Two Medicine – Scenic Point Hike

East Glacier, MT

When we first arrived here a few days ago we drove in to Two Medicine (part of Glacier National Park) to visit the ranger station and ask about some of the hikes in the area.  One of the hikes recommended by the ranger was to Scenic Point, a high viewpoint that gives a good view of the entire Two Medicine valley.  The hike was listed as only 3.1 miles one way but with an elevation gain of 2,350 feet.  Since we had just arrived at these higher elevations, we decided to wait to do this hike after we had some time to adjust to the altitude.  After hikes of over nine miles one day and over twelve miles the next, we felt we were ready for the assault on the Scenic Point Trail.

The trail begins with a half mile of gradual incline, then quickly starts to gain in elevation along a ridge line with great views back toward the lake.

About a mile from the trailhead we entered a ghost forest of dead whitebark pines, the result of white pine blister rust, a fungal disease that was accidentally introduced from Europe around 1900.  According to a park brochure, nearly half of the original whitebark pine population in Glacier is already dead. It’s estimated that more than 75% of the remaining trees are infected with the disease, and will die within 20 years.

Above the treeline the wind was howling, but the views were spectacular!

The park information stated that this hike was 3.1 miles one way.  Another flyer we picked up said it was 3.6 miles one way.  As we neared the 3.1 point we were hoping that the park’s figure was correct, but we just kept going up!  As we neared the 3.6 point we realized that both figures had to be incorrect as the trail just continued!  We crossed over a small ridge where the trail flattened out and we could see what we thought to be Scenic Point in the distance.

So we just kept hiking!

We must have become a bit disoriented because at one point we looked to our left and saw what appeared to be Julie Andrews singing “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music!”

At four miles we began the final ascent, a pretty steep climb of roughly 145 feet in just 0.15 miles.

The view from the top (7,450 ft.) made the steep climb well worth the effort.

The only wildlife we saw was the little critter below who kept an eye on us, hoping for a handout.  But that was not to be, as we had nothing to give him.  Seems we had a little mix-up during the packing phase of this adventure.  When we arrived at the peak we sat down to enjoy “lunch with a view” only to find that no one had moved “lunch” from the refrigerator to the backpack!  Oh well, who needs any nourishment after climbing up 2,300 feet!

After enjoying the great views and some conversation with some fellow hikers, we began the return hike.  Needless to say, gravity is your friend on the downhill!

If you are ever in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park, don’t miss this hike.  We think it was one of the most beautiful, and challenging hikes we have ever done.

That’s it for Two Medicine.  Next up is a short drive north to St. Mary and some hiking in the Many Glaciers area of the park.

More on that later . . .

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Two Medicine – Scenic Point Hike

  1. heyduke50 says:

    super nice hike… something for us to look forward to when we return

  2. Pam/John: You two wear me out just reading of your hikes… The views are spectacular…what’s the temperature been up there?

    • Pam Wright says:

      Maynard, the temps were in the 60’s and low 70’s but very windy while we were in East Glacier. We are in St. Mary now and it is very cold. We hit 51 for a few hours yesterday with wind, rain, and thick clouds.

  3. ThoseYoungGuys says:

    Wow…stunning, beautiful. Love it! You guys must be loving it. Glad to see you back in the west!!

  4. Laurel says:

    Great photos of a gorgeous hike! You two are amazing — Eric and I love to hike, but I’m not sure if we could keep up with you. You must have been seriously bummed to get to the top and realize that your lunch was back home in the refrigerator. I would have keeled over at that point. I hope you had some snacks stashed in your pockets.

    • Pam Wright says:

      Oh, Laurel, it was so disappointing to look in that pack at the empty space:( And I hadn’t added any extra snacks yet. We stopped on our way home and had huckleberry pie and ice cream as a reward:)

  5. Ingrid says:

    Wow…. amazing views and you deserve a good pat on the back for completing that hike without lunch. And how lucky of you to pass ‘Maria’ on the trail 🙂

  6. Happy and smiling faces! And I know you are just loving it! Great Photos too!
    At the rate you two are going, we are out of your leagues so not sure if we will tag along someday 😦

  7. We sure enjoyed Glacier back in 2012…going to have to get back there again and stay on the “eastern” side. What a hike, hope you had a big dinner when you got back to the motorhome. –Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  8. What a climb! My legs would have cramping all night after that. Shame about your lunch. I’ll bet you enjoyed dinner!

