Over by Marias Pass lies a gem of a hike known as Firebrand Pass. Snow lingers into autumn on the northern aspects giving autumn a taste of spring with its flowers, while leaves turn brilliant red, orange and yellow everywhere else. On the southern side of the pass, it drops down into the Ole Creek drainage. The only campsite in this drainage is at a quaint little lake called Ole Lake nestled among jagged peaks.
The walk out of Ole Creek to the Walton Ranger Station is treed with the first half in lodgepole forests facing rocky peaks while the second half fords Ole Creek, has more undergrowth and faces wooded mountains.
Most people will approach Firebrand Pass from the False Summit or Lubec trailhead, however, I approached it from East Glacier along the Autumn Creek Trail (I would recommend the former). Firebrand Pass makes a great day hike with off trail options such as climbing Calf Robe or Red Crow Mountains or visiting beautiful Lena Lake.
2 responses to “Firebrand Pass and Ole Lake and Creek”
I don’t think I’ve asked you this before, but were you a pretty accomplished birder before you started this or did you learn on the fly (so to speak)? And how about the flora- did you have help with that? I still think a DVD on “Birds and Mammals of Glacier” and one on “Wildflowers of Glacier” might sell well in the gift shops.
PS- love the varied thrush, too! But favorite Glacier bird has to be the harlequin duck.
I wasn’t an accomplished much of anything! I loved birds and knew some (way less than I thought) and had always said I wanted to learn flowers. Even out on the trail, I struggled and still do, but am getting better. I tell anyone that wants to get better at birds and flowers especially, is to take pictures and ID them when you get home and keep practicing when you’re out and about.
I’m not opposed to your ideas on DVDs by the way, I think it’s great!
Also, loooove the Harlequin duck. I keep telling myself I’m going to hike McDonald Creek trail to make sure I get my fix this year before it’s too late!