Swiftcurrent Mountain via Granite Park Trail

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Glacier National Park

Swiftcurrent Mountain via Granite Park Trail is a 12.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near West Glacier, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Length12.1 miElevation gain4,238 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewswild-flowersWildlifeSnowFee
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: as of December 2020, this area is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/statusupdate.htm. Glacier National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle (Winter: $25) or $30 per motorcycle (Winter: $20). If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person (Winter: $15). You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Winter rates are in place 11/1-4/30.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (51)
Photos (425)
Recordings (41)
Completed (145)
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Jacob Waymack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely stunning trail. Views are breath taking. Clouds set in right as I reached the peak/lookout, but well worth the hike. Will just have to go back to see view from the top another time!

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Daniel Ciancio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, probably one of my favorite trails... easy climb, stunning views, just a bit too windy at the very top..

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Ron Darnutzer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
HikingGreat!
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David Platt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
HikingRocky

Speaking specifically for the Swiftcurrent Mountain part of the trail... my favorite hike in the park! After hiking this I finally understand where the name "Crown of the Content" comes from -- The views from top are out of this world!! Whimsical mountain tops to the north, a view straight down a glacial valley with 4 lakes to the east, actual glaciers / snow packs to the south, and a gigantic bowl surrounded by more mountains to the west. Make sure to thoroughly explore the top -- some of the best views aren't visible from the main trail. Hint: make sure to check out the edges North and West of the ranger house, plus the area east of the pit toilet. You can actually scramble down quite a bit here. It's tricky due to all the loose rock, but you're rewarded with unobstructed views straight down the glacial valley! There was also a curious marmot that followed me around here :) Other than the look of the hike, I also really enjoyed the feel. Specifically the glow of the warm summer sun in my face punctuated by sudden blasts of cold mountain air. These really are blasts, watch out! One was strong enough to make me lose my footing.

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Tyler Wampler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

Completed on 9/4//20. Had a Black bear encounter about 2 miles in. Bear was using the trail to get down the mountain and came within 30 feet of us. A little scary (but everybody was respectful ). Waited a bit for it leave the trail and kept going. You could see bear prints up the trail almost to the Chalet. Super interesting. Rest of the hike was super nice with epic views. We left the loop parking lot at 6:30. I would say if you show up any later you won’t get a parking spot. 6:00 seems to be a safe time for a spot. I thought the trail was easier than previous people described but that is relative. Similar distance/elevation gain as South Sister in Oregon.. but this seems a bit easier. Start early... carry your water.. enjoy the view.

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Shoshana Weissmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

AWESOME views the whole way! started 6:30, parking lot filling up but other spots close by if needed. nothing technical. last 1.2 miles though - gusts were STRONG and I was close to loading down my backpack with rocks. Be careful there, know your limits, and you'll be fine. I DO wish I'd worn pants. cloud cover most of the way and wind meant I was FREEZING the last 2 miles. definitely do layers! No equipment needed besides good shoes, poles if you want, and LOTS of water. Few sources along the way, some seemed dried up at the moment. Intense - my app said it was 13.5 miles for me while staying on route. But totally worth it

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Caleigh Rice
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Hiking

8/31 - An awesome hike but not a great day for it unfortunately! The incline is steady but long, and you get a break half way up at the chalet. We continued to the top which was completely fogged in, got glimpses every now and then of the beautiful view over the lakes. Loved the trail and hope to do it again sometime on a sunnier day!

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Abigail Roston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
HikingGreat!No shade

8/29/20 this is a super fun hike! Fair amount of elevation gain up to the lookout but views follow you all the way up. Definitely be prepared to arrive early for a spot and bring lots of water! The last 1.2 miles are no joke- no shade, and straight up. That being said, the view through the park is absolutely amazing.

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Alan Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingGreat!

