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Scalplock Mountain and Lookout

Scalplock Mountain and Lookout

Scalplock Mountain and Lookout

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.29996°N / 113.57483°W

Object Title: Scalplock Mountain and Lookout

County: Flathead

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 6919 ft / 2109 m


Page By: rebelgrizz

Created/Edited: Aug 9, 2008 / Apr 14, 2010

Object ID: 430063

Hits: 8684 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

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Scalplock Mountain and Lookout

Scalplock Lookout peeping just above the trees.


Scalplock Mountain
Scalplock Mountain summit.
If you are looking for solitude in Glacier National Park...away from the maddening tourist crowds of Logan Pass...then I suggest taking a drive east on Highway 2 to some of the lesser-known peaks of Glacier.

One of these lesser-known peaks is called Scalplock Mountain. It is not mentioned as being climbed in J. Gordon Edwards', A Climber's Guide To Glacier National Park, but on page 326 there is a map rendering showing its location in relation to the major peaks and trails of the South Central Area of the park.

A "scalplock" is defined as follows: a long lock of hair left on the top of the shaven head of certain Native American warriors.

Scalplock Mountain was named so, according to Glacier Administrative History, for a small tuft of trees resembling a Native American warrior's scalplock that remained on it's summit following a fire that destroyed the remaining timber. These historic photographs show some of the forest fire history in the area around Scalplock Mountain.

Scalplock Lookout was built in 1931 and re-habbed in 1999. It is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.

Trail Information

Scalplock Trail
View to the south west.
Ole Creek
Ole Creek suspension bridge.
The trail begins at the Walton Ranger station. It actually begins as the Boundary Trail and leaves from the west side of the parking lot. You climb quickly above the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. There is a suspension bridge over Ole Creek that you must cross (one hiker at a time). At that point you proceed north east up and along Ole Creek. After approximately one mile you come to a fork in the trail...bear left and after approximately .3 miles you come to the Scalplock Mountain trailhead. The trail climbs steadily through forest, with occasional breaks in the trees with nice views to the south west, as it switchbacks up the mountain. Total round trip mileage is approximately 8 miles and an elevation gain of 3,100 feet.

Summit Views

Elk Mountain
Elk Mountain from the Scalplock summit.
Salvage Mountain
Salvage Mountain from the Scalplock summit.
Mount Saint Nicholas
Mount Saint Nicholas from Scalplock summit.
The views speak for themselves!

Getting There

Running Rabbit
Running Rabbit "framed".
Scalplock Mountain and Lookout is located just off Highway 2 approximately one mile east of Essex or 27 miles east of West Glacier. Turn into the Walton Ranger Station and proceed on the gravel road down into the parking area.

Red Tape

Scalplock is located in Glacier National Park so all of those rules and regulations apply. Hike and Climb Smart!! Always carry your bear spray and make noise at regular intervals while on the trail. Bear sign was evident along the trail. Insect repellent and water are also necessities.


The closest campground to Scalplock is located at Devil Creek further to the east off Highway 2. Lodging is also available in Essex at the Izaak Walton Inn.

Additions and Corrections

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Voted 10/10

actually is 8.6 miles round trip from Trailhead to Trailhead.
Posted Jun 7, 2010 8:54 pm

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