Triple Divide Pass

East Glacier, Montana 59434

Triple Divide Pass

Triple Divide Pass Professional Review and Guide

"The Triple Divide Pass trail begins at the Cut Bank Creek Ranger Station and follows Cut Bank Creek for almost 4 miles before ascending the Atlantic Creek Valley. Both Medicine Grizzly Lake and Triple Divide Pass may be visited on a long day hike, while a campground near the confluence of Atlantic and Cut Bank Creeks provides overnight facilities for backpackers. Triple Divide Pass connects the Cut Bank Creek trail with the Red Eagle Lake trail, allowing access for hikers on extended trips into the St. Mary drainage.

The Cut Bank Creek Valley is less visited than some in the park, but it is a beautiful valley, characterized by fir parklands, rushing streams, and towering red mountains from which graceful cascades descend. The trail begins just beyond the Cut Bank Rangers Station at the reopened Cut Bank Campground."

Triple Divide Pass Reviews

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Hiking Glacier is a treat, and to give you an idea what a treat this trail is, we hiked in early July and encountered not one but TWO crews of trail maintainance workers, who shared that "this is where they come to work when they get a chance". The trailhead is actually Medicine Grizzly Lake, then a turn uphill to Triple-Divide. The views are stunning, the trail is very lightly travelled (but easy to follow), and wildflowers, wildlife and snow (we covered several patches of snow, and ended on a snowfield) will be found. Take rain gear, as in all mountain hiking the weather is unpredictable and we got both rain and hail on our hike. Mud will be heavy at lower elevations if there has been rain, so bring waterproof footwear and a change of socks. We hiked this in a leisurely 8-1/2 hours, stopping for lunch and lots of pics (you'll want both 200 and 800 ASA film, and a wide-angle and telephoto are worth the extra weight--I used 96 exposures). Our daughter is 8, which slowed us a bit, but she made the whole hike, so it's not too tough. The gem of this trail is that you hike IN as well as UP, so very soon you are surrounded by mountains and no evidence of human activity invades your world. Also consider hiking this one-way: If you camp at St. Mary's(east entrance), and get someone to drop you at Cut Bank trailhead, you can hike through Triple Divide back to St. Mary's (about 20 miles), which will take you around the lake as well. Last note: at the end of any hike in the eastern part of the park, reward yourself with a piece of pie (my fav. is "razzleberry", a combo of huckle/blue/razz-berries)at the "Park Cafe", just north of the east entrance. It is the single best pie in the world (and I lived for awhile in Amish country...)!
We did this as an overnighter, using the campsite at Atlantic Creek (about 4 miles in from the Cutbank Ranger station. The campground is well developed, with multiple sites, but the mosquitoes were bothersome. We left our packs and attacked the Triple Divide Pass as a dayhike. Multiple other dayhike options could keep you busy for several days. The hike up to Triple Divide was breath-taking (especially since I only had to carry my daypack!) The valley is beautiful, and the views of Medicine Grizzly lake far below were stunning. You will take lots of pictures on this hike -- I'd say it is the most beautiful hike I've ever taken (no exageration). The slow and steady climb up to the pass is actually pretty easy -- no steeps, no switchbacks, just great views all the way.

Triple Divide Pass Photos

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Trail Information

East Glacier
Nearby City
2,380 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Glacier National Park (406) 888-7800
Local Contacts
Cut Bank Pass, Mount Stimson USGS quads
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018