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Swiftcurrent Pass Trail To Swiftcurrent Mountain [CLOSED]

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Glacier National Park

Swiftcurrent Pass Trail To Swiftcurrent Mountain [CLOSED] is a 15.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Babb, Montana that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Length 15.9 mi Elevation gain 3,766 ft Route type Out & Back
Backpacking Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Closed No dogs
Description
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Note: This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options. Although the full Swiftcurrent Pass trail itself is CLOSED for the 2020 season, you can get to a gorgeous overlook near the Highline Trail about one mile (one-way) from the Granite Chalet. The Swiftcurrent Pass Trail originates just east of Fishercap Lake. This single-track trail winds four miles through Swiftcurrent Creek Drainage Basin, offering access to three named lakes (Fishercap, Redrock, Swiftcurrent). Windmaker Lake is also available via off-trail excursion. Near the western tip of Bullhead Lake, the trail crosses Swiftcurrent Creek and ascends some 1,850 feet to Swiftcurrent Pass. Remarkably maintained with awe-inspiring vistas, the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail is a favorite among those who frequent Glacier National Park. Swiftcurrent Mountain, standing at 8,346 feet with 676' vertical prominence, rises intimidatingly over the valley below. A 1.3 mile spur trail offers a class one/two route to its summit, gaining 1,300 feet of elevation along the way. Series of switchbacks ease the ascent's difficulty. The peak's true summit lies a few steps beyond Swiftcurrent Lookout; this is the highest point accessible via established trail in Glacier National Park. Summit vistas encompass glaciers, lakes, turquoise-hued tarns, and surrounding rocky peaks. Listed among the ten most remarkable hikes in Glacier National Park (per HikeInGlacier), this route offers a less travelled alternative to the nearby trio of Iceberg, Grinnell, and Cracker Lake. While this trail lacks crystalline, turquoise waters, tantalizing vistas mixed with plentiful waterfalls offer a stunning display of Montana's beauty. Redrock Falls, glacial-fed cascades, a quartet of lakes, and numerous vista spurs render the adventure to Swiftcurrent Pass unforgettable. These features additionally mitigate the potentially arduous distance. Parking is available near Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. This lot, as with many in Glacier, fills quickly; Iceberg and Ptarmigan Lakes share a trailhead area with Swiftcurrent Pass. Groups usually travel this trail in sections, typically culminating at Redrock Falls, Bullhead Lake, Swiftcurrent Pass, or Swiftcurrent Mountain. Staging a car at Logan Pass allows for a fusion with the Highline Trail. Additionally, the trek to Granite Chalet is approximately eight miles one-way-- camping out here could be prudent.

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Reviews (116)
Photos (412)
Recordings (86)
Completed (352)
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Alan Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

Note: Although the full Swiftcurrent Pass trail itself is closed for the 2020 season, you can get to a gorgeous overlook near the Highline Trail about one mile (one-way) from the Granite Chalet. We hiked a small part of this trail, from Granite Chalet to the start of Swiftcurrent Pass, on July 31, 2020, from about 11:45 am to 12:45 pm, including a break for pictures. We stopped before the red “Closed” sign (indicating that the Swiftcurrent Trail is closed in 2020) and hiked the trail to the right for a few hundred feet. There was no snow on the trail and the temperatures were in the 70s. We were able to view about four to five lakes and a herd of mountain goats. Definitely worth the extra 2 +/- total miles to and from the chalet.

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Victoria Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Hiked on sept 9, 2018 Looped this trail with skyline trail and it was awesome. Since this was my first hike in glacier was slightly unprepared with my shoes and ended up getting blisters due to the length of the two hikes. The walk at the end passing the lakes is what brings the hike down to 4 stars as it had gotten to the point where my blisters had taken the enjoyment out of the hike

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Brent Bourne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2019
Hiking

Absolutely loved this hike , the views were amazing . Looking down on the lakes was breath taking and well worth hiking up all the switch backs. The first half of the hike is pretty easy and with lots of beautiful views on the way , the red rock falls are super beautiful. The switch backs are a bit of work so if your not a big hiker you may want to pass on them. This hike was on my bucket list and did not disappoint.

