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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
- Distance: 57.3
Location: 48.745352, -113.435233
Head south from St. Mary.
Location: 48.708597, -113.444005
Location: 48.69443, -113.455001
Location: 48.689232, -113.469629
Location: 48.681937, -113.479671
Turn left at T-junction.
Location: 48.656075, -113.501601
Red Eagle Lake
Location: 48.64584, -113.51012
Location: 48.639049, -113.52175
Location: 48.635816, -113.53029
Ford Eagle Creek.
Location: 48.606846, -113.526847
Location: 48.586019, -113.519497
Location: 48.574179, -113.513532
Triple Divide Pass
Location: 48.574534, -113.491602
Location: 48.573427, -113.459544
Turn left at T-junction.
Location: 48.575897, -113.447914
Turn right at T-junction.
Location: 48.54116, -113.456798
Morning Star Lake
Location: 48.53542, -113.453236
Location: 48.517201, -113.462291
Turn right (west) at Pitamakan Pass.
Location: 48.516878, -113.465757
Bear left at trail fork.
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.
Location: 48.48723, -113.471947
Turn left at Dawson Pass and begin descent of Bighorn Basin to No Name Lake.
Location: 48.481115, -113.445854
Turn left at 3-way. Optional: Continue straight to reach campsite at No Name Lake.
Location: 48.479778, -113.448815
Campsite at No Name Lake
Location: 48.47836, -113.428937
Location: 48.477843, -113.419461
Turn left at junction.
Location: 48.484571, -113.369079
The route ends at this lot near Two Medicine Lake.