Two river fords.
Starting from the foot of the beautiful Cosley Lake, the Stoney Indian Pass Trail spends the first 5.5 miles traveling through level terrain. Along the way, you travel between open meadows and avalanche chutes with views of the incredible, jagged, rocky summits of the drainages, through wonderful, forests as well as following along the lakeshores. The change of views and habitats keep the way interesting. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, moose, and bears that live in the drainage.
After passing two lakes with three fantastic campgrounds, you'll travel close to the head of Glenns Lake and pass the junction of the Mokowanis Lake Trail
, quickly followed by the least desirable campground in the trees at Mokowanis Junction.
From here, the trail begins to gain elevation as it follows the Mokowanis River which is more of a cascading creek creating a long waterfall that keeps you company as you run. A series of switchbacks bring you into the alpine and onto a shelf with the lovely Atsina Lake. Up here, the walls of the mountains are wonderful and close. Small feeder streams come from above as waterfalls. You work your way around Atsina Lake and ford the river, then continue to follow it on its south side before switchbacking up on the hillside to get above the cliffs that Paiota Falls fan out over. Turning around gives you a stunning view of Atsina Lake and the Mokowanis drainage spreading out before you.
The trail heads right above the falls where you ford the river once again. This basin is the true headwaters where waterfalls both named and unnamed come from Sue Lake and Shepard Glacier above and out of view.
The trail continues up the basin past pocket ponds and pikas, finally switchbacking up the headwall to Stoney Indian Pass. From the pass, you have breathtaking views in both directions. Below you, Stoney Indian Lake sits perched above the valley below. You drop into this basin through steep switchbacks to the lake and follow the shores to its outlet and the campground.
From here, the trail follows Pass Creek down as the low growing alpine vegetation turns to tall alder and subalpine fir, then taller trees as you descend all of the way to the valley floor and join up with the Waterton Valley
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.
Fauna ranges from valley flowers and trees to low growing alpine plants. Birds range from chickadees to gray-crowned rosyfinches. Megafauna includes deer and moose. Bears are also frequent visitors, but dense forests frequently obscure them until up in the alpine areas. Squirrels, pika and marmots are also easily seen.