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Two Medicine Pass

Difficult
 4.8 (6)

A strenuous yet rewarding trail, it affords some uncommon views into the southern end of the park.


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Map Key

9.2

Miles

14.8

KM

74%

Runnable

7,679' 2,340 m

High

4,765' 1,452 m

Low

2,408' 734 m

Up

2,992' 912 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

Snow persists on the trail into late June; check the park website or call for the latest status updates.

Runner Notes

The trail is particularly steep before reaching Cobalt Lake; keep an eye out for roots.

Description

The trail to Two Medicine Pass is a hidden gem of Glacier National Park for those who are up to the challenge. While the 7 miles to the pass could be done as a day run (and that may be easier on your knees), many people tackle it as part of a trip into the backcountry. From this trail, you have access to the Cobalt Lake, Upper Park Creek, and Lake Isabel campgrounds. For rules and guidelines regarding backcountry camping in Glacier, refer to their website.

Starting from the South Shore Trail of Two Medicine Lake, you'll pass several other side trails along the way (Paradise Point, Aster Park, Aster Falls) before you reach a suspension bridge. After the suspension bridge, you'll come upon the junction for Two Medicine Pass, or Twin Falls and Upper Two Medicine Lake. Take the left trail towards Two Medicine Pass, and you'll soon come upon Rockwell Falls.

Over the next two miles after Rockwell Falls, the trail really begins to climb. You'll also be passing through some great huckleberry bushes, so make some noise to let bears know you're there! Before you know it, you've reached Cobalt Lake. Most runners on this trail turn around here, but you'll push forward to reach the pass itself. It's another mile and a half of switchbacks to reach the ridge, and there the views begin to open up.

Be prepared, as this ridge is famous for being one of the windiest parts of the park. Keep any loose things tied down, and then you can enjoy the views into the Park Creek area and Mt. Saint Nicholas in the distance. From here, you can either continue down to Upper Park Creek campground, another two miles away or return to the Two Medicine Area. If you are looking to run all the way through, be sure to arrange for transportation on the other side.

Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

Based out of the Two Medicine Area, you'll get to see a variety of vegetation not common to other, more frequently visited areas of the park. Beargrass and huckleberries are still easy to find though! Keep an eye out for marmots as you reach Cobalt Lake, they are known to be a bit bold. Pika can also be found on the eastern shore of Cobalt Lake among the talus.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Faist with improvements by Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 6 votes

#4

in Two Medicine

#887

Overall
  4.8 from 6 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#4

in Two Medicine

#25

in Montana

#887

Overall
5 Views Last Month
1,145 Since Sep 3, 2015
Difficult

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Photos

A view of Cobalt Lake in front of Two Medicine Pass
Nov 13, 2015 near Bison, MT
Bighorn sheep near Mount Rockwell.
Jun 16, 2019 near Blacktail, MT
A surprised bighorn sheep on the descent from Two Medicine Pass.
Jun 16, 2019 near Blacktail, MT
Panorama from the ridge leading to Two Medicine Pass. Sinopah Mountain on the left, Tainted Teepee Peak on the right.
Jun 16, 2019 near Bison, MT
Cobalt Lake from Chief Lodgepole Peak.
Jun 16, 2019 near Bison, MT
Looking towards Two Medicine Pass.
Jun 16, 2019 near Bison, MT

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