Our hike to Two Medicine Pass in Glacier National Park was nothing short of outstanding with non-stop views!
Today’s adventure hiking to Two Medicine Pass in Glacier National Park began with my post about Rockwell Falls and Cobalt Lake. This particular day, we went all out and this hike ended up being around 19-21 miles! If that’s a bit over-the-top, keep reading for other shorter suggestions.
First up you can do this hike as part of a backcountry trip if you book yourself a tent site. Most people make their way to Cobalt Lake, and then explore from there. Or they come down from the Walton Ranger Station into Isabel Lake campground.
But if you’re really feeling up to a challenge, you can hike to the pass and back in one day. During our hike we only met 1 other person that did the pass all the way up to Chief Lodgepole Peak. The other group of 4 turned around right at the highest point after reaching the saddle.
Since we love long ridge walks where there’s nothing but views, we wanted to go as far as we could! You could definitely turn around sooner if time or energy is running out. But we both loved the extra good vantage point gained by continuing on.
Everything you need to know about Two Medicine Pass in Glacier National Park:
- Elevation Gain: 2,400′
- Mileage: 9.9 miles one way, (according to the park’s map) but with a boat ride can be reduced to 6.7 miles.
- Trailhead: The trail head starts on the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park.
- Other hikes in the same area: This hike can be combined with Rockwell Falls and Cobalt Lake which you’ll see along the way. Aster Falls is just a short extra on the way up or back as well.
We actually started this day in cold drizzling fog leftover from the rainstorm the night before. But as it lifted, we could see there was fresh snow in the mountains, (in August mind you, so always come prepared with layers!).
But the snow quickly melted away as the sun began to warm things up again. And I have to say, the dramatic weather made for some extra beautiful views. This also might have been part of what contributed to our push to see as much of this area as we could!
We started the day at a good pace, but Rockwell Falls was so gorgeous when we got there, we lost a bit of time taking photos. Knowing we had to make good use of time to make it to the top, we skipped having lunch at Cobalt Lake.
Instead, we had a quick snack while hiking to give us the energy to make it up the switchbacks to the pass. This particular trip we had my Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Energy Bites with us, and you can see a trail photo, (the 3rd photo down) of them from this hike over in that recipe!
Also if you have a few minutes to make those energy bites, you won’t regret it! We took them on countless hikes and on our road trip through Canada in the fall. They’re also great on your average workday too, so obviously I’m pretty enthusiastic about them!
As we made our way further and further along the ridge, varied views began to emerge. We both especially loved standing near the edge and looking straight down into Cobalt Lake, (above photo).
You can see some of the fresh snow was still lingering through the afternoon.
And obviously it made for wetter trail conditions than you’d usually expect in August. We both like wearing runners rather than hiking boots. But on days like this, having a pair of anything gore-tex is pretty nice. We both own a pair of gore-tex trail runners which have been our go-to!
After spending as much time as we could afford up at the pass, we headed down to Cobalt Lake. There we had a very late lunch with stunning views, (see photo below).
And because we sometimes have a hard time calling it quits, we added one more side trip onto the day. As we were making our way back, we decided to do Aster Falls as well. I think it’s around another 0.6 miles or so, and it was definitely quite beautiful as well!
This is the gorgeous view of Rockwell Falls. If you want a nice short day with a great spot for lunch, it’s pretty hard to beat!
This gorgeous area was near the beginning of the hike. We got to see a beaver swim right through the culvert in front of us that morning. This whole are is also a great place to see a moose, so keep your eyes peeled!
And finally, you’ll end here at the dock where you started overlooking Two Medicine Lake. I hope you’ll find all this useful in planning out your day. And I just wanted to finish by linking to Glacier’s website where we found a map of the trails. This should help you in planning what you want to see when you’re in Two Medicine!