Mount Brown Lookout Trail

Lake McDonald, Montana 59921

Mount Brown Lookout Trail

Mount Brown Lookout Trail Professional Review and Guide

"As one of the most challenging hikes in the park, the constant uphill to Mount Brown Lookout tests even the fittest of hikers. The trip back downhill scrunches toes into boots and wearies the knees. Despite the difficult ascent and descent, the trail rewards hikers with views of Lake McDonald and Fish Lake below, as well as Heaven's Peak, Mount Vaught, McPartland Mountain, Sperry Glacier, and more.

The trail is mostly snow-free by late June; however, deadfall makes a challenging trail even more difficult until trail crews clear it, usually by early July. Because the trail climbs 4,250 feet in elevation and the latter third is above the treeline, it's best to hike early in the day."

More Mount Brown Lookout Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A day hike from Snyder Creek trailhead to Mount Brown Lookout, 5.4 miles (8.7 km) one- way. The trail to the Mount Brown Lookout is one of the steepest and most grueling trails in the park. It climbs to a fire lookout on a false summit of the peak, affording an unusual view of Lake McDonald and the mountains in the vicinity of Sperry Glacier.

The trail begins in the cedar and larch lowlands near Lake McDonald and climbs up Snyder Creek into a forest dominated by Douglas fir. At mile 1.7 the lookout trail climbs steeply to the north, beginning a steady, leg- burning ascent up switchbacks toward the summit."

Mount Brown Lookout Trail Reviews

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6/24/2010
Worth every step you take to get to the top. The last couple hundred feet of elevation still had a few feet of snow and the trail was covered. The view is just breath taking on a good day.
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7/1/2009
Amazing views at the lookout of Lake McDonald and all the mountains around. VERY strenuous accent, about 35 switchbacks. Worth the trip. DO IT!! Push yourself. My Dad (55) and I did it and made it. So glad we did. Conquered our fears. Bring plenty of water and a lunch to enjoy at the lookout or a little down the trail at the hanging cliff looking to the East (I think).
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7/16/2008
I just want to remind people that this trail should be started early in the morning. It is a challenging hike and may take a while depending on skill level. But very beautiful!
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8/5/2003
Well worth the climb. 360 degree views that you will never forget. Not to many people get to see Glacier like this. Pack lite but make sure the camera is in the pack. One of the most rewarding hikes you will ever do.
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Trail Information

Lake McDonald
Nearby City
10.1
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
Year-round
Season
Glacier National Park
Local Contacts