Red Crow Mountain
Red Crow Mountain is located in the remote southeastern corner of Glacier National Park just north of Firebrand Pass and is a member of the Lewis and Clark Range. This area of the Park doesn't have an official name such as Two Medicine or Cut Bank but the mountain is climbed from the Marias Pass area.[img:528965:aligncenter:medium:Firebrand Pass]
At just a tad over 5200' Marias Pass is one of the lowest passes in the Rocky Mountains.[img:528975:alignleft:small:]
Why the name Red Crow? Jack Holterman, in his book, Place Names of Glacier National Park says, "Evans conferred this name, but whom did he have in mind? Apparently the name was originally applied to the mountain now called Curly Bear or perhaps to Kupunkamint, whereas the present Red Crow Mountain (which overlooks East Glacier) was listed by Schultz under the name of "Bull's Back Fat." If Schultz had given the name "Red Crow", I would think it referred to the son of Lone Walker. But since Evans gave the name, it seems more likely the Red Crow he had in mind was the head chief of the Bloods in whose honor a cairn has been erected near Stand Off, Alberta. This chief was a nephew of Natawista and a brother-in-law of Crowfoot. He remained neutral during the Riel Rebellion
of 1885 and accompanied Father Lacombe and Crowfoot to Qu bec. Red Crow in Blackfoot
is Meki-aisto/Mekaisto (since (m)aisto(wa) is crow or raven.
Red Crow Mountain is only mentioned in passing on page 319 of J. Gordon Edwards, A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park...but I must tell you it is a fun mountain to climb and the views are unsurpassed.
Highway 2 is the ribbon of civilization that cuts through the mountains of Glacier National Park to the north and the Great Bear Wilderness to the south. The scenery alone on both sides of the road on this drive will knock your socks off....if you like mountains!!! You can approach from either West Glacier or East Glacier as the Lubec Trailhead is located in between the towns at mile marker 203. This trailhead is easy to miss if you're driving too fast...it is basically just a pull-out with parking for several cars so slow down at the closest mile marker signs. It also is located next to the train tracks of the Burlington-Northern Railroad which is always something that you have to contend with when climbing these remote mountains in the southern area of the park. Long, slow freight trains are very common in this area. The trailhead is approximately 10 miles west of East Glacier and is located on the right side of the road if you're coming from East Glacier. [img:528977:aligncenter:medium:Burlington-Northern]
As stated above the trail starts at the Lubec Trailhead where you are greeted with stupendous views of Calf Robe, Summit and Little Dog Mountains, from east to west in that order. Calf Robe
is basically right in front of you and has been a recent addition to Summitpost. [img:528980:aligncenter:medium:Calf Robe Mountain....Cougar14
[img:528939:alignleft:small:Park Service Greeting] This sign should put you on your toes....because it is true....the bears are really here! [img:522405:alignright:small:Bear Track within 1/4 mile of Lubec Trailhead]
You proceed from Lubec for 1.4 miles through meadows and scrub pines to intersect the Autumn Creek Trail...which is actually a small segment of the Continental Divide Trail
, proceed east on the Autumn Creek Trail for 1 mile to the intersection of the Firebrand Pass Trail which continues for 2.4 additional miles to Firebrand Pass. It should be noted here that on July 11, 2009 chest-high vegetation crowds the Firebrand Pass Trail in many long stretches and ALSO, as the trail wraps upward and around the flanks of Calf Robe there are still multiple snow hazards on the trail. These aren't life threatening as they are melting..... but should be noted so there are no surprises... as a fall on any of them would certainly bring embarassment and possibly some discomfort. [img:528933:aligncenter:medium:Beargrass]
[img:528941:aligncenter:medium:Lena Lake and the ridge running east to Dancing Lady Mountain
7353' (aka as Squaw) Cougar14
photo][img:528946:aligncenter:medium:Jackstraw Lake below the slopes of Bearhead Mountain 8406'.][img:528950:aligncenter:medium:Looking north, left to right, Rising Wolf Mountain 9513', Mt. Ellsworth 8581', Bearhead Mountain 8406', un-named spires at the end of the ridge from Dancing Lady Mountain, Mt. Henry 8847' is the little bump to the right of the spires. ][img:528967:aligncenter:medium:Looking northwest, left to right, Grizzly Mountain
9067' and Point 8508][img:528969:aligncenter:medium:Looking west, right to left,Grizzly Mountain 9067', Eagle Ribs Mountain 8290', Mt. Despair 8582', and Point 8888. The smaller point in front is un-named and Lost Basin is "lost" behind it. ][img:528971:aligncenter:medium:Looking more towards the west into the Ole Creek Drainage...mountains left to right, Sheep Mountain 8569', Brave Dog Mountain 8446', Point 8888....Cougar14
photo][img:528962:aligncenter:medium:Like an angry wife this view slaps you in the face HARD!!....Zoom of Summit Mountain 8770' and Little Dog Mountain 8610'][img:528959:aligncenter:medium:Looking southwest..ramparts in a fortress wall...left to right...Summit Mountain 8770', Little Dog Mountain 8610', Point 7485, and Elk Mountain
Camping and EquipmentBackcountry camping
is available in the area at Ole Lake in the Ole Creek Drainage southwest of Red Crow.
Also located in the area about 5 miles west of the Lubec Trailhead on Hwy 2 is Summit Campground
There are multiple water sources on these trails....carry your own or bring a filter. Camera, good footwear, hiking poles if you need them and BEAR SPRAY!!! Hike smart....make lots of noise at regular intervals on the trail....don't get yourself or a bear killed!
LinksGlacier National Park
Continental Divide Trail
A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park
Glacier Waterton Lakes National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map