Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 48.59692°N / 113.78345°W
Additional Information County: Flathead
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 7450 ft / 2271 m
Sign the Climber's Log


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Glacier National Park's Lincoln Peak as seen from Lincoln Pass.

Lincoln Peak is located in the Glacier National Park approximately 4.5 miles southeast of West Glacier, Montana.

At an elevation of 7,450 feet this peak is a “Family Friendly Peak". The off trail route is a mere scramble of 164 feet to the summit.

As with most of Glacier’s peaks there are rewarding views looking down 2,643 feet to Lincoln Lake and from Lincoln Lake up 1,200 feet up Beaver Chief Falls and Lake Ellen Wilson then up Mount Jackson’s southwest slope where the summit of Mount Jackson sits at over 4,000 feet above Ellen Wilson. The summit of Jackson cannot be seen from Lincoln. Gunsight Mountain and Comeau Pass are also seen from Lincoln Peak. To the north is Edwards and to the west is Lake McDonald.

J. Gordon Edwards mentions Lincoln Peak on page 59 in A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park. He writes, “Six miles up a good trail from Lake McDonald Hotel are the Sperry Chalets. From there, the climb up Lincoln Peak (7,440) is popular for climbers going over Lincoln Pass en route to the St. Mary Valley, a twenty-two mile hike that also crosses Gunsight Pass.”

In Place Names of Glacier National Park, Jack Holterman provides the following information regarding the naming of Lincoln Peak (pg 122). “The feature was named for Mrs. Anna T. Lincoln of Minnesota who came to the area in 1899.” He further writes that the Kootenai called it “Greedy Mountain” and Lincoln Lake was called both “Equal Lake” and “Crane Collar Lake.” At one time Lincoln Lake and creek were called “Little Saint Mary” by those trying to “use eastside place names along the railroad.”

Gunsight MountainGunsight Mountain from Lincoln Peak
Lincoln LakeLake Ellen Wilson, Beaver Chief Falls and Lincoln Lake.

On Glacier National Park’s history page more information is learned about Mrs. Anna T. Lincoln, “Eddie Cruger, who packed "dude" parties out from the Lake McDonald area around the turn of the century, relates how he named Lincoln Peak for Mrs. Anna T. Lincoln, matron of a girls' college in Northfield, Minnesota, who came out during the summer of 1899. Eddie guided the party to the Sperry area, where they hiked and climbed most of the peaks in the vicinity. Mrs. Lincoln could not hike or climb with the remainder of the party, so Eddie took her to Lincoln Pass, from where they made the easy ascent of Lincoln Peak. There Eddie named the peak for her. The other adjacent features evidently derived their names from the peak. Lincoln Lake was at one time called "Little St. Mary Lake," and Lincoln Falls was changed to "Beaver Chief Falls" in 1939 or 1940.”

Lincoln Peak is a great evening jaunt for modern day climber’s spending the night at either the Sperry Chalet or in the Sperry Chalet Campground. It is a great warm up for those who are planning on climbing either Gunsight or Edwards. Perhaps the highlight of Lincoln Peak is being able to share it with close friends and family and enjoy a Montana sunset and perhaps share a bottle of wine.
Sunset from Sperry ChaletSunset view at Lincoln Peak
Lincoln Peak RidgeClimbing for a sunset view at Lincoln Peak

Getting There

Did you say cheese? you turn left or right at that junction?

The "Crown of the Continent" is located in northwestern Montana and shares a border with Waterton International Peace Park in Canada. Driving the world renowned Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass is a great way to see Glacier. Typically Logan Pass and Going-to-the-Sun Road opens near the end of June but it can be as early as the middle of June and as late as after July Fourth. The road isn’t open in the winter but you can ski there.

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 Plan Your Visit for other information regarding all of the National Park entrance fee information.

If you are planning on visiting Waterton Park make sure you have a passport to simplify crossing the border.

Glacier National Park’s Lincoln Peak is located in Northwest Montana. The locals all say, "Have a nice VISIT in Montana". While you are visiting check out other things to do at Things To Do In The Flathead Valley.

Montana is a long way from most places. That’s why many of us live here.

It is possible to get here by:

By Air: Glacier International Airport serves as the air hub for northwestern Montana. Horizon, Delta Connection and Northwest Airlines service this area.

By Bus: Northwest Montana is served by bus service.

By Rail: Amtrak arrives daily from Minneapolis or Seattle stops in East Glacier, Essex, West Glacier and Whitefish.

By Road: The major highways serving northwest Montana include U.S. Highway 2 running east and west and running north to south are U. S. Highway 93 and Montana Highway 83. Glacier National Park is located 160 miles north of Interstate 90 which runs through the southwestern portion of Montana.

