Swiftcurrent Pass Trail To Swiftcurrent Mountain

HARD 82 reviews
#12 of 135 trails in

Swiftcurrent Pass Trail To Swiftcurrent Mountain 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.

Distance: 15.9 miles Elevation Gain: 3,766 feet Route Type: Out & Back



nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers


no dogs

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.

8 days ago

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.

15 days ago

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

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

Does not get much better

11 months ago

Awesome hike.

11 months ago

Nice hike on a well traveled trail. 95 degree day plus the elevation makes for an interesting day. Flies are normal. They got to live somewhere and they are not really a bother. Take water. Slighty cooler at the top of swiftcurrent lookout. I used trekking poles for return given the switchbacks. This seem to made a big difference in joint and calf strain. Anyway, a great view of many glacier, the garden wall, lookout pass, mount cleverland, heavens peak, etc. Enjoy the day. No complaints whatsoever!!

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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!

Friday, July 13, 2018

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.

Friday, June 29, 2018

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

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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.

Saturday, October 07, 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!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

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!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

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!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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.

Wednesday, June 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.

Saturday, February 04, 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.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

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!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

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.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

This was my favorite trail by far. The views are amazing! If it's warm bring lots of water as you don't want to run out like I did! A lot of direct sun if going in August early day/afternoon. This is a challenging hike and not one for people with any weaknesses of the legs/knees. There are tons of switchbacks and take a break in the one shaded spot before the waterfall. After that it's less than 20-30 minutes to the Grinnell Glacier. Please remember to take care of the trails and park, lead by example, and love your parks as much as you care for your most prized possession.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Starting from Many Glacier was pretty easy for the first few miles but then the switchbacks don't end and get only more intense till you're at the saddle with Granite Chalet. Beautiful change of scenery. Definitely worth the struggle up to the fire lookout. Once at the chalet it's pretty easy to take a new route out, like I did loop trail to catch a shuttle.

Monday, July 11, 2016

fantastic trail

Monday, June 27, 2016

One of the most beautiful places i have ever been. Walked through quite a bit of snow but man there is no view like it. Worth every mile

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hiked to Swiftcurrent Pass starting at The Loop trailhead. There was a good amount of snow above The Chalet.lits of wild flowers and amazing views. Even saw a grizzly bear the pass!

Friday, June 17, 2016

If you can only hike one hike on the east side of GNP I highly suggest this hike but you can make it a one way to make the most of it AND you get to see a Glacier! Park your car at Swift Current motor in or Many Glacier Hotel and use one of their shuttles to get to highest point in going to the sun road (that's if you don't have someone to drop you off). You will actually be starting on the HIGHLINE TRIAL. From there you can take a detour to see Grinnell glacier from above (VERY STRENUOUS). Along the Highline trail you will come across a chateau they do NOT have free water. You will eventually hook up with the Swift Current Pass trail, to get to the watch tower it will feel like another detour. Once you've reached the top it will be all down hill from there. You will pass Bullhead Lake and Rock creek lake. Moose live in that area so keep your eyes open! At the end it will spit you out right at Swift Current Motor Inn. The one way path I described is about 17.5 miles give or take if you include the detours. However you will need LOTS of water, $ or water purification system because the Chateau does not offer free water at all. Its definitely worth the adventure! and the best way to see the most for the miles you put in.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Stunning views - glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and wildlife. Windy with some loose gravel on narrow sections of the trail about half way up.

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