Note: If you are planning to hike either but not both the Swiftcurrent Lookout or the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, I would choose the Overlook instead and then hike up a little for a full view of numerous stunning lakes. The Overlook is a very challenging hike but not as challenging as the Swiftcurrent Lookout Trail. I hiked the Lookout Trail from Granite Chalet on August 21, 2020. The temperatures were in the 70s. From the “1.2 miles” sign I reached the summit in about 40 minutes, about half past noon. The weather on the hike up was perfect, with a little wind coming from the left side of the trail. At the summit there is a sign saying that you cannot go near the lookout, but you can still see and photograph it clearly. To the southeast you can see all of Swiftcurrent Glacier and to the east you can see many lakes, including Windmaker, Bullhead, Redrock, Fishercap, Swiftcurrent, and Sherburne.

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Travis Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Backpacking

Awesome 12 mile hike to the top of Swiftcurrent Mountain. Stopping at the Chalet a few miles up makes for a nice break.

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Rachel Olson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

I’m not sure if it’s normal for this mountain but it was SO windy towards the summit we turned around. Like blowing me off the ground wind.

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Taylor Treece
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
HikingBugs

Phenomenal and picturesque trail filled with long ranged switchbacks. After the turn off to the lookout, the trail will become much steeper. Finding a parking spot at the trailhead can be quite difficult to begin with, so come early: 6:30 am (if you definitely want a spot.)

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Paige Sommers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

8/14/20 The trail was incredible! We got there at 6:30 and there were a few spots left and by 6:45 the parking lot was completely full. Get there early, you don’t want to miss these views! We did come across a black bear about 5 minutes into the hike, he looked at us then continued on his way. Definitely being bear spray.

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Daniel Lurie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!RockyScramble

I fall in love with nature far too easily, but trust me when I say this was the absolutely most stunning and beautiful view/hike I have been on to date (I swear I have never said that before). I got a little late of a start and was on the trailhead at 7:15 AM. The parking lot for Granite Peak/Heaven’s Peak was completely full, but driving down the Sun Road a tiny bit, I was still early enough to park on one of the turn-offs. Right away, even .10 into the hike, there was a waterfall/river flowing beneath a bridge, which boosted my confidence in solo hiking and the views I would hopefully see. The first 2-ish miles I cruised along at 15-20 minute miles, it was not too steep, but a gradual elevation change. This was the most trafficked part of the hike (I passed about 20 hikers in groups). This portion was easy because it is mostly shaded. On the right side it was absolutely gorgeous to look at the looming mountains, and to listen to the waterfall/trees down in the valley. 2 more miles in, once reaching Chalet, there are a bunch of old buildings and hitching posts for horses, also along the way, there are a plethora of truly gorgeous flowers; Bear Grass, Indian Paintbrushes, etc. Signage is posted WAY more frequently than I have seen on other trails as well (which is nice), so you always know what trail you are on. This is where the going gets tough, when you leave Chalet and start on the Swiftcurrent Lookout Trail. It starts out fairly level, but as you keep climbing the trees disappear, leaving you directly in the sun, and this is when the rest of the elevation hits. It is grueling the whole way up, but very worth it. Also, there were so many super FAT Marmots and Chipmunks, who, to put it frankly were not intimidated by a human presence at all; they just stared at me. I saw no one on my way up to the tower. Once at the top, the lookout tower is mesmerizing in its own way, but the 360 view of peaks and glaciers all around me actually took my breath away. Not to mention, looking to the right of the tower, you can see lakes/bodies of water, sparkling in the sun. I ate an early brunch, while Marmots and Chipmunks ran past me and also tried to get in my pack. The Lookout residing in the tower greeted me, told me the name of the glaciers, and was very kind. She told me no other hikers had made it up to the tower that day. I honestly wanted to never leave. I would highly recommend this trail, bring plenty of water (especially if you’re going to hike later in the day), bug spray (lots of bugs when the heat came out), and of course my mantra—bear spray. I cruised all the way down, stopping ever so often to talk to hikers. Not counting my break at the top, my hike up was 2 hours 10 minutes, and my hike down was 1 hour 50 minutes, for a combined 4 hour hike at a 3 mile per hour. The 12.1 for mileage is fairly accurate. Challenging, but so incredibly beautiful.

