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gem icon Pitamakan Pass [Suggest Edits]

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There are many areas within Glacier that offer spectacular views, but Pitamakan Pass has the added bonus of being able to offer both breathtaking views as well as solitude. Located about 8.5-9 miles from either end of the Pitamakan Trail, the views afforded from the pass come at a price. Though the first part of the journey from either trailhead will be mellow, the final approach to the pass is strenuous.

All of the hard work of the approach pays off upon reaching the saddle of Pitamakan Pass. Sitting high above treeline, runners will have unobstructed views of the area. Craggy peaks rim the views, and pristine alpine lakes can be seen on either side of the pass. Pitamakan Lake is located to the north, and Oldman Lake is located to the south. From this vantage point, you'll be able to appreciate the elevation gain required to reach the pass. Note the solitude that can be found here. There aren't many visitors who make the full journey!

In addition to unsurpassed natural beauty, Pitamakan Pass also holds an interesting tidbit of Blackfeet history. Pitamakan was a fierce Blackfeet warrior who led many successful raids and directed many war parties. What made Pitamakan special, though, is that she was a woman. Her name, Pitamakan, translates to Running Eagle, and she was the only Blackfeet woman to lead so successfully or to be given a man's name. The area is named for her, as she once experienced a vision quest here.

Once you've reached the pass, take your time to appreciate the dramatic views and to contemplate the history of the people who have inhabited the area before you. Once you've had your fill, continue on the Dawson Pass Trail to create a loop, the Pitamakan Pass Trail to finish a shuttled route, or head back the way that you came to return to the trailhead.

All-Day Run: This is a difficult spot to reach, and visitors will need to travel roughly 9 miles (one way!) over varied terrain to reach the pass.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 16, 2016. All Page Views: 1,085. Last Month: 13.