Glacier National Park: St. Mary Lake to Two Medicine Lake

Pack maximum Glacier highlights—densely stacked peaks, jewel-like turquoise pools, and blinding-white waterfalls—into three days with this 35.6-mile point-to-point from St. Mary to Two Medicine.
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Pack maximum Glacier highlights—densely stacked peaks, jewel-like turquoise pools, and blinding-white waterfalls—into three days with this 35.6-mile point-to-point from St. Mary to Two Medicine.

Park at Two Medicine ranger station and grab the East Side Shuttle ($20/person, June 3 to September 25) to Saint Mary. Ask the driver to stop at the Red Eagle trailhead. Ascend gradually and cross bridged streams as you enter the wide valley between Red Eagle Creek and Curly Bear Mountain. Camp in a clearing among the pines at the inlet of Red Eagle Lake (mile nine).

Next day, head south, crossing a suspension bridge (removed seasonally by late September) over the roaring falls at Red Eagle Gorge. In fall, the high whine of bugling elk fills the meadow between Hudson Creek and Split Top Mountain. Lunch facing Medicine Owl Peak, Amphitheater Mountain, and Mt. James, each taller than 8,000 feet. By late September, Amphitheater’s horizontal striations fill with lines of snow so thin they look pen drawn.

Begin the waterfall-laced climb to Triple Divide Pass, and emerge above treeline at mile 16.1. Look west to Triple Divide Peak’s cleft ridge. This is one of just two peaks in North America (the other is Snow Dome, in Canada’s Jasper National Park) that route water to three different watersheds—the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic (via Hudson Bay).

Descend east for one of the weekend’s finest views: a thin waterfall plunging 1,600 feet to the turquoise surface of Medicine Grizzly Lake. Spend night two along the bank of Morning Star Lake. Next day, pass a string of sapphire lakes to 7,731-foot Pitamakan Pass, then traverse a series of ledges to Dawson Pass. Descend to No Name Lake (another good camp), then continue 5.7 miles to end at Two Medicine.

-Mapped by Casey Lyons

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 57.3

Waypoints

MTM001

Location: 48.745352, -113.435233

Head south from St. Mary.

MTM002

Location: 48.708597, -113.444005

Meadow

MTM003

Location: 48.69443, -113.455001

Footbridge

MTM004

Location: 48.689232, -113.469629

Suspension bridge

MTM005

Location: 48.681937, -113.479671

Turn left at T-junction.

MTM006

Location: 48.656075, -113.501601

Red Eagle Lake

MTM007

Location: 48.64584, -113.51012

Campsite

MTM008

Location: 48.639049, -113.52175

Bridge crossing

MTM009

Location: 48.635816, -113.53029

Ford Eagle Creek.

MTM010

Location: 48.606846, -113.526847

Waterfall

MTM011

Location: 48.586019, -113.519497

Waterfall

MTM012

Location: 48.574179, -113.513532

Triple Divide Pass

MTM013

Location: 48.574534, -113.491602

Waterfall

MTM014

Location: 48.573427, -113.459544

Turn left at T-junction.

MTM015

Location: 48.575897, -113.447914

Turn right at T-junction.

MTM016

Location: 48.54116, -113.456798

Morning Star Lake

MTM017

Location: 48.53542, -113.453236

Waterfall

MTM018

Location: 48.517201, -113.462291

Turn right (west) at Pitamakan Pass.

MTM019

Location: 48.516878, -113.465757

Bear left at trail fork.

MTM020

Location: 48.518345, -113.472417

Cut Bank Pass is located to the north. Follow the trail to the left as it rounds Mt. Morgan before continuing south.

MTM021

Location: 48.48723, -113.471947

Turn left at Dawson Pass and begin descent of Bighorn Basin to No Name Lake.

MTM022

Location: 48.481115, -113.445854

Turn left at 3-way. Optional: Continue straight to reach campsite at No Name Lake.

MTM023

Location: 48.479778, -113.448815

Campsite at No Name Lake

MTM024

Location: 48.47836, -113.428937

Vista

MTM025

Location: 48.477843, -113.419461

Turn left at junction.

MTM026

Location: 48.484571, -113.369079

The route ends at this lot near Two Medicine Lake.