Trailhead and false summit
This mountain is located within walking distance of the Rising Sun Campground. Named by G. B. Grinnell for Otokomi (Yellowfish), a part Blackfeet Indian who accompanied Grinnell on his early expeditions into this region. Otokomi's English name was Rose, so Roes Basin and Roes Creek nearby resulted from a misspelling of his name. Early topographers sometimes called this mountain "Whitefish" Mountain probably an erroneous translation of "Otokomi."
From its summit you can begin a long ridge walk to visit Single Shot Mountain, East Flattop Mountain and, eventually, Napi Point. It offers some interesting views of Sieyh and Cracker Mountains and the long ridge to them from Wynn Mountain as well as of the long ridge connecting Red Eagle, Mahtotopa and Little Chief mountains to the south. The biggest challenge lies in penetrating the forest to reach above tree line and finish the climb which gains about 2,400’ in elevation. Distance traveled to the summit is an estimated 3 miles. It is a tedious climb up the talus and steep grassy slopes, but nothing over Class 2 need be climbed.
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.
Otokomi Mountain is located east of the Logan Pass area of the park near the Going to the Sun Road north of the Rising Sun campground. You can access the Going to the Sun Road at the park entrances at West Glacier or at Saint Mary and from either location you head toward the opposite end of the road until reaching the Rising Sun facilities which are about 5 miles from the park entrance at Saint Mary.
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 (including Rising Sun campground near St Mary Lake); 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.
Rising Sun Campground has the advantage of available showers, a general store and a restaurant. In addition, it is located on the shuttle line providing free transportation the entire length of the Going to the Sun Road!
GNP Campground Status and Info
Backcountry Camping Info
Backcountry Camping Sites
Guidebook: A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park
Trail guide: Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks
Glacier Mountaineers Society
Sharp left turn in the trail
Start at the Otokomi Lake trailhead located just west of the Rising Sun camp store. Hike about a 1 ½ miles up the trail (30 minutes) and look for a sharp left turn in the trail over a drainage. This is a good spot to start climbing up the steep banks to your right through the woods toward the summit. Work your way up and slightly left until you gain the hillsides that are open enough to better pick your route. There are three false summits along the way, so take heart and keep climbing.
View of Sieyh and Cracker
As noted in the overview, once you have invested the effort to reach the summit, you can enjoy a pleasant ridge walk over to Single Shot and on to East Flattop and Napi Point.
From Napi Point, there is a trail that roughly follows the park boundary and drops south into the Saint Mary campground.
Goat Lake and Mountain