Trail Run Project Logo

Red Gap Pass

 2 votes

15.1 Miles 24.4 Kilometers

 

84% 

Runnable

Singletrack

3,522' 1,073 m

Ascent

-2,415' -736 m

Descent

7,520' 2,292 m

High

4,914' 1,498 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Unknown

Update

A wonderfully varied trail through a forest, past a lake, and up rocky slopes to a red rock pass.

Jake Bramante

Overview

Bring bear spray.
Features: Birding — Cave — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Spring — Swimming — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Runner Notes

Check for late spring snowfields before attempting.

Description

This trail is one of the few higher elevation backpacking routes that opens up early in the season. Before you enter into the Many Glacier area with the hotels, park at the Apikuni Falls Trailhead.

The trail takes off through the trees and spends time bouncing between forest and meadows as you gain elevation. Views are frequent and wonderful up onto the ridgeline and some out to Lake Sherburne. As you approach the top of the ridge, the trail levels off as you pass a surprise lake called Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake. The trail follows the shoreline for a short stint, then continues through a small pass, then begins to descend along the north ridge down to Poia Lake.

The trail descends the ridge fairly rapidly to Kennedy Creek, which playfully bubbles out of the valley. You follow this creek through large, limestone boulder fields that are perfect pika habitat. The views of the surrounding mountains are fantastic.

The trail goes through some trees again and to the campground, then emerges through some willows at the outlet of the lake. The lake is a fantastic place to take a swim with a nice pebbled beach and warm waters in summer. Continue on to a cool footbridge over the outlet of the lake which is a nice place to sit and enjoy the views up the drainage towards Red Gap Pass as well as the whitewater of Kennedy Creek as it excitedly exits down the valley.

The trail continues right along the edge of the lake giving runners more great views. At the head of the lake, you pass wetlands that turn to grass as you work your way up the valley. The trail is fairly level while you follow the creek further up and the grassy meadows turn more and more into trees.

The trail then turns up onto the hillside and begins to climb in earnest. You'll be climbing for quite a while before reaching the first switchback, but then the trail switchbacks like crazy. The trees begin to get less and less dense as it gives way to sprawling alpine meadows. As you get closer to the pass, the meadows give way to the namesake red rock.

As you crest the pass, the views are incredible with jagged peaks and glaciers visible in all directions. The trail descends through similar red rock and across a cool basin, then drops quickly down into the Belly River drainage through trees as it joins with the Ptarmigan Trail.

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

On this trail you can see just about any of Glacier's megafauna from grizzlies to elk to mountain goats. Small mammals such as tree squirrels, pikas, marmots and chipmunks are also common. Birds such as boreal chickadees, clark's nutcrackers and some other fantastic forest birds as well as warblers and waterfowl call this area home. Flora is also varied from meadow flowers to dry forest plants and flowers to wetland and even low growing alpine plants.

Contacts

Rate Trail


   Clear Rating

5.0 from 2 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#3

in Many Glacier

#323

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#3

in Many Glacier

#15

in Montana

#323

Overall
18 Views Last Month
523 Since Apr 22, 2016
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
0%
50%
50%
0%

Conditions



Getting forecast...

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running