This 28.8-mile shuttle hike travels to the southern tip of Waterton Lake, touring remote landscapes peppered with pristine lakes and glacier-covered peaks.

Head southwest from the Belly River Trailhead for a 2-mile descent to the valley floor. The trail leads south up the valley through quaking aspen and meadows rimmed by rugged peaks. Cross the Belly River on a bridge at mile 6.4, then begin the ascent to Cosley and Glenns lakes. After 13 miles, pass a side trail that leads to camping at Mokowanis Lake. Turn left to set up camp near the lake or continue straight to reach 6,908-foot Stoney Indian Pass.
From the top of Stoney Indian Pass, a series of switchbacks descends 583 feet to Stoney Indian Lake, a tear-dropped shaped lake nestled below Wahcheechee Mountain and the Stoney Indian Peaks. Skirt the north banks of the lake, and then descend into Waterton Valley for the final 4.7 miles to Goat Haunt Ranger Station. To reach your shuttle car, take the boat from Goat Haunt to the Waterton Marina in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada.
PERMIT: Overnight camping in Glacier National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm.
MORE PARK INFO: Glacier National Park, (406) 888-7800; nps.gov/glac/.
-GPS data provided by the National Park Service

TO TRAILHEAD: Start: From Many Glacier Rd. and US 89 in Babb, MT, head north on US 89. In 4.3 miles, turn left onto MT 17/Chief Mountain International Hwy. (closed seasonally). Go 14 miles to parking on left side of road.
End: From Many Glacier Rd. and US 89 in Babb, MT, head north on US 89. In 4.3 miles, turn left onto MT 17/Chief Mountain International Hwy. (closed seasonally). In 14.2 miles, cross the US-Canadian border and continue on Range Rd. 282A/Hwy. 6. In 13.6 miles, turn left onto Township Rd. 21B. In 0.6 mile, turn left onto Range Rd. 294A (becomes 295A/300B/Township Rd. 14A/301A). In 5.3 miles, turn left onto Mt. View Rd. In 0.3 mile, turn left onto Waterton Ave. Go 0.1 mile and park at the Waterton Marina.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 46.3

Waypoints

WAT001

Location: 48.995914, -113.659882

Head southwest from the Belly River Trailhead. The trail descends 2 miles to the valley floor and the Belly River.

WAT002

Location: 48.980667, -113.677284

Turn left @ T-junction. Hike south up the valley through quaking aspen and meadows rimmed by rugged peaks.

WAT003

Location: 48.933201, -113.712959

Turn right @ T-junction. In 0.2 mile, cross the Belly River on a bridge, then begin ascent to Cosley Lake.

WAT004

Location: 48.929962, -113.746941

Keep left @ Y-junction, heading south toward Cosley Lake. Optional: Turn right @ Y-junction to climb Bear Mountain Point (3.6 miles round-trip). Ahead: In 300 yards, bear right @ Y-junction (Ptarmigan Trail enters on the left).

WAT005

Location: 48.888618, -113.814758

Bear right @ Y-junction. Campsite: Bear left onto side trail for 1-mile stretch to camping at Mokowanis Lake.

WAT006

Location: 48.882114, -113.865219

Stoney Indian Pass (6,908 ft.): A series of switchbacks descends 583 feet to Stoney Indian Lake, a tear-dropped shaped lake nestled below Wahcheechee Mountain and the Stoney Indian Peaks. Ahead, skirt the north banks of the lake, heading northwest.

WAT007

Location: 48.887753, -113.868523

Follow Stoney Indian Pass Trail to the northwest. The path parallels Pass Creek, a tributary of the Waterton River.

WAT008

Location: 48.897816, -113.904877

Turn right @ T-junction; trail descends north into Waterton Valley.

WAT009

Location: 48.909271, -113.907394

Bear right @ Y-junction, heading north through Waterton Valley. The trail to Porcupine Lookout veers off to the left.

WAT010

Location: 48.926365, -113.897064

Keep straight @ 3-way; side trail on the left leads to a campsite overlooking Kootenai Lakes. Continue hiking north through Waterton Valley; fragrant conifers flank the trail.

WAT011

Location: 48.956982, -113.892441

The route ends at the Goat Haunt Ranger Station; Upper Waterton Lake extends to the north. To reach shuttle car, take the boat from Goat Haunt to the Waterton Marina in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada.

Bear Mountain Point

Location: 48.935581, -113.750511

Bear Mountain Point

Campsite

Location: 48.877548, -113.811981

Set up camp near Mokowanis Lake. To continue hike, backtrack to Waypoint 5 and turn left @ T-junction.