South Boundary Trail – 11.5mi / 18.5km
The South Boundary Trail used to run the entire length of the southern edge of Glacier along the Middle Fork Flathead River from the West Entrance to the Walton Ranger Station. Lack of use and soil erosion have shortened this trail so that now it only runs from the West Entrance to Coal Creek. Lincoln Creek is the most common turnaround point.
The trail passes the historic Belton Bridge, then wanders along the river, giving you a unique look at the water as it alternates between wide mellow pools and busy rapids. The trail then dips in and out of trees and goes up and down in elevation as it travels along the base of the Belton Hills in John F Stevens Canyon.
An alternate way of enjoying this trail is to hike to one of the river fords and cross, although shuttling a vehicle can be a challenge.
The Middle Fork crossing can be extremely dangerous, especially in the spring. Recommended crossing dates are mid August or later, depending upon snow-pack. If in doubt, do not cross.
Trailhead: Turn onto Grinnell Drive towards the Park Headquarters in West Glacier. Take a right on Mather Drive to the end of the road. Park and head down toward the river.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,300ft / 390m