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CDT: Summit (US-2) to Many Glacier Hotel

Glacier National Park (USA)

The gateway into Glacier National Park as you near the finale of the 3,100-mile CDT.

Hiking Difficult

201 km
5 km
5.1 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
2.3 km
CDT: Summit (US-2) to Many Glacier Hotel Map

For thru-hikers, this segment of the CDT marks an important landmark on the 3,100-mile route: the completion of the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the beginning of Glacier National Park. Considered the third-largest wilderness area in the lower 48, the previous 175+ miles have been rugged, wild, and incredibly remote compared to most of the trail so far. In fact, the only resupply point is the Benchmark Wilderness Ranch, where thru-hikers can mail ahead a 1 cubic foot package to intercept along the way.


The southern terminus for this section is found on US-2 near the Summit Campground. Overnight parking is available, and the trailhead serves as a popular starting point for those planning to section hike the CDT through Glacier. A 14-mile hike kicks things off as you make your way to East Glacier Park Village, a welcoming resupply point for weary thru-hikers. There are no notable places to leave a vehicle, however.

Ahead, the trail meanders its way across Scenic Point, where the views are nothing short of majestic. The Dawson Pass trailhead waits ahead and offers the first glimpse at one of the park's many glacial lakes. As one of the lesser-visited in the park, Two Medicine Lake is sure to impress with its reflective surface, sweeping views, and nearby waterfalls should you have the time to explore.

Moving north, the trail skirts along the aptly-named Red Mountain, a nearly 9,400-foot peak with a reddish hue, while making its way along the eastern slopes of Flinsch Peak, Mount Morgan, and McClintock Peak, among others. In contrast to much of the CDT, the trail chooses to follow the basins and drainages below the peaks rather than summit each one.

Other highlights ahead include Triple Divide Peak, Saint Mary Lake, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, and the oft-photographed, Mount Gould. Popular among mountaineers, the 9,500-foot summit towers high above Lakes Josephine and Swiftcurrent, near where this segment ends at Many Glacier Hotel. Boat rides, abundant hiking trails, and plenty of lodging make it one of the more popular destinations in the park, and the views of Mount Gould reflecting over the lake are a sight to behold.

Of things to note on this segment, water can be found frequently thanks to the abundant glacial lakes and streams throughout the park. That said, there are some discrepancies on the exact route the trail takes to arrive at the hotel. For instance, some sources follow the acclaimed Highline Trail, while the official CDT Map in 2021 sticks to the track you see here. The discrepancies, perhaps, may be a result of an earlier route or more scenic passage through the mountains.

Dogs are also prohibited on trails within the park boundaries, though allowed in campgrounds and picnic areas under certain conditions. Glacier NP's detailed pet policy can be found here.

Sources: https://crownofthecontinent.net/entries/two-medicine-glacier-national-park-montana/de12a301-d6b4-4cd8-8c4b-62c453175916 https://continentaldividetrail.org/



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between May and October


  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Guidebooks in this area