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Swiftcurrent Lookout



1.4 mile 2.2 kilometer point to point
58% Runnable


Ascent: 1,241' 378 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 8,429' 2,569 m
Low: 7,188' 2,191 m


Avg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Jake Bramante

Panoramic views of breathtaking mountains escort you up a switchback trail to an incredible lookout.

Jake Bramante

Features Birding · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Runner Notes

Very steep all the way up with no respite from the climb.


This route leads to the highest point accessible via trail in Glacier National Park, which arguably features some of its best views. The scenic overlook is accessed from the Swiftcurrent Pass trail just west of the actual pass.

From the trail junction, you can see the lookout which seems deceptively close. The trail traverses a short distance through flower filled meadows and small stands of subalpine fir before beginning its climb. The first section of the climb is through a stand of silver trees standing like eery sentinels. The trail then bounces between them and a stand of trees that didn't burn before entering the rocky landscape which you'll travel the rest of the way to the top.

Views looking down onto Granite Park Chalet are great and the views of the drainages and summits surrounding the area only get better with each step. South are views skim along the Garden Wall to Logan Pass while west has you looking across McDonald Creek valley and the summits that make up the Livingston Range. Views east look into the Swiftcurrent drainage while views north are obstructed by the mountain itself.

After more than 30 switchbacks up more than 1,200 feet in less than 1.5 miles, you reach the staffed lookout. Views to the north are no longer obstructed. You are standing at the heart of Glacier and get to see huge swaths of its summits. Below you, mountain goats traverse the cliffs and lakes lace the valley floors which even extend to the plains in the east. The views from the lookout are truly incredible.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to run.

Flora & Fauna

Glacier lilies, fleabane, and beargrass transition to fireweed, then low growing flowering plants such as moss campion. Finches, hawks, pipits, and eagles are frequent while golden mantled squirrels and marmots are usually seen. Mountain goats and the occasional grizzly can also be seen.

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Jul 22, 2018
Galina Melamed

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes


in Many Glacier


  5.0 from 2 votes
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in Many Glacier


in Montana


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1,276 Since Sep 3, 2015



View into the Swiftcurrent drainage from the lookout.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Trip video day hiking to Swiftcurrent Lookout from Many Glacier.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
The view west from Swiftcurrent Pass
Dec 6, 2018 near Swiftcu…, MT


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