large fissure near summit
Napi (naw’ pee) Point is on the far eastern end of the ridgeline that contains Otakomi, East Flattop and Singleshot mountains. While there is no regularly used trail to reach it, one is rewarded with some unique views if the effort is made to fight your way up through the brush and downfalls for about 3 miles along the boundary line of the park. Upon reaching the treeline about ¼ mile from the summit there is a steep grassy hillside to overcome as well. At the summit are two extreme fractures of the mountain that are about a yard wide and extend down for hundreds? of feet. The NE face features a vertical drop that will take your breath away and offers views into the Many Glacier valley in the distance. The distance involved is about 7 miles roundtrip with nearly 2,800’ of vertical and one interesting stream crossing.
There are many Blackfeet legends about Napi. For more information, see Napi
Glacier National Park is located in the NW part of the state and extends up to the Canadian border which it shares with Waterton National Park of Canada. The nearest airport is Kalispell. Amtrac stations are in Whitefish, W Glacier and E Glacier. Depending on your travel plans, it may be worthwhile to fly to Spokane, WA and pick up a rental vehicle. Some rentals there may be more user friendly on multiple state use and mileage allowances as well as price.
Napi Point is located near the eastern entrance of the park off the Going to the Sun Road when you enter the park from Saint Mary, Montana. You can access the Going to the Sun Road at the park entrances at West Glacier or at Saint Mary.
The trailhead can be found in the Saint Mary Campground parking at or near the group camping area on the 3rd loop from the highway. loop C, site 140
Registration for day climbs in Glacier National Park is recommended, but not mandatory.
National Park entrance fees apply in Glacier National Park. See Entrance Fees
There are many camping sites available at Glacier Park; backcountry, as well as car camping. Due to the large number of grizzly and even larger number of black bears who inhabit the area, there are strict guidelines for storage of food. Most of the backcountry campgrounds have facilities for hanging your food from cables or bear proof poles, but you need adequate lines to hoist your packs, etc 15 or 20 feet off the ground. If you are seeking an “undesignated area” camping permit, the rangers may require you to use a bear barrel to protect your food. When we backpacked in to Buffalo Woman Lake, they loaned us a bear barrel since they did not think we could find adequate tree limbs for hanging our food, etc. Hanging your packs is a good idea, since I have seen damaged packs from chewing by rodents. The GNP rangers require you to view an informational video annually before you can purchase your first backcountry permit.
GNP Campground Status and Info
Backcountry Camping Info
Backcountry Camping Sites
The most direct route starts at the top of the 3rd loop in the St Mary Campground located on the north side of GTS highway soon after you enter the park from St Mary, Montana. There is a “group campsite” located there just inside the park boundary and a visible path leading up a small hill behind the campsite that almost immediately leads to fencing marking the park boundary. When the boundary was originally cut, this would have been a simple hike, but after all the years there are places where it is difficult to follow the line. However, it is a straight line in this location and that makes it much simpler to reconnect if you temporarily have to swerve around downfalls and heavy brush!!
In much of the route the trail is easy to follow and when you reach the final steep hillside
hillside below summit (St Mary Lake in background)
leading up to the summit, it is best to swerve west (left) and begin an ascending traverse to gain most of the elevation before heading back near the top of the ridge and resuming your path along the (imaginary at this point) boundary to the summit.
If you have time and energy, it is simple to turn this into a multi-peak day hiking over to East Flattop, Singleshot and Otokomi mountains. These peaks can also be done in reverse order, but the bushwhack might seem more intimidating if encountered for the first time on the return.
The GPS coordinates for the start are N 48.75498 W 113.44321
Guidebook: A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park
Trail guide: Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks
Glacier Mountaineers Society