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Swiftcurrent Pass

 4.9 (19)

Trail travels from moose frequented lakes among rocky summits, past waterfalls to alpine meadows.

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Map Key







7,179' 2,188 m


4,944' 1,507 m


2,308' 703 m


448' 137 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Runner Notes

Trail gets steep going up to the pass. Bears frequent the trail, so make noise and be alert, especially in the huckleberry patches and near the pass.


The trail starts at the east end of the main parking lot at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. The level trail begins in a pleasant lodgepole forest, then crosses Wilbur Creek. It bounces between open areas and a mixed forest of aspen and lodgepole pines. This drainage is perfect habitat for moose, and the first lake that you pass is a popular one for them. There is a small trail that breaks away to Fishercap Lake approximately a quarter of a mile in. Take that and look for these large members of the deer family in the water.

From there, it's more level tree filled running until you break out into meadows. All around you are the wonderful rocky walls of the surrounding summits. At the head of the valley, Swiftcurrent Mountain sits with the lookout barely visible on top. The trail continues on a fairly level path, passes into some more trees and nears some red cliffs that are popular with mountain goats. It passes by the cliffs and emerges into more open meadows and views, wandering down to the shoreline of Redrock Lake. Keep an eye out for moose in this lake as it wraps around to Redrock Falls.

From the falls, the trail gently climbs through a mix of trees and meadows along Bullhead Lake with some nice views of the lake. Continue past the lake to the head of the drainage. At this point and a little over four level miles, the trail changes from moose country to bighorn sheep country and begins to climb. This area is covered in huckleberry plants giving you a perfectly valid reason to stop and catch your breath and forage for a snack.

As you gain elevation, you pass waterfalls along a rocky cliff and get amazing views of the valley you traveled up. The trail eventually levels off after many switchbacks and heads up toward the pass in earnest. You pass meadows and subalpine fir until you reach the pass itself marked with a stack of rocks that used to be topped by an old bell before World War II.

The trail continues on down the west side, past the trail to Swiftcurrent Lookout, passing streams that lead to creeks, then rivers below. Granite Park Chalet comes into view and the trail traverses a lovely meadow and joins up with the Highline Trail.

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

An incredible array of flora and fauna due the variety of terrain. This is one of the better trails to see many of Glacier's megafauna from moose to bighorn sheep to mountain goats and deer to black and grizzly bears.


Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 19 votes


in Many Glacier


  4.9 from 19 votes
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3 Views Last Month
2,894 Since Sep 3, 2015



Red Rock Falls
Sep 18, 2019 near Swiftcu…, MT
The Swiftcurrent Valley from the trail
Dec 6, 2018 near Swiftcu…, MT
View from Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.
Jan 31, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
The headwall from Bullhead Lake
Dec 6, 2018 near Swiftcu…, MT
Watching the Redrock Falls rush towards the lake.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Bullhead Lake from the ascent to Swiftcurrent Pass. Taken during the Howe Ridge Fire 2018.
Jun 29, 2019 near Swiftcu…, MT



Current Trail Conditions

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Jul 22, 2018
Galina Melamed
There and back plus Lookout