• Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1700 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall

A pleasant overnight or a challenging day-hike, Poia Lake offers gorgeous views of the Red Gap Pass. A less-traveled section of Many Glacier with some fantastic scenery.

Located in Many Glacier, the Red Gap Pass trail begins at the Apikuni Falls Trailhead located east of the Many Glacier Lodge (if you're looking to check out the falls before your hike, check out Hike to Apikuni Falls at Glacier National Park). The trail starts at a gradual incline and continue this way along the Swiftcurrent Ridge for the first three miles of the hike. The incline is mild, so it shouldn't be too strenuous for most hikers. At 3.3 miles, a fork in the trail can be seen for the Sherborne Cut-Off Trail, so continue to the left for the campground. After this, Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake can be seen along the right side of the trail. The incline continues for another 1/2 mile, and the trail begins to switchback downward into the valley. After this, the trail opens up into a large boulder field as you approach the lake hidden behind the ridge. 

When arriving to the campground, a food prep area, along with the bear hanging station, is located to the right. There are four campground spots, a pit toilet, and a hitching post for horses. The lake is a short walk down the trail, with multiple outlets towards the water. About 0.2 miles from the campsite, there is a bridge across Kennedy Creek leading to a beautiful waterfall at the end of the lake. From the lake, you have a great view of Apikuni Mountain, Crowfeet Mountain, and the Rep Gap Pass leading towards Elizabeth Lake and the Ptarmigan Tunnel.

On your return towards the trailhead, if you have two vehicles or hitchhike, you can shorten your hike by taking the Sherborne Cut-Off Trail, or what the rangers call "The Luge". The 1.2 mile trail is steep and slippery at times, but can save time and provide some additional entertainment on the return trip. 

Reservations are needed for the Poia Lake Campground. To reserve in advance, visit the GNP Website. Half are reserved for advanced sites, the other half are saved for walk-ups. You can get walk-up permits by visiting any of the six GNP ranger offices within 24 hours of your trip.  

Mileage with Sherbourne Cut-Off Trail Return: 10.9 Miles 

Pack List

  • Overnight Supplies
  • Food Hanging Kit (bear canisters and Ursacks are not preferred by the GNP Rangers)
  • Water Filtration
  • Trekking Poles (especially if you'd like to do The Luge)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Matt Johnson

Executive Director, Solutions Recovery Inc. - Program Director, Recovery In The Wilderness

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

8 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

6 Saves