Glacier National Park: Kintla Lake to Goat Haunt

Five mountain lakes, two mountain passes, and countless glacier-carved peaks highlight this epic, 29.6-mile shuttle hike in Glacier National Park.
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Five mountain lakes, two mountain passes, and countless glacier-carved peaks highlight this epic, 29.6-mile shuttle hike in Glacier National Park.

From the trailhead, head north on Boulder Pass Trail for a gentle stretch along Kintla Lake and Upper Kintla Lake. Near mile 12, the trail passes Long Knife Creek and a backcountry campsite before starting the steep, 5-mile ascent to Boulder Pass (prepare for numerous switchbacks). From here, the trail descends to the east and traverses the edge of Hole-in-the-Wall, a rugged cirque formed by glaciers.
After 21 miles, the route crests 6,255-foot Brown Pass, then descends above Thunderbird Creek. Travel past two more mountain lakes in the next 3 miles before dropping into the Waterton Valley and ending at the 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 Camas Rd. and Going to the Sun Hwy. in Apgar, MT, head northwest on Camas Rd. In 11.7 miles, turn right onto MT 486. In 13.2 miles, turn right onto Polebridge Loop. In 0.3 mile, turn left to stay on Polebridge Loop. In 0.7 mile, continue straight on Glacier Dr. In 0.8 mile, bear left at Fish Creek Campground Rd./Inside N. Fork Rd. Go 14.2 miles to trailhead parking.
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: 47.6

Waypoints

KIN001

Location: 48.9358367919922, -114.345703125

Head north on the Boulder Pass Trail along the shore of Kintla Lake.

KIN002

Location: 48.9371299743652, -114.345664978027

Keep right @ Y-junction to continue along the lake.

KIN003

Location: 48.9707984924316, -114.306076049805

Continue straight @ 3-way, heading northeast.

KIN004

Location: 48.9771308898926, -114.24747467041

Trail curves to the east at the eastern edge of Kintla Lake. Ahead, the path winds through forest to Upper Kintla Lake.

KIN005

Location: 48.9786338806152, -114.219337463379

Cross Long Knife Creek, which flows into Kintla Creek to the south. Continue heading east.

KIN006

Location: 48.9772682189941, -114.203811645508

Pass a backcountry campsite, then turn left at the western edge of Upper Kintla Lake. Ahead, the trail traces the lake's northern banks.

KIN007

Location: 48.9805526733398, -114.154960632324

Pass another backcountry campsite, then head east away from the lake. The climb to Boulder Pass begins in 0.5 mile.

KIN008

Location: 48.9648094177246, -114.128227233887

Follow tight switchbacks up the mountain. Steep climb continues.

KIN009

Location: 48.9607734680176, -114.09211730957

Bear right @ Y-junction on Boulder Pass (7,470 ft.). Trail winds to the east above Boulder Glacier.

KIN010

Location: 48.9626083374023, -114.076400756836

Trail curves to the north around Hole-in-the-Wall, a cirque formed by glaciers.

KIN011

Location: 48.9574012756348, -114.052909851074

Trail bends to the east, then southeast toward Brown Pass.

KIN012

Location: 48.9508056640625, -114.03564453125

Brown Pass (6,255 ft.): Turn left @ T-junction, heading southeast. Ahead, switchback descent above Thunderbird Creek.

KIN013

Location: 48.9418449401856, -114.001846313477

Travel across the northern edge of Lake Frances.

KIN014

Location: 48.9437026977539, -113.949432373047

Trail passes Lake Janet, a small wooded lake.

KIN015

Location: 48.9581146240234, -113.903732299805

Turn right @ 3-way and head south.

KIN016

Location: 48.9549102783203, -113.901741027832

Turn left @ 3-way. In 0.2 mile, bear right (southeast). Walk another 500 feet, then turn left toward Waterton Lake.

KIN017

Location: 48.957836151123, -113.892166137695

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.