Scenic Point hike
The Scenic Point trail includes beautiful mountain views, culminating with a fine viewpoint in the Two Medicine Area of Glacier Park – a must-see on any visit. The drive alone from St. Mary is exhilarating, on a narrow twisting road with great scenery.
Enter the Two Medicine park entrance and continue down the road for 4.5km until you see a parking lot on the left. The exit is not well signposted, with only a small “Scenic Point” sign partially hidden by trees. Slow down slightly as you pass every turnoff so you don’t miss the trailhead.
|When to do|
June through September
Out and back
Route Description for Scenic Point
The trail begins from the roadside of the parking lot. Your objective is the ridge behind the peak directly above the parking lot. You will hike through the trees at a relatively flat grade for the 1.0km and see small glimpses of the many mountains, obscured by the frequent young trees.
Start to climb after 1.0km and quickly find yourself above the tree line, veering right into a valley. Stay on the left side of the valley, continuing to gain elevation and be given excellent views of Appistoki Peak on your right. As you go deeper into the valley there is also the option to look around its bend at the red rock faces of Mt. Henry at the very end.
The trail then starts to switchback up the mountain. After some more climbing, veer climber’s left around the mountain and enjoy even better views of Two Medicine Lake and the valleys that protrude behind it. You can also look across the Two Medicine valley to see the majestic Rising Wolf Mountain on the right of Two Medicine Lake and Sinopah Mountain to the left.
After a final few switchbacks contouring back right you will find yourself at a ridge. A large Cairn marks the end of the hike, though the trail continues all the way to Glacier Park Lodge. The Great Northern Railway created this trail in 1913 to connect Glacier Park Lodge to Two Medicine Chalet, which is now the General Store. Unfortunately, overnight accommodation ended at Two Medicine Chalet with the onset of World War II.
From the top you can look all the way across the Two Medicine Valley to Upper Two Medicine Lake. To the east you can see the great rolling foothills of Glacier National Park, including the Sweetgrass Hills and Lower Two Medicine Lake.
Scenic Point was one of four hikes in Glacier to have had a large train bell at the top. Along with Swiftcurrent Pass, Piegan Pass, and Siyeh Pass, the bells were placed to advertise the local chalets and the Great Northern Railway. It also went along with the old Swiss custom of ringing bells from mountaintops to hear the vast echo. Placed in 1929, the Scenic Point Bell was taken down in 1943 to donate to the scrap metal drive during World War II.
The Two Medicine is of great cultural significance to the Blackfeet nation. They believe that their people were created out of the gorgeous mountains and surreal springs that permeate the park and its surrounding area. This emotional haven, however, is under threat by oil and gas companies, which are desperately trying to drill on the park’s boundary.
Return the way you came, and head to the General store for snacks and take a break by the lake, a truly magical place.
The boat tour on Two Medicine Lake is wonderful and worthwhile.
The range of snacks at the Two Medicine General Store is great – there is even an espresso bar!
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