|Finding a good hike is as easy as walking out the
door at Rising Wolf Ranch. Many people enjoy walking along the private gravel road that leads
from the highway into the ranch, or exploring along the banks of the river on the property.
But the ranch can also be the starting place for some longer hikes into the surrounding forest
service land and wilderness areas.
Some of our favorite hikes from the ranch include:
Saw Mill Flats
An easy 2 mile hike through meadows and forest takes you to an open field on Forest Service land
suitable for a nice picnic. The river bordering the area runs through a rocky crevice creating
a beautiful water fall effect. There are many scenic views of the Glacier National Park Mountains
on this hike. Beautiful wildflowers carpet the open areas, and you may even find some wild
strawberries, thimbleberries, or huckleberries along the way.
Fence Line Hike
From the ranch, hike a trail that goes up and follows the fence line. This trail is a footpath
worn from the many times the fence has to be repaired. Hikers can start getting an idea of the
vast size of the Rising Wolf Ranch property. There are many beautiful views, and hikers can
see some of the less traveled areas of the ranch.
Summit Trail Head to the Ranch
More experienced hikers will enjoy a one-way hike from Summit Trail Head, West from the ranch
on Route 2. This hike requires a river crossing, so it is best to carry a pair of water shoes.
The first part of the trail can be muddy in early summer. The trail then brings hikers to
Saw Mill Flats (see above,) a good place for a rest or lunch. Travel the trail back from
Saw Mill Flats to the ranch, where you can "set awhile" on the porch and talk about all you have seen.
Ghost House Loop
Start off with a short hike to an old, abandoned cabin, and then continue along the trail for
several views of the property's beautiful river. There are many nice places here to sit on a
log or boulder for a little quiet time. More than half way around the loop, you can see the
old polo fields across the river. Then continue on the loop through the woods and back to the
ranch. This hike is relatively short, but the trail is in the process of being broken and you
make have to search to pick it up again.
Any visitor to the ranch will want to spend some time hiking in Glacier National Park.
Here are some of our favorite hikes in the park.
Two Medicine Hike and Boat Ride
About 30 minutes from the ranch, the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park is one of our
favorite places to hike. This area provides something for hikers at every level. In addition,
a boat tour takes hikers to the far end of Two Medicine Lake which is a good starting point for
- Twin Falls Hike: Kids (and those with less energy) can enjoy the boat ride to the far
end of the lake, then a short (less than 1 mile) hike to Twin Falls. If it's hot, you'll
find it necessary to take off your shoes and step into the pool coming off the falls. This
is an easy, well maintained trail. When your hike is over, it's just a short wait for the
next boat to take you back to the General Store for some shopping and refreshments.
- Loop Hike:
For a longer hike, skip the return boat ride and hike back along this
beautiful lakeside hike. The trail runs completely around the lake. You can just skip
the boat ride altogether and maximize your workout. This trail is moderate with few
changes in elevation.
Scenic Point to East Glacier Lodge
- Upper Two Medicine:
From the boat dock and Twin Falls trail, take the turnoff to the
Upper Two Medicine Lake. Just over 2 miles one way, this trail has an elevation gain of
350 feet. It leads to the beautiful glacier fed lake. You might even see a Moose in one
of the small pools along the way.
This strenuous 10 mile hike is not to be missed by any experienced hikers. The trail head is
just off the road leading to Two Medicine Lake. Hikers start the day off with a 2,350 foot
elevation gain in the first 3 miles. Stopping to rest at Scenic Point, hikers can view the
surrounding country without obstructions. Hikers pass the tree line for an alpine hike across
rocky terrain. Then it's all downhill (mostly) for the remaining 6 miles, as hikers continue
down through several vegetation zones. The trail ends near historic East Glacier Lodge.
Most groups make it to the bar just in time for Happy Hour!
St. Mary and Virginia Falls
The trail head for this hike is just off the "Going to the Sun" road. It is about a 1.5 hour
drive to the starting point, yet it is one of the most popular hikes for guests and their children.
The first portion of the trail passes through a beautiful pine forest, with small springs
and streams. Just as the kids start asking "Are we there yet?", the trail arrives at St. Mary
Falls (less than one mile.) Walking across the bridge, hikers can see the powerful, glacier blue
water falling almost in front of them. Clever parents will actually say this hike has three falls,
as there is a beautiful rocky cascade in between St. Mary and Virginia Falls. After a stop to look
at the cascades and climb some rocks, it's pretty easy to finish off the distance to Virginia Falls.
Hikers can go right to the edge of a pool where the water spills down from a high cliff. The cool
spray from the water is an experience that kids of any age will enjoy.
Visit the parks website for a complete list of hikes:
|| Rising Wolf Ranch
last revision 5/1/2011.|