Exploring East Glacier National Park: Two Medicine

Kim Weaver

Posted on August 28 2018

Over the last few weeks Montana has been in fire season again. After a dry lightning storm on August 11th a small part of Glacier National Park was closed and since then we have lost several structures and have been dealing with smoke. For some it may seem like Montana is completely on fire, but the truth is just a small part of our state - and Glacier National Park - is dealing with the wildfires. There are still so many things to explore this season!  

Right now the East side of Glacier National Park is still open and has plenty of places to adventure! Two Medicine is one of our favorites and is accessible from Highway 2 (meaning you can get to it without going on any part of Going to the Sun road). 

two medicine glacier national park

I Looking out over Two Medicine Lake - Life is Better in Glacier Unisex Hoodie - Photo: @nickweaver10

Historically, Two Medicine is one of the oldest parts of the park because of its accessibility. Two Medicine has a campground with 100 sites for $20 a night. The campsite has spaces near the water, in the woods, or in the open - you can find exactly what you are looking for. There is a camp store to buy any last minutes things you may have forgotten. You can also catch a boat ride across Two Medicine Lake and hear all about the history of the east side of the park. 

two medicine glacier national park

 l Map of Two Medicine Hikes in Glacier National Park  - be sure to always check the National Park Service site for updates on trail closures. l 

There are a ton of hike options in the Two Medicine Area, which provides lots of options depending on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a longer hike (potentially staying in the back country) check out Dawson Pass and Pitamakan Pass - you can combine those to do a larger loop through the area. 

There are a few different ways to get to Upper Two Medicine Lake, which is a great destination for a picnic! You can go the south route, which is about 5 miles one way. This route is through the woods for the first two miles then open as you go around the lake and back through the woods to Upper Two Medicine Lake. There are a few steep areas, but a very manageable day hike. 

two medicine south route to upper two medicine lake

l View from the South route to Upper Two Medicine Lake - the smoke was blurring the view a little bit, but still spectacular! l  

You can also get to Upper Two Medicine Lake by going the North route around the lake. This way is a little bit shorter and the trail is flat the majority of the way. You go through the woods for most of the hike, so you don't get the larger views of the lake while you hike, but still wonderful! 

hike to upper two medicine lake

l View from the North trail to Upper Two Medicine Lake l  

The last way you can get to Upper Two Medicine Lake is to take the boat across Two Medicine Lake and do a quick 1.5 miles to the lake. The boat ride is about 45 minutes on the way there, so you'll want to plan for that, and the hike isn't too steep to get to. There are places around the lake to sit and enjoy the view, dip your feet in the water and get a snack. 

Upper Two Medicine Lake

l View from the shore of Upper Two Medicine Lake l  

I ended up spending a few hours at Upper Two Medicine Lake after taking the North route over. I hung my hammock up and enjoyed some reading by the lake. 

Upper Two Medicine Lake

I turned my day into the full loop and came down the South route around the lake on the way back. Also, be sure to stop at Twin Falls, which is on your way up to Two Medicine Lake - you will pass the falls no matter which way you are coming from. The two water falls flow pretty close to each other and there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy a break with a view! 

Twin Falls two medicine lake

l Twin Falls on the way to Upper Two Medicine Lake l 

When planning a trip to the park there are SO many places to explore and choose from. When we are in fire season always check the National Park Service site to make sure the trails you are planning are open and safe. Even though this particular adventure up to Two Medicine was a little smokey there was still plenty to see and do! 

What are your favorite things about Two Medicine?! Let us know in the comments! 



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