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Emma May
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingGreat!

whatta beaut! tough for sure, but super worth the work to get up to the lookout. beware of winds- felt like 50mph at points on the climb up to the lookout, but I have no idea if that's accurate. had to slant our bodies to stay balanced. busy to the chalet, then only a few people headed up to the lookout which was nice. got the the turn to park at 6:05 and the lots were already full, had to park in a turnout

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emily gordee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
HikingBugs

WOW this hike! We parked at the loop at about 5:30 am on a Tuesday to be positive we would get a parking spot. The lot was already about half full when we left at 6:00. I would recommend going early before the sun is over the mountains. We basically were in the shade the whole way up to the Chalet, which would have been tough in the sun because there's not much shade. Once you get to the Swiftcurrent Pass junction and start going up to the lookout, the trail gets much steeper and it is BRUTAL but the views are more than worth it at the top! NOTE: There ARE multiple water sources along the way up to the chalet, and past the chalet. We wished we would have known so we could have brought only our Sawyer Squeeze filter.

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Lukas Jilovsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingOff trailRocky

One of the most intense trails I have ever done! Started at the loop initially thinking we were going to hike to the Granite Chalet, but after a brief lunch we got inspired and decided to hike all the way to the over look. The 1.2 mile hike from the swift current pass to the over look was extremely intense! Very high degree of slope! But once up top the 360 degree view of the park was absolutely breathtaking! Would definitively recommend to more experienced hikers. The first 8 miles is just straight uphill but then you look forward for a much easier 8 mile downhill to the loop!

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Betsy LaCroix
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingNo shade

This trail definitely met and then exceeded our expectations for the last day in Glacier!! We started the morning at 6:05 am and had the second to last parking spot at the loop, so get there early! The four miles up to the chalet are through some burn areas with remarkable fliers, then lush forests before arriving at the chalet. The trek up to the overlook point was an ass kicker. Granted, it was our fourth day of hiking and we were on about mile 48 by the time we embarked on the incline. It sets your calves on fire, but it creates such a sense of accomplishment at the top!!! Also, be sure to go not just to the saddle, but also on top of the rock mound next to it to get a view of the actual glacier and rock wall next to it. The marmots there are so fat and love to sum themselves on the rocks. From there, we went back to the chalet, ate lunch, then headed up swiftcurrent pass, but it was closed just over the pass due to Covid-19, but not at a point you could see much, so ever the glutton for punishment, we then hiked up to the lookout tower. THAT WAS AWESOME!!!! The incline wasn’t as bad as the glacier overlook, but still steep. From there, we headed down, about 17.4 miles RT and probably 5400’ elevation gain, exhausting but breath-taking! Highly recommend!!!

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Todd Ziegler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Hiked the road from avalanche campground up to the loop, 8 miles. Then continued down the trail 2 miles, turned around and went down packers roost trail. Had to take shoes and socks off to cross a river, encountered a bear on the trail, reconnected with going to sun road and hiked back to avalanche campground. 20 mile adventure for sure. Oh yeah, and it rained most of the day. Accidentally paused recording for half a mile too, so missed out on that stretch.

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Spoon Drift
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2019
Hiking

Took 65 minutes to reach Granite chalet up a steady incline. Had to turn around about .25 mile short of the lookout due to weather conditions (misting rain, mid 30’s and 40 mph wind gusts). Hike to look out is steeper than to the chalet but was made much more difficult by weather this day.

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Trystan Gutermuth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2019
Hiking

Two really steep sections on the hike, which make up most of the hike. Towards the end push, be careful of extreme winds. Otherwise the hike is amazing and the views are worth it.

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Jay Dahlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2019
Hiking
First to Review

This is a tough hike. Four miles up to Granite Park Chalet, only the last mile is visually interesting. But the chalet is great and there’s a beautiful alpine meadow behind where we saw a grizzly cross the trail in front of us and head up the mountain. Not interested in us at all. Then the last stretch is 1.5 miles straight up. Really tough, but the views from the summit are breathtaking in 360 degrees. Well worth the hard work. And there’s a weird, tiny private residence up at the summit. Not sure what’s up with that!

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Eva Breitenbach
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2020
Hiking
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Lauren Wozniak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2020
Hiking
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