Backpackers and day hikers will take delight in this off-the-beaten-path discovery, which offers something for everyone – stunning views, extensive trails, crashing waterfalls, and sparkling lakes – all of which combine to make this a backcountry mecca, offering access to a remote region of Glacier National Park.

The crown jewel of the Two Medicine area is Sinopah Mountain, not because it is the highest peak in the area – that title belongs to Rising Wolf Mountain – but because it commands attention as a striking visual magnet, its rugged profile rising from the far tip of Two Medicine Lake.

The Blackfeet Indians considered the Two Medicine area the “backbone of the world,” traversing vast peak enchainments on vision quests.

An old wooden boat carries the namesake of Sinopah, and ferries visitors across Two Medicine Lake to the distant shore on scenic boat tours, courtesy of Glacier Park Boat Co.

Located approximately 13 miles from East Glacier, Two Medicine campground offers visitors overnight opportunities on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On the northeast shore of Two Medicine Lake stands what used to be the Two Medicine Chalet, built by the Great Northern Railway. It now serves as a camp store and gift shop, and like many of Glacier Park’s old buildings is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

TOP HIKES

1. Upper Two Medicine Lake

This relatively flat hike can be truncated to 4.8 miles round trip with a boat ride on the historic vessel the Sinopah, the oldest wooden boat in Glacier Park Boat Company’s fleet. Hikers who wish to cover the entire distance by foot can do so, but the boat ride shaves about 6 miles off the hike.

The most popular way of accessing Upper Two Medicine Lake is by riding the boat Sinopah, departing to the far shore in the morning and hiking the rest of the way.

Hikers can visit Twin Falls a short distance from the main South Shore Trail, and then continue on to Upper Two Medicine Lake for lunch. Then catch one of the boats back to the Two Medicine parking lot and general store.

2. Scenic Point

This 8-mile round-trip hike involves a stout climb on the ascent to Scenic Point, but the outstanding views and trek through alpine tundra is worth the effort, particularly as it commands views of the Appistoki Falls.

The Scenic Point Trailhead is located 2.7 miles west of the Two Medicine entrance station. To reach your destination, follow signs to the Mount Henry Trail, which will lead hikers to the saddle below Scenic Point

3. Dawson-Pitamakan

This dramatic 18-mile loop (14.8 miles with a boat shuttle) is not for the tender-footed, but as one of Glacier National Park’s most ambitious and rewarding hikes, it will forever remain a favorite.

The hike to Pitamakan Pass in Glacier National Park begins from the North Shore Trailhead, located in the campground at Two Medicine.

From the trailhead hikers will immediately cross a footbridge, and then proceed another tenth-of-a-mile to reach a trail junction. The path to the left leads to Dawson Pass, while the Pitamakan Pass Trail leads to the right. After passing around Pray Lake and the Two Medicine Campground, the Pitamakan Pass Trail begins to skirt around the eastern slopes of Rising Wolf Mountain.

Continue the hike to Dawson Pass, and then travel down to Two Medicine Lake to create an epic 14.8-mile loop (provided you catch the shuttle boat) or 17.6-mile trek. From the pass you can see the trail as it continues along the northern slopes of Mt. Morgan. From there it climbs over the Continental Divide and circles around Mt. Morgan, and then proceeds along the west slopes of Flinsch Peak before reaching Dawson Pass.

Bucket List

Two Medicine Boat Tour

Climb aboard the oldest wooden boat in the fleet owned and operated by Glacier Park Boat Company and enjoy a casual tour of Two Medicine Lake while learning about the rich tribal history of the region. Upon docking on the west shore of the lake, hikers can disembark and hike on their own, or with a naturalist to Twin Falls, and return on a later return boat.

For more information, visit glacierparkboats.com.

(Local Tip: Treat yourself to margaritas and indulge in the cuisine of Mexico and the southwest at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant in East Glacier Park).