Skip to content

Browning, Montana

Browning, MT

    Browning is a town in Glacier County, Montana, United States. It is the headquarters for the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the only incor…
    Browning is a town in Glacier County, Montana, United States. It is the headquarters for the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the only incorporated town on the Reservation. The population was 1,018 at the 2020 census.


    An Incredible Array of Flora and Fauna
    The trail starts at the east end of the main parking lot at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. The level trail begins in a pleasant lodgepole forest, then crosses Wilbur Creek. It bounces between open areas and a mixed forest of aspen and lodgepole pines. This drainage is perfect habitat for moose, and the first lake that you pass is a popular one for them. There is a small trail that breaks away to Fishercap Lake approximately a quarter of a mile in. Take that and look for these large members of the deer family in the water. From there, it's more level tree filled hiking until you break out into meadows. All around you are the wonderful rocky walls of the surrounding summits. At the head of the valley, Swiftcurrent Mountain sits with the lookout barely visible on top. The trail continues on a fairly level path, passes into some more trees and nears some red cliffs that are popular with mountain goats. It passes by the cliffs and emerges into more open meadows and views, wandering down to the shoreline of Redrock Lake. Keep an eye out for moose in this lake as it wraps around to Redrock Falls. From the falls, the trail gently climbs through a mix of trees and meadows along Bullhead Lake with some nice views of the lake. Continue past the lake to the head of the drainage. At this point and a little over four level miles, the trail changes from moose country to bighorn sheep country and begins to climb. This area is covered in huckleberry plants giving you a perfectly valid reason to stop and catch your breath and forage for a snack. As you gain elevation, you pass waterfalls along a rocky cliff and get amazing views of the valley you traveled up. The trail eventually levels off after many switchbacks and heads up toward the pass in earnest. You pass meadows and subalpine fir until you reach the pass itself marked with a stack of rocks that used to be topped by an old bell before World War II. The trail continues on down the west side, past the trail to Swiftcurrent Lookout, passing streams that lead to creeks, then rivers below. Granite Park Chalet comes into view and the trail traverses a lovely meadow and joins up with the Highline Trail. This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike. Flora & Fauna An incredible array of flora and fauna due the variety of terrain. This is one of the better trails to see many of Glacier's megafauna from moose to bighorn sheep to mountain goats and deer to black and grizzly bears.
    Lovely Lakeshores and a Few Waterfalls
    The trail to Swiftcurrent Pass is one of the most rewarding in Glacier National Park, and it makes the drive to Many Glacier well worth the trip. This trail offers something for everyone with options for mileage and difficulty and plenty to see no matter what distance you go. The greatest reward lies in completing the whole trail to the top of Swiftcurrent Pass, but lakes and waterfalls lower in the valley make shorter trips worthwhile as well. The trail begins from the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn parking lot and follows the main valley. The first 4 miles or so are relatively flat as the trail passes a string of beautiful lakes. Most of the hike is among forest and thickets that obscure the panorama, but clearings provide intermittent views of the surroundings, and the trail meets the lakes and creek in several places. At less than a mile from the trailhead, a signed spur trail leads to Fishercap Lake for your first glimpse of a shimmering alpine lake. In the next few miles, there are two more lovely lakeshores and a few waterfalls, including the multi-tiered Redrock Falls about 2 miles from the trailhead. The water makes a refreshing splash or dip in the heat of summer. You may also find moose sharing the shallow water of the lakes. This is one of the best trails in the park to spot them. If you continue past Bullhead Lake, which is the last in the chain and the best for swimming, the steep climb up to Swiftcurrent Pass looms overhead. After crossing one final footbridge, the trail begins to switchback upward across a grassy hillside and into the rocky cliffs. The showstopper here is the Waterfall Wall, a 1,000-foot cliff that streams with meltwater from the glacier above. The switchbacks get you very close to one of the waterfalls for excellent photo opportunities. Views all along this trail give you plenty of excuses to stop and catch your breath, especially on the part that traverses a nearly sheer drop high above the valley floor. The terrace is wide enough to be safe, but the drop may still be a bit nerve-racking for those afraid of heights. After this, just a bit more climbing leads to the top of Swiftcurrent Pass, where a stunning view into the next valley and Heaven's Peak awaits. From here, intrepid hikers can take grueling but spectacular spur trail to Swiftcurrent Lookout. You can also continue the journey by continuing down the other side of the pass to Granite Park Chalet, Highline Trail, or Loop Trail and explore more amazing scenery.

    Suggested Itineraries

    Data from: Wikipedia