Glacier National Park: Swiftcurrent Pass

A classic trek in Glacier National Park, this 14.7-miler crosses the Continental Divide, skirts turquoise pools, and skims wildflower fields.
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A classic trek in Glacier National Park, this 14.7-miler crosses the Continental Divide, skirts turquoise pools, and skims wildflower fields.

This one-way route in Glacier National Park—which traces the Continental Divide and then a glacial stream—should be on every hiker's life-list. It crosses fields of glacier lilies (grizzlies love the bulbs) and steep terrain favored by bighorn sheep and mountain goats. From Logan Pass trailhead, take the Highline Trail and connect to Swiftcurrent Pass, then descend through Many Glacier Valley, past turquoise icemelt pools.
SEASON: July-September
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

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 23.7

Waypoints

SWF001

Location: 48.6965551, -113.7181199

The route begins at Logan Pass across from the visitor center parking lot. Follow the Highline Trail north.

SWF002

Location: 48.7086716, -113.7158966

Mountain goats abound near small waterfall plunging into valley.

SWF003

Location: 48.7343138, -113.72298

Brief break in switchbacks; cross creek; often capped by small snowfield.

SWF004

Location: 48.7450403, -113.7398028

Hike along corridor sprinkled with beargrass, Indian paintbrush, and asters with striking views of Garden Wall.

SWF005

Location: 48.763912, -113.7545657

Bear right @ T-junction.

SWF006

Location: 48.7676318, -113.7579346

Slight left @ intersection. Option: Turn right and hike to Grinnell Glacier overlook, a steep yet rewarding
sidetrip.

SWF010

Location: 48.7778279, -113.7652731

Swiftcurrent Pass straddles the Continental Divide. Keep right for a switchback descent into the Many Glacier valley.

SWF009

Location: 48.7762159, -113.7678051

Peer at the sheer ledges of the Garden Wall to the east.

SWF007

Location: 48.7712664, -113.7708521

Bear left, staying on Granite Park Trail.

SWF008

Location: 48.7731738, -113.7709426

Bear right @ Y-junction, heading north toward Swiftcurrent Pass.

SWF014

Location: 48.7853362, -113.7410461

Walk along banks of hourglass-shaped Bullhead Lake on right; look noth to see Mount Wilbur's prominent, sawtoothed ridgeline.

SWF012

Location: 48.7785632, -113.7539864

Look northeast across valley to see string of glacial lakes.

SWF017

Location: 48.8017757, -113.6942482

Trail swings southeast for final stretch to Swiftcurrent.

SWF011

Location: 48.7860286, -113.752656

Trail cuts right, heading south. Ahead, a series of switchbacks hug the cliff walls.

SWF016

Location: 48.7975693, -113.7076645

Trace the grassy banks of trout-filled Redrock Lake, rimmed by dwarf conifers. Mount Grinnell's fin-shaped ridge looms to southwest.

SWF018

Location: 48.7983977, -113.6825752

Stay straight @ 3-way near Fishercap Lake (mostly hidden from trail by foliage).

SWF013

Location: 48.7800865, -113.743103

The steep descent ends here. Hike northeast through the valley.

SWF015

Location: 48.7953446, -113.7115216

Redrock Falls: Tiered cascade pours over boulders and reddish cliff bands on the right.

SWF019

Location: 48.7975001, -113.6785734

The route ends at Swiftcurrent. Pick up shuttle car and return to Waypoint 1.

The Garden Wall at Grinnell Glacier Overlook

Location: 48.7676459, -113.7575698

The Garden Wall from the Grinnell Glacier Overlook at Glacier National Park.