for Glacier National Park please visit the park website.
Vehicle single entry fee for Glacier National Park is $25.00 for 7 Days, $12.00 per person for single hiker, motor biker or bicyclist. An "America The Beautiful Federal Lands Recreational Pass" for goes for $80.00 which gives entrance to all National Parks, National Forests, BLM, US Fish & Wildlife, and Bureau of Reclamation sites for one year from date of purchase. See
for other information regarding all of the National Park entrance fee information.
You do not have to register for day climbs in Glacier National Park but it is recommended. Backcountry travel regulations can be found at
. There is also information from the Park Service on
Volume Two of Climb Glacier National Park
has more details on Calf Robe Mountain and suggested routes. It can be ordered at Climb Glacier National Park
J. Gordon Edwards does not designate names for either of the route published in his writings. They are named here for purposes of clarity only.
The Marias Pass Area Route Map
Edwards describes this route in a straightforward manner. Here are some additional notes that will make this climb easier.
The Coonsa Trail (also referred to as the Firebrand Pass Trail on some maps) leaves U.S. Highway 2 at the Lubec Trailhead which is located at mile marker #203. Park on the U.S. Highway 2 side of the railroad track.
There is ample parking near the trailhead.
Walk over the railroad tracks and locate the trail near the gate. The junction with the Autumn Creek Trail is 1.4 miles (2.3 km) from the Lubec Trailhead on U.S. Highway 2.
Northeast Ridge Route
Northeast Ridge Route
In his description of the suggested route to Calf Robe Mountain, J. Gordon Edwards suggests following the Coonsa Creek Trail (Firebrand Pass Trail on some maps) from U.S. Highway 2 to its junction with the Autumn Creek Trail and from that junction begin the off trail portion of the route. From this junction he suggests walking northwest through the open forest for about ½ mile and continue in that direction to an elongated flattop ridge. From this point, he describes the route as a straightforward Class 2 scramble up the northeast flank to the summit of Calf Robe. The one-way distance for this route is about 3.5 miles in length and climbs approximately 2,800 feet.
An easier route to the northeast ridge with NO bushwhacking is just up the trail. To find this location follow the trail towards Firebrand Pass for 1/3 of a mile. The trail crosses a wet area that has been built up by trail crews and shortly after that manmade feature on the trail a large meadow is reached. From this meadow one can see Calf Robe. Head off towards Calf Robe and follow the route as described on the route page.
Firebrand Pass Route
Firebrand Pass Route
This route adds additional distance to the trip and requires Class 2 & 3 scrambling up the northwest flank of the mountain to the summit. This approach is particularly attractive if there are other peaks to the north included on the day’s agenda. There are 4.8 miles trail and 1,867 ft elevation gain to the pass and another 997 feet of scrambling to the summit of Calf Robe Mountain from Firebrand Pass.
The scramble from Firebrand Pass to the summit of Calf Robe is not difficult as far as route finding. Stay close to the northwest ridge for better footing.
The Ole Creek Drainage
A Route to the Two Medicine Valley is found through this sea of peaks.
Optional Side Trips:
At 8,770 feet in elevation, Summit Mountain
can be reached from Calf Robe Mountain via a goat trail along the crest of the Continental Divide. Edwards describes this option in his Routes Among The Peaks
Section on page 315. Looks difficult but would be possible in a long day. May require some significant gains and losses in elevation.
In that same section, Edwards describes a ridge walk along the Continental Divide between Lubec Lake on Highway #2 and the Two Medicine Valley. Climbers who are fit can accomplish this route in a day from either starting point. The route requires climbing Appistoki Peak
, an unnamed peak, Mount Ellsworth
, Bearhead Mountain and Red Crow Mountain
Dancing Lady Mountain could also be reached from Firebrand Pass via a ridge walk from just north of Red Crow Mountain. See the Dancing Lady Mountain
page for details.
A long day trip, with a two-day trip being much more enjoyable, down the Ole Creek Drainage to Walton Ranger Station could prove entertaining. Make sure you have a campsite reserved at Ole Lake before leaving for this overnight trip. From that trail Eagle Ribs Mountain, Mount Despair, the Barrier Buttes, Brave Dog Mountain, Sheep Mountain and Salvage Mountain may be able to be reach with some creativity and perhaps some serious bushwhacking. Be prepared to deal with bears, as this is a remote seldom-visited corner of the park. There may be easier routes to reach these peaks.
The rock in Glacier Park is widely varied and it is not unusual to find several different types of rock on any given route. Know your rocks and be certain of your safety. J. Gordon Edwards has an excellent section in his guidebook on rock and climbing safety. Be safe and know your limitations as well as those who are climbing with you. Also refer to the following links for further details: GNP Rock and Grading System
and the GMS Climbing Guidelines
View to the North from Calf Robe.
The timing of this climb may not be as crucial as deciding whether there is a desire to deal with the grizzly and black bears that frequent this area. Stay alert and use caution and good bear etiquette while climbing Calf Robe. My father-in-law rode horses into the Ole Creek Drainage in the 1970s and at that time the gentleman he was with told him that maybe 10 people made it to the Ole Creek drainage every year.
I am confident that the numbers are higher now but this area is remote compared to the peaks along Going to the Sun Highway. Within a 800 feet of the trailhead we found recent grizzly tracks but no other evidence of its passing and no other bears were seen. Make noise and use good sense in any bear country.
When to climb Calf Robe Mountain presents an interesting conundrum. Climb early and deal with snow or climb late and deal with a hot, dry route.
Perhaps the most logical time to climb is late August or early September when the temperatures cool and Montana usually is enjoying what we call “Indian Summer” (my apologizes to any Native Americans). If you wait too long the risk of skiffs of snow increases as does poor weather. It is all an issue of timing.
The nearest campground is a USFS Campground at Marias Pass. Spots are available on a first come basis.
This is bear country! Bring bear spray and know how to use it.
As with all hiking and climbing in Glacier National Park use caution and practice good manners with the wildlife. You are in bear country. Carry bear deterrent spray
, don’t hike alone and make some noise. For more information please go to the Park's website for Bear Information
. The U.S. Forest Service also has helpful information on Grizzly Bear Management
Crucial gear includes: water, sturdy footwear and a camera.
Get a Glacier National Park map from a local sporting goods store.