“From lodgepole forest to an epic ridge with breathtaking, 360-degree views in a remote area.”
— Jake Bramante
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers
Bring bear spray.
Approximately 1/4 mile from the US/Canada border on the Chief Mountain
Highway, there is a pullout (just before the sign). To the left, you'll see the orange markers for the trailhead.
The trail ducks into an airy lodgepole forest. It wanders for the first couple miles gaining little elevation. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for deer and elk in this area. You'll pass a pond and a couple of wet areas, then the trail increases its climb. You begin to get some intermittent views of Chief Mountain
, a mountain sacred to the Blackfeet people and a stunning, block-like summit. From this angle, you get to see the entire serrated ridge full of limestone points; two of them named Ninaki and Papoose that connects to Gable Mountain.
Eventually, the trail breaks out onto the ridge. This winding ridge gradually loses its trees as it climbs giving you unobstructed views in all directions. Chief Mountain
to the east, Gable Mountain to the south, and the plains in Canada to the north. To the west, a wall of summits and the U-shaped valleys of the Mokowanis River and Belly River drainages delight. Mt. Cleveland, Glacier's ceiling is clearly visible.
From here, the trail disappears as the rounded ridge enables you to run anywhere. Thousands of years of freeze/thaw and wind have terraced the landscape giving you steps the rest of the way. Low growing plants flower in the spring and early summer and quiver under the wind. As you get closer to the base of the rocky cliffs of Gable Mountain, the trail gets steeper. At the junction with the Gable Pass
Trail, numerous large boulders provide excellent roosts for lunch with a view.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com
for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to run.
Flora & Fauna
Forest flowers, birds and mammals in the lodgepole forest while low growing alpine flowers such as white dryas and moss campion dominate the alpine section.