Glacier National Park: Scenic Point

Worth the 2,200-foot climb out of Two Medicine, this 7.3-mile out-and-back rewards with wildlife viewing on the slopes of Mount Henry and a panoramic vista of Glacier National Park.
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Worth the 2,200-foot climb out of Two Medicine, this 7.3-mile out-and-back rewards with wildlife viewing on the slopes of Mount Henry and a panoramic vista of Glacier National Park.

This 7.3-mile out-and-back from Two Medicine Lake begins with an easy, 0.5-mile warm-up before turning uphill sharply after a quick detour to Appistoki Falls. Take your time as the trail climbs the east side of a glacier-carved valley—almost every long switchback offers a rest-worthy point to look for wildlife. The climb gets increasingly rocky as it approaches a saddle at mile 2.8. You'll also pass relatively lush forest, flower-speckled meadows, gnarled krummholz, stunted sub-alpine fir, and a barren hillside in that short distance.
From the saddle you'll get your first glimpse of Scenic Point, a 7,522-foot overlook perched above Two Medicine Lake. Climb the ridge and traverse the hillside toward the point. As its name suggests, sweeping views of Glacier's peaks, the Two Medicine Valley, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and several flatland towns on the Blackfeet Reservation pan out to the east.
Note: This hike is mostly above treeline on an exposed, west-facing hillside so plan to hike it early in the morning or when spring temperatures are moderate to avoid harsh afternoon sun and overheating.
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/.
-Mapped by Kristy Holland

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.8

Waypoints

SCN001

Location: 48.485374, -113.36174

There are no facilities at the Scenic Point Trailhead, but with the Two Medicine camp store just 0.25 mile east, it's still a convenient spot to stop for a restroom and snack.

SCN002

Location: 48.485247, -113.361477

Heed bear-country warnings as you follow the Mount Henry Trail from the northeast corner of the parking lot. The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a flat, easy warm-up.

SCN003

Location: 48.483248, -113.352942

Just before the climbing begins, turn right for a 200-yard round-trip detour to an overlook above Appistoki Falls. If you decide to skip the falls, there's a perfect rest stop at a valley overlook 200 yards up the main trail.

SCN004

Location: 48.479763, -113.349778

The skeleton trunk of an old limber pine marks the end of the trail's first mile. Several long switchbacks traverse the hillside up above.

SCN005

Location: 48.477729, -113.34201

Large rocks line the trail as it climbs toward Mount Henry. Several damp drainages sprout early spring wildflowers, a welcome sight on the otherwise dry hillside.

SCN006

Location: 48.479998, -113.342997

A prominent rock outcropping on the trail's west side offers a bird's-eye view of the lake and Two Medicine Valley. This is one of the more picturesque spots on the trail.

SCN007

Location: 48.479365, -113.334253

From this rocky saddle, get your first glimpse of Scenic Point and the last 0.8 mile of the trail heading east. Climb the ridge and traverse the hillside toward the point.

SCN008

Location: 48.484934, -113.322247

Flat rocks and a sheer northern edge characterize this turn-around at Scenic Point, which is just a few minutes north of the Mount Henry Trail. On a clear day, expect long-distance views of the park's most prominent peaks and the flatlands to the east.

Two Medicine

Location: 48.480005, -113.342868

A trailside view of Two Medicine and Rising Wolf Mountain.

Bears

Location: 48.485254, -113.361407

As with all trails in Glacier National Park, a sign at the trailhead warns that you're entering bear country. Make plenty of noise as you proceed and consider carrying bear spray.

Appistoki Falls

Location: 48.482779, -113.352524

Spring

Location: 48.477744, -113.341903

In early summer a few wet patches sprout shooting stars, ferns, and other alpine flowers.

Valley

Location: 48.47827, -113.342771

Mount Henry looms above the valley, but it slopes provide a dramatic backdrop for the long, uphill slog.

Traverse

Location: 48.478839, -113.331957

A relatively flat traverse above a crumbling slope lands at a saddle before the final climb to Scenic Point.

Trail Sign

Location: 48.482964, -113.321378

Though the trail through the meadow is less defined, this sign points from the main trail toward the trail's namesake overlook.

Scenic Point

Location: 48.484941, -113.322108

Looking northeast toward the plains from the abrupt cliff edge of Scenic Point.