It was a perfect fall day, custom made for a scramble where the mountains meet the prairie. Curly Bear appears to be a seldom visited summit near the border of Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Nation. For our trip we turned off highway 89 onto a dirt road, passable to 2 wheel drive. There are several of these dirt tracks so mind you odometer to take the correct one. The road is almost exactly 5 miles south on 89 from where it is intersected by the Glacier Park road in St Mary. Google Earth gives the coordinates as latitude 48°41'40.36"N and longitude 113°23'15.79"W. If you are coming from the south the road is 1.3 miles down from the crest of 89 where you are closest to Divide mountain. Once you have located the dirt road drive about 1.1 miles until you reach a fork going to the left. Take that fork until it ends, about .75 miles. This whole area was burned, I think in 2003. From where we parked we hiked (there is no trail) holding our elevation as much as we could for about an hour on the east side of the Divide Creek drainage. At that point we were across the valley from Curly Bear and the scree slopes leading to its summit. We descended to the creek where there were a number of decent logs to cross, but the rocks were very slick. From the creek we climbed up the slope thru the burn until we reached the scree. The going was steep but fairly good footing. A small band of rock required some easy scrambling. Above the rock the route traversed left and around to the top of a ridge that we followed toward the top. The final bit was less steep and took us to the fantastic summit ridge. The views are superb! Don rehabilitated the summit cairn but the wind in this area can move large rocks. On the way back we found it difficult to make it straight back to the car, so I would recommend a GPS or at least an altimeter.
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