Glacier National Park: Five Pass-Red Eagle Loop

This strenuous 54.8-mile, 6-day loop follows a historic abandoned trail across the true crown of the continent.
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This strenuous 54.8-mile, 6-day loop follows a historic abandoned trail across the true crown of the continent.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 88.4

Waypoints

FPR001

Location: 48.4921684265137, -113.365798950195

Cross bridge and turn R onto Oldman Lake Trail (Pitamakan Pass Trail)

FPR002

Location: 48.5118293762207, -113.376998901367

Cross small bridge over Dry Fork Creek

FPR003

Location: 48.514331817627, -113.377998352051

Turn L @ T with trail sign, climbing toward Old Man Lake. After 5.8 miles, keep hiking straight, past a recovering burn zone, to the pass (a 2,100-foot gain with few switchbacks from this junction).

FPR004

Location: 48.517219543457, -113.462501525879

Pitamakan Pass; swing N, switchbacking down to the turquoise Pitamakan Lake

FPR005

Location: 48.5407791137695, -113.457702636719

Beautiful campsite near Morning Star Lake. Continue N roughly along the Fork Cut Bank Creek.

FPR006

Location: 48.575569152832, -113.448196411133

Turn L onto Triple Divide Trail

FPR007

Location: 48.5757217407227, -113.453498840332

Possible camp @ Atlantic Falls

FPR008

Location: 48.5739784240723, -113.461799621582

Keep R @ Medicine Lake Trail junction

FPR009

Location: 48.5755805969238, -113.481002807617

Continue W, slanting toward the NE side of Triple Divide Peak

FPR010

Location: 48.5742492675781, -113.513702392578

Triple Divide Pass; drop N to Hudson Bay Creek

FPR011

Location: 48.6080207824707, -113.526298522949

Continue N

FPR012

Location: 48.6356811523438, -113.530601501465

Turn R @ Red Eagle Creek and hike to its namesake lake with campsites

FPR013

Location: 48.6390800476074, -113.521598815918

Swing bridge

FPR014

Location: 48.645450592041, -113.509803771973

Campsites near Red Eagle Lake framed by stellar SW views of the Continental Divide; return to Waypoint 12 and head N up feeder stream (this begins the stout cross-country traverse of Red Eagle Pass)

FPR015

Location: 48.6369781494141, -113.534698486328

Head W

FPR016

Location: 48.6349983215332, -113.537803649902

Safe stream crossing

FPR017

Location: 48.6317291259766, -113.537399291992

Marker Waypoint

FPR018

Location: 48.6277503967285, -113.54630279541

Bear SSW

FPR019

Location: 48.6251487731934, -113.54810333252

Cairn marks route

FPR020

Location: 48.6205711364746, -113.552398681641

Good stream crossing

FPR021

Location: 48.6147689819336, -113.559898376465

Trace the S-side of Red Eagle Creek

FPR022

Location: 48.6097183227539, -113.568603515625

Look for logs to cross creeks

FPR023

Location: 48.6068992614746, -113.573799133301

More logs

FPR024

Location: 48.6031303405762, -113.584602355957

Vast beaver ponds; climb NW

FPR025

Location: 48.6052284240723, -113.590896606445

Cut W across slope

FPR026

Location: 48.603630065918, -113.59839630127

Super steep game trails; go slow and avoid when wet

FPR027

Location: 48.604061126709, -113.600898742676

Pick up faint trail again, bearing W

FPR028

Location: 48.6011810302734, -113.604499816895

This vast alpine plateau yeilds fine camping.

FPR029

Location: 48.5924797058106, -113.606498718262

Stay S

FPR030

Location: 48.5838203430176, -113.604698181152

Good camp spot

FPR031

Location: 48.5825805664062, -113.60230255127

The best route up the pass is on E side of creek; 200-foot climb

FPR032

Location: 48.5774993896484, -113.594703674316

Red Eagle Pass: The old pre-World War II route goes E then down drainage (now overgrown!). The best route now is a goat trail to the S.

FPR033

Location: 48.5756797790527, -113.594902038574

Navigate goat path down thru cliff bands

FPR034

Location: 48.5705490112305, -113.591697692871

Best to stay S of the runoff

FPR035

Location: 48.5676193237305, -113.59400177002

Go L around falls thru blowdown then find game trail to lower bench

FPR036

Location: 48.5622787475586, -113.603996276855

The real work begins on this steep slope covered with slide alder and deadfall all the way to Nyack Trail. Move carefully and expect 3 hours for the next .9 mile. Tip: Wear your sunglasses for eye protection, and pack plenty of water.

FPR037

Location: 48.5559997558594, -113.606399536133

Continue S; more blowdown ahead

FPR038

Location: 48.5501708984375, -113.605598449707

Nyack Trail. Turn L. Your reward is excellent hiking along turquoise Nyack Creek.

FPR039

Location: 48.5499992370606, -113.586402893066

Campsites near the Nyack Creek

FPR040

Location: 48.5492782592773, -113.573303222656

Ford creek

FPR041

Location: 48.5469284057617, -113.565803527832

National Park Service cabin

FPR042

Location: 48.5475196838379, -113.563598632812

Cross Pacific Creek

FPR043

Location: 48.5388984680176, -113.537300109863

Veer L, staying N and above a nameless fork of the Nyack

FPR044

Location: 48.5384902954102, -113.483299255371

Climb to pass; this N-facing slope is often covered in snow even in mid-summer. Editor's Note: The tracklog from here to the shoulder of Cut Bank Pass might not follow official route exactly (it was snow-covered during trail scout).

FPR045

Location: 48.524600982666, -113.480697631836

Cut Bank Saddle

FPR046

Location: 48.5204200744629, -113.472297668457

Cut Bank Pass; backpack S along Continental Divide then wrap W around Mount Morgan (8,781 ft.)

FPR047

Location: 48.5136985778809, -113.479797363281

W shoulder of Mount Morgan

FPR048

Location: 48.5007705688477, -113.472503662109

Great vistas from high trail between Cut Bank and Dawson Passes

FPR049

Location: 48.4872283935547, -113.47200012207

Dawson Pass; descend E into Bighorn Basin

FPR050

Location: 48.479850769043, -113.448997497559

No Name Lake campsite

FPR051

Location: 48.4811210632324, -113.445701599121

Turn R, heading E

FPR052

Location: 48.4776611328125, -113.419898986816

Keep L; staying on Dawson Pass Trail on the N-side of Two Medicine Lake. It's 3.1 miles back to trailhead.