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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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.
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
- Distance: 23.7
Location: 48.6965551, -113.7181199
The route begins at Logan Pass across from the visitor center parking lot. Follow the Highline Trail north.
Location: 48.7086716, -113.7158966
Mountain goats abound near small waterfall plunging into valley.
Location: 48.7343138, -113.72298
Brief break in switchbacks; cross creek; often capped by small snowfield.
Location: 48.7450403, -113.7398028
Hike along corridor sprinkled with beargrass, Indian paintbrush, and asters with striking views of Garden Wall.
Location: 48.763912, -113.7545657
Bear right @ T-junction.
Location: 48.7676318, -113.7579346
Slight left @ intersection. Option: Turn right and hike to Grinnell Glacier overlook, a steep yet rewarding
Location: 48.7778279, -113.7652731
Swiftcurrent Pass straddles the Continental Divide. Keep right for a switchback descent into the Many Glacier valley.
Location: 48.7762159, -113.7678051
Peer at the sheer ledges of the Garden Wall to the east.
Location: 48.7712664, -113.7708521
Bear left, staying on Granite Park Trail.
Location: 48.7731738, -113.7709426
Bear right @ Y-junction, heading north toward Swiftcurrent Pass.
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.
Location: 48.7785632, -113.7539864
Look northeast across valley to see string of glacial lakes.
Location: 48.8017757, -113.6942482
Trail swings southeast for final stretch to Swiftcurrent.
Location: 48.7860286, -113.752656
Trail cuts right, heading south. Ahead, a series of switchbacks hug the cliff walls.
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.
Location: 48.7983977, -113.6825752
Stay straight @ 3-way near Fishercap Lake (mostly hidden from trail by foliage).
Location: 48.7800865, -113.743103
The steep descent ends here. Hike northeast through the valley.
Location: 48.7953446, -113.7115216
Redrock Falls: Tiered cascade pours over boulders and reddish cliff bands on the right.
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.