Mokowanis River - Stoney Indian Pass

HARD 5 reviews
#57 of 114 trails in

Mokowanis River - Stoney Indian Pass is a 27.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near East Glacier, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
27.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3444 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

snow

backpacking
3 months ago

Did a 3-night backpacking trip Chief Mountain Trailhead- Cosley Lake- Mokowanis Lake- Stoney Indian Pass- Waterton Lake. (Mid July)
Weather was perfect. Have to say it was the hike of a lifetime.

Day 1- Chief Mountain Trailhead to Cosley Lake Campground.
Nice hike, about 8 miles. Pass the ranger station, a suspension bridge, there is a nice waterfall right before Cosley Lake. The Cosley Lake campground is great, all sites are pretty much on the water.

Day 2- Cosley Lake Campground- Mokowanis Lake Campground
Woke up early and hiked up to the Cosley Lake overlook. This is a must, it's gorgeous and worth the steep, rocky ascent. Maybe 4 mi roundtrip, 1700 ft in elevation. Amazing views of belly river drainage and where you will be hiking...very windy up there though.
The hike to Mokowanis lake was about 6 mi. and not very exciting. The low point of an otherwise great trip. You hike through forest the entire way, knowing beautiful Glenn's lake is consistently out of view. Its pretty frustrating. But then you get to Mokowanis Lake and its two campsites on a secluded lake surrounded by mountains with a stunning waterfall less than 2 mi. away and everything is great again. (be warned the mokowanis lake deer are cut throat when is comes to your human salts. They will lick any sweaty thing left unattended and will sometimes run off with your salty sweaty stuff as a snack)

Day 3- Mokowanis Lake - Stoney Indian Pass - Waterton River Campground
This was a long day maybe 18 mi with 2400' elevation gain. The first 6-8 miles are heaven. You almost forget how much elevation you're eating up. Just when you think your hike can't get any more scenic you reach a crest and the landscape becomes even more beautiful....this will happen like 3 times. Waterfalls, Waterfalls, Waterfalls, alpine valleys, views back to the lakes, mountain vistas, wild flowers, bear grass...holy crap this section had it all! One of the most beautiful sections of trail I have ever been on.
Once you get past Stoney Indian Lake it's all down hill. Literally, scenery goes down hill, trail is overgrown (to the point that you cannot see where you are stepping, which will slow you down, and twist some ankles), and the mosquitoes increased to an insane level. Then 10 mi. later you reach Waterton lake and are rewarded with a postcard view.
By this point you will have experienced the entire range of human emotion, awe, bliss, pain, clouds of mosquitoes. You will have laughed, maybe cried, you will hurt and be hungry, and you will agree this was one of the best hikes you have ever done...then you may realize you still have another mile or so to go to get to your campsite.
This is truly one of America's great hikes and I would recommend it to everyone.

backpacking
5 months ago

Beautiful. I did the east part with and ascent to the Stony Indian Ridge as the pass was closed for snow (early June).

Conditions: Clear until Mokowanis Lake (last campground). After that lot of fallen trees (~40), mud-slided trail, missing/broken bridges - the ford after Atsina Lake has a strong stream, especially in the afternoon snow melt. Above Atsina Lake it's all snow, pretty stiff in early June, gaters are enough.

Itinerary:
Base camp in Gable Campground (6 miles from the Grand Chief trailhead at the Canadian border).

First night:
Get to Gable.

Second day:
Walk swiftly to Atsina Lake (3h). Scramble up stones left after a stream of melted snow (to don't step on flora). Traverse below a sub-ridge of Stony Indian Ridge, mountaineer up class 3 (steps), there is a little of easy rock climbing in the end.
Enjoy the view from the ridge, hold tight before the 4000ft east wall.
If you've an ice axe, just go swiftly down on snow.
Have a well deserved dinner.

Third day:
Hike back 6miles in the morning. It can get really muddy after rain.

Monday, August 29, 2016

camping
Tuesday, December 02, 2014

This is a beautiful trail in one of the remoter parts of Glacier. The trailhead is right near the Canadian border crossing. The trail initially is kind of boring as you zig zag down to the Belly River. There are some creek crossings along the way that--depending on the season--will get your feet wet early on. If you start in the afternoon, you can easily make it to the Belly River Ranger station where there is also a campground. It tends to be pretty full and much used because it is so manageable to reach. If you continue on, it is worth it to at least reach Cosley Lake. That campground is very nice with stunning views. To that point, there has not been much elevation gain. There was some down from the trailhead and then some minor ascent to Cosley Lake. From Cosley back past Glenns, it is pretty flat and easy. Both the Glenn's Foot and Head campsites are really nice. There is also Mokowanis Junction.

From Glenn Lake to Stoney Indian pass is all ascent. There are beautiful views of waterfalls to stir you on. At the top, there is a great view and one of the best sited pit toilets in the world. The GNP trail crew do an excellent job maintaining the trail.

Friday, July 05, 2013

This is a must do trail. add it to your bucket list.. you will not be disappointed. Just be ready for bear sightings