OverviewAccording to the History of Glacier National Park Mount Kipp is "presumed to have been named for Joe Kipp, a half-breed Indian trapper and hunter of the early days. Joe's father was Captain James Kipp, who built the trading post at Fort Piegan, at the mouth of the Marias River in 1831"
Sue Lake from Mt KippMt Kipp is a moderate scramble from Fifty Mountain Camp if you happen to be in the area. The views from this point far exceed any other reason one may have for climbing up to the summit. To do this as a day hike, as I did, is a bit of a reach for many thus I suggest trying to spend several days at Fifty Mountain Camp and climb other peaks such as Cathedral and Pyramid peaks as well after hauling your gear in. Another possibility might be day hikes from Fifty Mountain Camp to climb peaks such as Vulture, Trapper, Geduhn, Nahsukin and Redhorn, some of which can be climbed in combinations. The approach I used is the Flattop Mountain trail which is about 12 miles from Packer’s Roost to Fifty Mountain Camp. Mt Cleveland from Kipp The Northern Highline trail is about 12 miles from Granite Park Chalet, but you must climb around 4 additional miles from the loop to get to the Chalet unless you are already spending the night there.
Cathedral Peak from KippGlacier National Park is located in the NW part of the state and extends up to the Canadian border which it shares with Waterton National Park of Canada. The nearest airport is Kalispell. Amtrac stations are in Whitefish, W Glacier and E Glacier. Depending on your travel plans, it may be worthwhile to fly to Spokane, WA and pick up a rental vehicle. Some rentals there may be more user friendly on multiple state use and mileage allowances as well as price.
The trailhead, at Packer’s Roost, is on the west side of the park about 1 ½ miles below the Loop. There is a sign on the road that warns of trucks and a gravel road that exits the GTS highway on the west side and goes to the Packer’s Roost from which supplies are packed up to Granite Park chalet
Red TapeRegistration for day climbs in Glacier National Park is recommended, but not mandatory.
National Park entrance fees apply in Glacier National Park. See Entrance Fees
Mt Merritt from KippThere are many camping sites available at Glacier Park; backcountry, as well as car camping. Due to the large number of grizzly and even larger number of black bears who inhabit the area, there are strict guidelines for storage of food. Most of the backcountry campgrounds have facilities for hanging your food from cables or bear proof poles, but you need adequate lines to hoist your packs, etc 15 or 20 feet off the ground. If you are seeking an “undesignated area” camping permit, the rangers may require you to use a bear barrel to protect your food. Hanging your packs is a good idea, since I have seen damaged packs from chewing by rodents. The GNP rangers require you to view an informational video annually before you can purchase your first backcountry permit.
GNP Campground Status and Info
Backcountry Camping Info
Backcountry Camping Sites
Chaney Glacier from KippGuidebook: A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park
Trail guide: Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks
Glacier Mountaineers Society
route in redFrom Fifty Mountain Camp, you can just head SE up the scree slopes as indicated on my route photo in red. An alternate route described by Edwards in his climbing guide heads up from the highline trail to the Sue Lake Overlook and then traverses a short distance south entering a steep vertical couloir (Class 3) to the ridgetop and on to the summit. View East from KippThere are a multitude of variations available to anyone climbing Mt Kipp and I followed the highline trail south from Fifty Mountain Camp for a short distance to gain some easy elevation before heading up.