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Alex Steullet
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2019
Hiking

Great hike, beautiful. We tried to get to this hike on a Sunday around 11am and were turned around at the many Glacier national park windows due to parking overflow. We tried again on a different day, went around 9:30 on a Tuesday and had no issues getting into the many glacier area! The hike was so worth it, lovely trails and we saw a grizzly on the trail!

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Nic Faber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2019
Hiking

Me and my dad hiked all the way to bullhead lake, we are not in the best of shape but we both enjoyed the sights. Absolutely breathtaking; we saw 4 moose and 2 Grizzlies. The trail is definitely a great beginner's trail for any of you that aren't use to the hiking lifestyle (like us) haha.

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Martha Montiel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2019
Hiking

Such an amazing and beautiful hike! We did not see any wildlife but it’s ok. Worth every minute of pain

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Allen Cox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2019
HikingRocky

this hike was awesome it was very steep and definitely matches the hard rating. but we saw a few bull moose, one of them was only about 50 feet away. and we also saw some sheep and goats. it was awesome!!.

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Tim A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail, waterfalls too! Lots of wildflowers and saw some cool red and white mushrooms. Moose were in the lake as well.

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Mose Dunning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2019
Hiking

One of my all time favorite hikes. Hiked from Logans Pass to Granite Park Chalet on 7/11/19 and Swiftcurrent 7/12/19. Trail was in great condition. The wind was a little gusty on some of the more exposed sections requiring more focus and less photos. According the hikers there was a grizzly less tha 50 feet from us but we never noticed it. We were quite sobered when they showed us the photo. Just about the perfect hike until the last couple of miles where it got pretty crowded. Absolutely great hike with amazing views. I highly recommend it.

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Jenna Tran
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Hiking

amazing views! beginning of July is the perfect time to do this since there were tones of wild flowers on the way.

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Laura B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2018

Hiked this trail out from granite park chalet. An amazing hike with super views. It was a bit smoky due to the wild fires but still awesome. Lots of wild life. Saw a black bear. Can get windy in spots bring layers. You get everything from glaciers to waterfalls to lakes on this trail.

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Trent Lowery
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Does not get much better

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Vincent Cambruzzi
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Backpacking

Awesome hike.

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Renee Hella
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I hiked this from Granite Chalet to Many Glacier hotel (about 9 miles total). Not so difficult in this direction, as other reviewers state. I don't think there is a more beautiful, diverse hike around. There are lots of overlooks for glaciers, lakes, and waterfalls, also an abundance of wildlife (we saw deer, mountain goat, moose). As you approach Red Rock falls it becomes very crowded with families. I was not a fan of the last few miles (esp the last mile on the road at Swiftcurrent Inn and the nature trail), but the first 4 to 5 made it all worth it! A must do if you are at Glacier and you are able.

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Jessica Nymark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2018
Hiking

Amazing hike! Amazing views into the valley, amazing waterfalls, and solitude in the upper parts of the pass. If you want to do this pass the "easier" way, come from the Highline from Logan Pass and come out in Many Glacier. It makes the trip only a little longer and you can save yourself from climbing Swiftcurrent from Many. Make sure to stage a car or be okay with hitchhiking back. In the lower elevations its easy to see a moose along the lakes on the way out of the valley or jump into Red Rock Falls on a hot day! My only complaint is the FLIES, FLIES, FLIES on the lower stretch of forest on the trail; bring bug spray!

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Amy Painter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2018
Hiking

Gorgeous hike! We did this on 07/05. Only some snow towards the top when you are getting close to the pass put nothing unmanageable. The last 1.3 miles up to the lookout is the hardest part (since you're already kind of tired) but the views are so worth it. Saw some bighorn sheep, no moose or bears but we made sure to make a lot of noise. People close to Redrock lake said there was a grizzly with 3 cubs near the trail around 4PM but we didn't see her.

