Red Crow Mountain
OverviewRed Crow Mountain is located in the remote southeastern corner of Glacier National Park just north of Firebrand Pass and is a member of the Lewis and Clark Range. This area of the Park doesn't have an official name such as Two Medicine or Cut Bank but the mountain is climbed from the Marias Pass area.
At just a tad over 5200' Marias Pass is one of the lowest passes in the Rocky Mountains.
Why the name Red Crow? Jack Holterman, in his book, Place Names of Glacier National Park says, "Evans conferred this name, but whom did he have in mind? Apparently the name was originally applied to the mountain now called Curly Bear or perhaps to Kupunkamint, whereas the present Red Crow Mountain (which overlooks East Glacier) was listed by Schultz under the name of "Bull's Back Fat." If Schultz had given the name "Red Crow", I would think it referred to the son of Lone Walker. But since Evans gave the name, it seems more likely the Red Crow he had in mind was the head chief of the Bloods in whose honor a cairn has been erected near Stand Off, Alberta. This chief was a nephew of Natawista and a brother-in-law of Crowfoot. He remained neutral during the Riel Rebellion of 1885 and accompanied Father Lacombe and Crowfoot to Qu bec. Red Crow in Blackfoot is Meki-aisto/Mekaisto (since (m)aisto(wa) is crow or raven.
Red Crow Mountain is only mentioned in passing on page 319 of J. Gordon Edwards, A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park...but I must tell you it is a fun mountain to climb and the views are unsurpassed.
Getting ThereHighway 2 is the ribbon of civilization that cuts through the mountains of Glacier National Park to the north and the Great Bear Wilderness to the south. The scenery alone on both sides of the road on this drive will knock your socks off....if you like mountains!!! You can approach from either West Glacier or East Glacier as the Lubec Trailhead is located in between the towns at mile marker 203. This trailhead is easy to miss if you're driving too fast...it is basically just a pull-out with parking for several cars so slow down at the closest mile marker signs. It also is located next to the train tracks of the Burlington-Northern Railroad which is always something that you have to contend with when climbing these remote mountains in the southern area of the park. Long, slow freight trains are very common in this area. The trailhead is approximately 10 miles west of East Glacier and is located on the right side of the road if you're coming from East Glacier.
Trail InformationAs stated above the trail starts at the Lubec Trailhead where you are greeted with stupendous views of Calf Robe, Summit and Little Dog Mountains, from east to west in that order. Calf Robe is basically right in front of you and has been a recent addition to Summitpost.
You proceed from Lubec for 1.4 miles through meadows and scrub pines to intersect the Autumn Creek Trail...which is actually a small segment of the Continental Divide Trail, proceed east on the Autumn Creek Trail for 1 mile to the intersection of the Firebrand Pass Trail which continues for 2.4 additional miles to Firebrand Pass. It should be noted here that on July 11, 2009 chest-high vegetation crowds the Firebrand Pass Trail in many long stretches and ALSO, as the trail wraps upward and around the flanks of Calf Robe there are still multiple snow hazards on the trail. These aren't life threatening as they are melting..... but should be noted so there are no surprises... as a fall on any of them would certainly bring embarassment and possibly some discomfort.
Camping and EquipmentBackcountry camping is available in the area at Ole Lake in the Ole Creek Drainage southwest of Red Crow.
Also located in the area about 5 miles west of the Lubec Trailhead on Hwy 2 is Summit Campground.
There are multiple water sources on these trails....carry your own or bring a filter. Camera, good footwear, hiking poles if you need them and BEAR SPRAY!!! Hike smart....make lots of noise at regular intervals on the trail....don't get yourself or a bear killed!
LinksGlacier National Park
Continental Divide Trail
A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park
Glacier Waterton Lakes National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map