“A mostly forested trail that gets better the further up the drainage you get with more views.
— Jake Bramante
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Bring bear spray.
A creek ford and loose shale on steep slopes near Firebrand Pass
make this a tough run.
The trail breaks off of the South Boundary Trail
and works its way around the flanks of Scalplock Mountain as it heads up the Ole Creek drainage. It begins by traversing an open area with cool rock formations and looks down on the lake. After a brief stint of views, it enters into the trees obscuring views while paralleling the creek in an uneventful section of trail.
The trail continues on and the forest gets thicker further obscuring views and crosses the Coal-Fielding Trail
after gaining some elevation. From here, it's more of the same until you begin to traverse through avalanche chutes that give you views of the treed ridges on the other side of the valley.
The trail drops down to Ole Creek where it fords the creek and climbs up onto the east side of the drainage. The creek can be dangerous in high runoff, so make sure you check the trail status before setting out.
From here, the views are much more interesting. Although you are making your way through a forest, the canopy is nice and airy and frequently gives you views of the rocky summits across the way such as Sheep Mountain. The trail continues past a small, unnamed pond on the east side of the trail and moves through more and more trees as you gain elevation, eventually reaching Ole Lake.
This small lake has a campground and is a great place to spend the night. On especially still evenings, it is lovely to sit by the lake and enjoy the view of the beautiful mountains in the background. Continuing on, the trail begins to gain elevation as it works its way out of the drainage.
From here, the trees give way to low growing grasses, then transitions to scree, or looser shale. The trail here is steep with soft footing, but the views are fantastic as you climb to Firebrand Pass. Views back down the drainage are fantastic and old dead trees look amazing as they stand, twisted with their gray trunks.
At the pass, views are stunning looking into both drainages and all around to amazing mountains.
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 plants such as arnica and beargrass. Birds such as grouse, chickadees, and kinglets as well as a variety of finches. Squirrels and deer are more common while bighorn sheep, bear and elk may also be seen.