This is a great trail for hikers to discover Glacier National Park off the beaten path. Tucked along park’s southern border near Essex, this quiet trail to the lookout at the summit of Scalplock Mountain, elevation 6,919 feet, delivers visitors to unique views from an uncommon vantage point.
Looking northward from the summit on a clear day, hikers can see Harrison Glacier on Mount Jackson’s southern face and the striking, jagged Mount Saint Nicolas. Up Park Creek Valley to the east, Salvage Mountain, Church Butte, and Two Medicine Pass are visible. The Great Bear Wilderness abuts U.S. Highway 2 and the Middle Fork Flathead River to the south.
With 3,000 feet of elevation gain over 4.7 miles, the Scalplock Lookout trail is consistently steep, but the bushes lining the path are thick with thimbleberries and huckleberries, making the climb delicious. Tree coverage prevents 360-degree views during the majority of the hike, but before the final push, the path cuts along an open ridge that provides views of Stanton Glacier, which sits on the backside of Great Northern Mountain.
The trailhead is at the Walton Ranger Station.