Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 48.95554°N / 114.09152°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8528 ft / 2599 m
Sign the Climber's Log
Pocket Lake and Numa RidgeAs seen along the route, Pocket Lake bordered by Numa Ridge (with Mt. Peabody at its center and Kintla dominating upper R.)
Boulder PeakBoulder Peak's more daunting southern face as seen from Hole-in-the-Wall


Glacial moraine at Boulder PassA moraine formed by much-receded Boulder Glacier

If you’ve made it as far as Boulder Pass—host to the highest-altitude backcountry campsite in GNP, at 7600 ft.—the hardest part of the Boulder Peak climb is behind you. You can complete the rest—a pleasurable class II ramble from out the front flap of your tent—carrying nothing more than a daypack and in less than an hour, although you’ll probably be tempted to dally longer.

Boulder Peak does not reserve all of its splendor for the summit; as you ascend, you will no doubt find yourself ogling at teardrop-shaped Pocket Lake below, as well as peering back over your shoulder at the otherworldly rock formations along aptly named Boulder Pass below. Kinnerly and Kintla Peaks dominate the backdrop behind Pocket Lake, while Numa Ridge sweeps dramatically alongside them. To the northwest, Long Knife and its neighbors hulk just this side of the US-Canadian border.

The vista to the east is perhaps most exhilarating to backpackers bound in that direction; just beyond Boulder Pass are a series of cerulean melt-ponds to whose frosty charms more than one hiker has succumbed along the trail towards the near-perfectly curved Hole-in-the-Wall cirque. Before a staggeringly deep plunge from the cirque into the Bowman valley, the very impressive falls shoot through the eponymous hole in the wall. Mount Custer brings up the rear, easily identifiable by its westward-sweeping cap; to its east are the grassy slopes of Chapman Peak and, opposite the valley, Thunderbird Mountain.

Getting There

The Boulder Pass campsite is approximately 17 miles from the Kintla Lake trailhead, 14 miles to Goat Haunt (and a further 8 by foot or by ferry to Waterton townsite), and 20 miles from the Bowman Lake trailhead; all of these routes gain considerable altitude along the way.
While Boulder Pass is certainly the most convenient starting point for the climb, Boulder Peak is also a feasible day trip from Upper Kintla Lake, Hole-in-the-Wall, or Brown Pass.
Bear in mind that the Boulder Pass trail is typically one of the last in the park to open for the season, often remaining impassible due to snow conditions well into July or even August.

Boulder Pass and Hole-in-the-Wall Cirque from Boulder PeakA fine preview of Hole-in-the-Wall for eastward-traveling backpackers. Custer towers to the L. and Mt. Alderson pokes up from behind in the center.
Melt-pond near Boulder PassOne of those melt-ponds seen just beyond Boulder Pass. Swim, anyone?
Boulder Peak from Hole-in-the-WallBoulder Peak seen from lush Hole-in-the-Wall below

The Route

From the cairn marking the entrance to the campsite, the route is purely intuitive: wend your way up the broad, meadowed ridge until you reach the summit, which is just out of view from the pass.

Red Tape

From Boulder Peak: Chapman (L) and Cleveland (back center)Opposite each other in the haze, Chapman (L.) and Thunderbird (R.), with Cleveland just visible in the distance

A fee applies for entry into Glacier National Park, and advance permits are required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Permits for backcountry camping along the Boulder Pass trail are in high demand: if you aren’t able to reserve ahead, plan to arrive at the backcountry permit desk early in the morning and be flexible about alternative routes. If you plan to backpack into or out of Waterton Lakes National Park via Goat Haunt, additional procedures apply for backcountry border crossing; you will also need to pay a separate entry fee for the Canadian park. If you wish to spare yourself the 8 miles of trees from Goat Haunt to the Waterton townsite, carry some extra cash for the ferry.

Additional Views along the Way

The Boulder Pass-area from Boulder PeakBoulders dotting the pass-area below, framed to the L. by the ridge leading from Gardner Pt. and to the rear by red-capped Akamina Ridge in Waterton Lakes National Park
Kintla and Kinnerly PeaksTowering Kinnerly (R.) and Kintla Peaks, with the rim of Pocket Lake

External Links

Long Knife Peak (C.) rising out beyond Gardner Point (R.)Long Knife Peak (C.) rising out beyond Gardner Point (R.)
En Route up Boulder Peak, with Numa RidgeA gentle stroll to the summit, backed by Numa Ridge

Glacier National Park Homepage

Glacier Mountaineering Society

Non-government Glacier National Park Information

Goat Haunt-Waterton Townsite Ferry Schedule and Fare Information



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.