  9. It seems like every hike we have ever taken was longer than described in the brochure or trail map! From your pictures I can tell that this one was worth the extra distance. Beautiful!

  10. Jodee Gravel says:

    So glad you took lots of great pics as I’m not sure we will attempt that grand climb! I was out of breath before you got to the top :-). Julie is looking pretty good!! Gravity and lunch in the frig – I’m sure the return trip was much quicker :-).

  11. Oh my, that is one steep trail…but yes I can see how it was worth every step! I hope you at least keep a spare trail bar of some sort in your packs! I’ll say it again…you guys are animals! Maybe I should be more specific – mountain goats!!!

    • Pam Wright says:

      Lisa, I did think of Hans as we were coming down. I was seeing him just hoping his way down at lightning speed. He does down so well. I am really not totally prepared yet to be hiking. We had nothing in our packs!! I didn’t even think about that but you can bet I am adding a few things now.

  12. Rick Doyle says:

    Awesome, spectacular photos – what a great hike. Beautiful scenery everywhere you look.

  13. LuAnn says:

    If you two keep this up, everyone will be afraid to hike with you animals! The view from the top looks fabulous! Kudos to the both of you. Now it is time to rest those legs, don’t you think? 😉

    • placestheygo says:

      It’s called forced rest with the weather we have here in St. Mary…rain, low clouds, and 40’s. Not our kind of hiking.

      • LuAnn says:

        Not ours either. It has been raining here the past couple of days. I started a hike yesterday and couldn’t forge the Little Missouri because of the recent rains, then got dumped on on the way back to the car. 😦

        Terry will be home today, barring no complications. His flight was cancelled yesterday due to mechanical issues on the plane. Don’t stand too close to him next time you see him. You might get struck by lightning! 😉

  14. pmbweaver says:

    Love that header photo. Are you two taking panos so that the photo fits your space?

    Oh how I love that tree photo, Pam. You could print and frame that one!

    I don’t think we will ever get to that area again. We are so enjoying seeing all your photos. You two have hit the jackpot. Paul said….They sure are living it up, aren’t they. My reply…Yep!

  15. Beautiful! This is my favorite park. Steve has never been there and I can’t wait for him to see it! Didn’t look very crowded on the trail.

  16. Sherry says:

    Wow those are some gorgeous pictures. Really does look like the Sound of Music. Up above the tree line. Alpine hiking, so cool. Really really beautiful! We’ve found also that the park’s distance statements and even the signs on the trail often underestimate. I think you both deserved that pie and ice cream. I never have to worry about lunch being forgotten. David is such a foodie it’s the first thing he packs. LOL

  17. Gay says:

    What an awesome hike…we missed it last year. I have to see what I can do about that!
    Glacier is my all time favorite place to be!
    Your mix-up about lunch sure sounds familiar…

  18. Lenore says:

    You go guys!
    Great recommendations for the east side of Glacier.

  19. Holly Ritger says:

    I love the Two Medicine area but wasn’t able to make that hike. Awesome photos, but that dead white pine tree is spectacular! I felt really bad hearing you left lunch home…. I would have been so bummed! We went on a walk in New Mexico one day last month, only to find we left the cooler of water home… That wasn’t a good day 😳 A piece of huckleberry pie and ice cream would have gone a long way towards restoring my spirits!

  20. allisonmohr says:

    Gorgeous! Simply stunning pictures.

  21. frankeeg says:

    Its a shame customs and quarantine were not in place or not rigidly enforced in 1900 otherwise those pines may still be alive.

  22. Wow, looks like a beautiful hike. It’s funny, it does seem that there were different distances published for every hike in Western Canada, and then they still seemed longer than what was published.
    Brenda

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s