Elk Mountain

Formerly an old lookout, Elk Mountain is a short but formidable hike. You start out at an out of the way trailhead a few miles shy of Marias Pass on the west side in an area called Snowslip. After a short 1.2 a mile walk where you cross some train tracks, you encounter the cutoff and begin to gain the 3,000 feet over the next 2.5 miles. By rapidly gaining elevation, you quickly emerge from the lodgepole forest to get great views to the south looking towards Great Northern as well as into the Ole Creek drainage. After clearing into the subalpine terrain, the view of the summit comes into view and everything opens up in the typical grand Glacier Park fashion. If you can handle the climb, the views will reward you!

Elk Mountain
Red Tree Squirrel

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10 responses to “Elk Mountain”

  1. Jake,
    I would love to see how you gain 3,000 miles over 2.5 miles. If anyone can do it, it would be you! Am enjoying reading your blog and looking at all the videos. Thank you for making this such an informative adventure for the rest of us. Keep on trekking’

    1. hike734 Avatar

      Kim, thanks! I have fixed the error. I’m a human, not a space shuttle. 😉

      Glad you’re enjoying the blogs!

  2. Mike Kinsella Avatar
    Mike Kinsella

    Of the 17 lookouts originally in the park, only 9 are still standing, and only 4 of those are still manned (a couple only occasionally). Elk Mountain Lookout was built in 1930 and destroyed in 1963. Here is a link showing photos of the 9 remaining lookouts: http://www.summitpost.org/the-lookouts-of-glacier-national-park/564040

    I have a particular fondness for lookouts because I was a volunteer lookout for 15 years.

    1. hike734 Avatar

      Great info Mike! Feel free to keep posting info like that as it helps me compile all my data. 😉

  3. Hi Jake!

    I am surprised that you did not mention the fatal grizzly attack which occurred on this trail back in the day…. On 4/25/87, a man followed a grizzly sow with cubs he encountered on this trail with the intent of photographing them (investigators believed). They never found him, but they found the film, which contained a shot of the bear appearing to be charging the guy.

    Happy Hiking! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the anonymous shout out Jake. That day skiing Elk was magical. Maybe even better than the skiing was the coffee beforehand or the gun shooting afterward at Doug’s ranch. Oh boy. I’m still stoked for you and your good hiking experience this summer. Also, way to include cool people like Sarah on your journey!

    1. Woohoo! I believe I remember dying that day as you all effortlessly skinned up the mountain. I was honored to have Sarah go with me. We had a great time.

  5. Hunter Powell Avatar
    Hunter Powell

    Hi Jake,

    Really enjoy your material and your website. Your maps and descriptions have been super helpful. We are looking for a good early-season hike (mid June), that gives you a good bang for your buck with views into glacier. Sounds like this one may work? Happy to have other reccomendations.

    Thanks !

    1. Mark Urbano Avatar
      Mark Urbano

      Jake, did you ever make this hike? Looking for a few Glacier hikes outside of the crowed hikes I’ve experienced in the Park the last several years. Thoughts on this hike?

  6. Mark Urbano Avatar
    Mark Urbano

    Opppps…meant Hunter, not Jake. Jake…I know you put this all together!!

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