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jon lowell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 29, 2018
Hiking

hiked on 6/26/18, we went as far as the start of the switch backs then turned around because of time. its a beautiful hike to the pass with some slight navigation skills needed around mile 4.25 for about a 1/4 mile. it isn't hard, just follow the water upstream and you will be fine. we did not see any snow in the pass, but again we did not go to the top

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Carrie Little
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Did this hike in July 2017. It is an awesome hike and worth the loss of 5 toenails. I am getting bigger boots! One of the hikers in the group did the entire 17+ miles in her Keen sandals. We saw bears, goats, birds and moose. Definately will do again.

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Pavel Hanc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 31, 2018
Hiking

This is, in one word, an amazing hike! It has a bit of a slow start and finish (a couple of miles in the woods with nothing much to look at) and it is fairly strenuous but it is also extremely rewarding and surprisingly quiet even in the high season. The views along the way as well as from all the way up are definitely worth the effort and even if you only make it to the pass, you will still have a fantastic view of the lakes down in the valley. It does take most of the day to hike there and back and you will stop to take pictures, so make sure you head out in the morning. There are some sheer drops to the side of the trail, nothing dangerous at all if you watch your step, but I imagine it could be unpleasant if you suffer from vertigo. We saw three moose (one from unnervingly close-up), some deer, marmots and even a hummingbird.

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Julie Hancher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 7, 2017

Saw a MOOSE! lots of bear activity and moose activity on the trail - bring bear spray. Turned back 4 miles in due to time but photos look awesome from top - need to do more next time!

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T Bone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 24, 2017
Hiking

Just did the first few miles as the day was getting on. 2 large grizzlies on the mountainside above the valley. Pleasant way to end the day.

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Wayne Walk Jr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2017
Hiking

Started hiking at Many Glaciers, went up and over Swiftcurrent Pass, up to Swiftcurrent Lookout, stopped at the Granite Chalet, continued out on the Highline Trail. Hiked 21.5 miles in 11 hours. This was a good route to see different scenery the entire hike. The views are amazing from the lookout so the climb up was very worth it. This has been my favorite hike out of six so far in Glacier!

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Paula Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2017
Hiking

Hiked from the Swiftcurrent side, about 16 miles total according to trail signs. Stunning, worth every step, one of my favorite in the park.

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Emily Jensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2017
Backpacking

Hiked up to the peak from Granite Park Chalet and down from the Chalet to the parking lot. Going downhill was tough enough - I can't imagine backpacking this uphill!

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Brett Chamberlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 1, 2017
Backpacking

For items trail we hiked along our backpacking trip. The switchbacks are tough on the knees but saw moose and many lakes along the way making it worth it!

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Pasha Ti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2017
Hiking

It's a shame this wonderful trail had snow this June - we didn't manage to go all the way. Otherwise a relatively easy relaxed hike with a moderate ascend and a spectacular view in the mountains after ~5km walk in the woods.

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Hana Chalupka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2017

Hiked on 6/19/17 . One of the most strenuous hikes I have done so far but definitely worth the effort. Absolutely amazing views throughout. Higher elevation had snow. Where we could,we went off the trail to avoid dangerous snowy patches. Right before the peak it was all snow and we weren't t sure where the trail is until we spotted the fire lookout on the top. The views from the top were breathtaking.

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Matthew Wilkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 4, 2017

This was an absolutely amazing hike. Breathtaking views, several lakes and waterfalls. This was by far my favorite hike of the dozen or so hikes we did at GNP.

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Rebekah Chamberlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2017
Hiking

We came from the Granite Park Campground to Many Glacier. This was my favorite hike! Gorgeous views! We got to not only see the glacier but also several falls and you hike next to some gorgeous lakes. The big downside to this hike is the switchbacks... Probably a couple miles of them all at once. If you have bad knees it'll definitely be an issue. There is no way I could've gone up these switchbacks as they seem endless and there isn't much shade. Otherwise this hike is awesome!

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Kevin Cross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2016
Hiking

Spent 4 days hiking the GNP back country. We hiked from the Granite Park Campground down to the Many Cpg. This was our favorite hike in the park.

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