No, we’re not hiking Dawson-Pitamakan this week.
We are having a real winter so far this year, and we’re grateful! Every flake of snow will become a water droplet filling our rivers next spring, and feeding our flowers and trees in Glacier National Park.
But it’s a great time to think about the hiking in Glacier National Park we accomplished before the snow flew, and the hiking we want to plan for next year! At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, one of our favorites trails is the Dawson-Pitamkan Loop in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park.
Day hiking Dawson-Pitamakan is for more advanced hikers, as it’s about 3,000 feet in elevation gain over 18.8 total miles. However, don’t let it’s length intimidate you. Many of those 18 miles are a walk-in-the-Park ridge walk, and they’re all breathtaking. First, you’ll drive to glacially carved, three miles long Two Medicine Lake. Next, you’ll decide which pass to tackle first – Dawson or Pitamakan. You really can’t go wrong. Over the course of the day, you’ll walk up one stunning pass and down another and end up where you started!
Either pass makes a great spot for lunch. We make great lunches, by the way.
Glacier Park Boats Option
As you hike, you circumnavigate Rising Wolf, Flinsch, and Morgan peaks, walking a narrow scree trail between the passes. If 18 miles makes you nervous – and we’re not trying to suggest that you should go from your couch to doing an 18miler! know your limits and train for hiking season all year long – you can shave about two miles off the trip by catching the Sinopah across Two Medicine Lake.
Speaking of the boat, whether you opt to include it on your Dawson-Pitamakan adventure or not, taking a boat ride with the historic Glacier Park Boat Co. is the next best thing to hiking and rafting while you’re in Glacier National Park! In addition to offering interpretative tours of Two Medicine Lake, you can also tour with them in the Many Glacier, Rising Sun, and Lake McDonald areas of the park.
Also, if peak bagging is your thing, Dawson-Pitamakan allows for fairly easy summits of Flinsch (below), Helen, and Rising Wolf. Those summits will add a little extra mileage to an already challenging day, but the views, especially of Mt. St. Nicholas to the south, are completely worth it.
We don’t guide off trail adventures, but we do take adventuresome groups to Scenic Point in Two Medicine every week, and to Dawson-Pitamakan by request! To learn more, call 1-800-521-RAFT or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, whether you’re hiking on trail or off: leave no trace. See you on the trails!