Rental cars can be secured in the Flathead Valley at and near Glacier International Airport. See Car Rentals in Montana.

Red Tape

Sperry ChaletFlatheadNative taking some "quiet time" at Sperry Chalet

For all the Rules and Regulations governing Glacier National Park look at the Rules and Regulations. You can find a PDF files here with a lengthy treatises about what you can and can't do but it could keep you out of jail.

You do not have to register for day climbs in Glacier National Park but it is recommended. Backcountry travel regulations can be found at Backcountry Travel. There is also information from the Park Service on Mountain Climbing in Glacier.

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 your bear deterrent, 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.

Route Overview

Lincoln Peak TrailTrail to Lincoln Peak
Sperry Campground and PondPond near Lincoln Peak Trail with Edwards in the background.

Leave Lake McDonald Lodge and hike to Sperry Chalet over a good but challenging trail. Continue past Sperry to Lincoln Pass. Total one way distance is 6 miles and has a a total elevation gain of 4,088 feet.

A permanent stream crossing with a bridge indicates that that Sperry Chalet is near. In the distance the hiking trail to Comeau Pass can be seen as it snakes through the incredible hanging valleys. After resting at the creek continue for just a little further, soon the chalet will be seen. Get a great drink of water outside of the dining room, check into the Chalet or proceed on to the campground. If a sunset view from Lincoln Peak is desired relax until after dinner. If there is no plan for enjoying the sunset continue on to Lincoln Pass.

It is also possible to approach from Jackson Glacier Overlook via Gunsight Pass.

Lincoln Peak TopoRoute Topo
Lincoln Pass is approximately 1 mile from Sperry Chalet. The trail passes by the campground and the beautiful lake that it sits beside. Continue gaining elevation until reaching Lincoln Pass.

The rest of the climb is a class 2 climber’s trail scramble along the ridgeline to the summit. The route is uncomplicated.

For an awesome side trip make sure to visit Comeau Pass.

Lincoln PeakThe final ridge to Lincoln Peak

Special Considerations: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.

When To Climb

MarmotLincoln Peak viewed from Comeau Pass Trail

Ideal times to climb are July to September after the snow has left the high country.

A "route" to the summit of Lincoln Peak can be found in Volume 3 of Climb Glacier National Park. Find it when you arrive in the area from local retailers or order it from the author on line at Volume Three.


Montana gets its share of interesting weather. In June of 2008, we had over 2” of snow in the Flathead Valley and up to 24” inches of new snow in the Glacier National Park high country.

In Montana it is said “If you don't like the weather just wait a half hour” or you can check out what’s up with the local weather at Glacier Park Weather.

Lodging or Camping

Sperry ChaletThe Lodge
Sperry Chalet Meal HallThe Dining Room
Sperry ChaletThe Restroom
Sperry Chalet was built in 1913 by the Great Northern Railway. It is currently listed as a Historic Landmark. All of the stone in the buildings were quarried right from the area so it blends beautifully into the surroundings. The buildings have not changed much since they were built.

The Sperry Chalet complex consists of a lodge, dining room/kitchen (which has awesome food!), a maintenance building and a new million plus dollar restroom building. The rooms are rustic and if noisy neighbors annoy you a better plan would be to walk the extra quarter mile to the campground to get some sleep.

Reservations are necessary for both Sperry Chalet and the Sperry Campground.

Other National Park Campgrounds are located near the shore of Lake McDonald. Apgar campground is the largest campground in Glacier National Park. It is near Apgar Village, where you will find the Apgar visitor center, gift shops, a camp store, and a casual restaurant. Horseback ride reservations, boat rentals, a shuttle service, and Red Bus tour reservations are also located in Apgar Village.
Apgar Campground is open for primitive camping April 1 through May 1 and again in the Fall from October 14 through November 30. Primitive camping is $10.00 per night.

There is also a campground at Fish Creek Campground which is near Apgar. Fish Creek campground is located just off the Camas Road approximately 2.5 miles from Apgar Village on the west side of Glacier National Park. It is the second largest campground in the park.

A tent only campground is located at Sprague Creek. This is the closest campground to the trailhead at Lake McDonald Lodge.

All of the campgrounds along Lake McDonald are very nice and it is easy to reach Columbia Falls for supplies.


No specialized equipment is needed to summit Lincoln Peak. This peak literally could be climbed in trail shoes.

Additional equipment that should come along include:
bear deterrent spray

External Links

Apgar Cam with Peaks Identified
Apgar Webcam Page
Glacier National Park in Pictures
Glacier Mountaineering Society
Logan Pass Trails
Visit Montana