Boulder Pass

Polebridge, Montana 59928

Boulder Pass

Boulder Pass Professional Review and Guide

"A six-day backpacking trip from Kintla Lake to Upper Kintla campground to Boulder Pass or to Goat Haunt Ranger Station.

The Boulder Pass trail provides access to some of the most rugged and beautiful high country areas in Glacier National Park. High elevations between Boulder and Brown Passes lead to high snow accumulations and late snow melt, making this trail impassable early in the season.

The trail begins at Kintla Lake, which is set in a forested valley between tree-clad hills. As the trail winds around the north lakeshore, watch for signs of mule deer and mountain lions that inhabit the dense forest."

More Boulder Pass Professional Reviews and Guides

"A long, scenic shuttle starting in Canada and ending in the United States. Boulder Pass is a truly classic trip and has achieved some widespread popularity because of it. The NPS limits use with the number of designated campsites and permits, so if you’re lucky enough to get one, you won’t feel crowded.

The hike itself is difficult to beat, but the preparation can test your patience. Another special planning task is watching the weather forecast. You really don’t want to be up on Boulder Pass in a summer snowstorm. Because of the elevation, snow claims the area until at least late July. It can come back any day, so always prepare for the worst weather. And keep in mind that this is prime grizzly country, so study up on bear awareness advice before hitting the trail. But take some solace in the fact that this route is worth any amount of frustration in planning and preparation! Special attractions: Incredible alpine scenery and remoteness; a classic backpacking trip."

"A backpack from Kintla Lake to Upper Kintla Campground, 12.0 miles one way; from Kintla Lake to Boulder Pass, 18.1 miles one way; or from Kintla Lake to Goat Haunt Ranger Station, 31.8 miles one way.

The Boulder Pass Trail provides access to some of the most rugged and beautifulhigh country areas in Glacier Park. High elevations between Boulder and Brown Passes lead to high snow accumulations and late snowmelt, making this trail impassable early in the season"

"The backpacking trip to Hole in the Wall leads to some of the most sought-after campsites in the backcountry, but hikers must earn the mountaincirque locale with a difficult trek, often camping partway to the head of Kintla Lake and again at Boulder Pass Campgrounds. But the rewards are many: Dozens of waterfalls, high alpine meadows, and hanging gardens decorate Hole in the Wall.

The southern shore was burned in the 2003 Wedge Canyon Fire, one of three major fires that summer that blazed through 144,000 acres in Glacier."

Boulder Pass Reviews

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6/19/2004
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8/1/2003
I have hiked the Sierras many, many times and find them to be without a doubt the best in terms of weather. I have hiked the Tetons, Yellowstone, etc, etc. Of all these, Glacier was the most awe inspiring. I hiked the loop from Kintla to Boulder Pass, Hole in the Wall and Bowman Lake in 1978. It was amazing. Early August. Incredible. I would recommend this hike to anyone. Strenuous, especially the hike from Upper Kintla to Boulder ( 3000 ft in 6 miles ). camping in Hole in the Wall was fantastic. Mark
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5/7/2003
This hike is pretty tough, but awesome. I have done it twice and loved it both times. Great, great views, but can get a little difficult at times.
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7/18/2001
I have hiked almost 1500 miles in Glacier and this is my favorite trail. The views are spectacular.
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Trail Information

Polebridge
Nearby City
35.4
Distance
3,470 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Glacier National Park (406) 888-7800
Local Contacts
Kintla Lake, Kintla Peak, Mount Carter, Porcupine Ridge USGS quads
Local Maps