Marias: Glacier's forgotten pass

Print Article

Arrow leaved balsam root bloom at Marias Pass.

While most eyes center on the opening of Glacierís Logan Pass to vehicle traffic, the bulk of folks buzz right past Glacierís other high-profile pass without ever putting their foot on the brake peddle. One might call Marias Pass Glacierís overlooked pass. On a typical summer day, Marias will have just a smattering of cars at its pullouts and even fewer people on its trails.

This doesnít really come as a surprise. While Marias is certainly a gorgeous place, it doesnít have a bathroom ó not on the Glacier Park side of the highway. The best way to get people to stop is to put a restroom at a turnout. It also doesnít have the in-your-face wildlife experience, either. Unlike Logan Pass, you canít just step out of your rig and take a picture of a mountain goat or a bighorn sheep.

While there are mountain goats and bighorn sheep on its slopes, Marias is better moose and elk country. It has a couple of trailheads of note. Thereís a trailhead at the pass itself and then another near Lubec Lake, also called False Summit. If youíve never been there before, the trailhead at Lubec is easy to drive by, so watch your map or your GPS, which ever you prefer.

Both trailheads tie into the Autumn Creek Trail, which is a pleasant stroll along the divide. One of the most popular hikes is up to Firebrand Pass. But on this day, we decided to stay low and hike the Autumn Creek Trail back toward East Glacier. Weíd never hiked the entire route. There was plenty of moose and elk tracks, but we didnít actually see either critter. The trail coursed through meadows, mature forests and big clearings, with nice views into the Badger-Two Medicine region to the south. The trail had plenty of different songbirds, but the wind was stiff. All told, it was about 10 miles round trip. Itís 7.7 to East Glacier and we turned around about a mile past Railroad Creek, which is a lot prettier than its name would suggest.

We saw just one other hiker the whole day, save for a Glacier Institute class near the trailhead.

There still is solitude in Glacier. Sometimes you just have to work for it.

Print Article

Read More Glacier Park

Waterton Park announces ban on motorized, trailered boats

March 16, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Hungry Horse News Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada has announced it too will institute a boat ban after aquatic invasive mussels were found in the Tiber Reservoir in Montana last year. The Waterton ban comes on...

Comments

Read More

A little bird watches as Lake McDonald Lodge gets a makeover

February 22, 2017 at 8:46 am | Hungry Horse News On a frigid afternoon last week as a light snow fell, Cornelius Jirod was busy carefully cutting out an old log support from the famed Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park. A white-breasted ...

Comments

Read More

Glacier Park Alt Facebook page draws 5,000 likes in about a week

February 08, 2017 at 7:02 am | Hungry Horse News After the election of President Donald Trump, a host of ďaltĒ Facebook pages featuring prominent national parks have sprung up, including an Alt Glacier National Park Facebook page and Twitter handle...

Comments

Read More

Annual park pass goes up $5, senior pass to rise $70

January 25, 2017 at 11:55 am | Hungry Horse News The 2017 Glacier National Park annual entrance pass will see a $5 price increase from $45 last year to $50 this year. The senior pass, which allows any senior age 62 or older entrance to any nationa...

Comments

Read More

X