Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,423.00 ft (738.53 m)
Trail type
13.70 mi (22.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail spans nearly 3,100 miles across 5 states from Mexico to Canada, traversing a vast array of different environments and landscapes along the way. The CDT can be completed as a single thru-hike that will take 4 to 6 months, or by section-hiking smaller segments. The Montana-Idaho portion of the CDT features nearly 1,000 miles of diverse mountain terrain. You’ll pass alongside the lofty peaks of the Anaconda, Bitterroot and Beaverhead Mountains; walk through the rugged and remote Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex; and finally arrive at the “Crown of the Continent” that is Glacier National Park. In this guide we’ll take a closer look at Montana-Idaho Section 29.

This section begins from the Going to the Sun Road at the Jackson Glacier Overlook. From here hikers can hitch or ride the seasonal shuttle bus down to Rising Sun or Saint Mary to resupply or spend a night if needed.

The CDT follows the Piegan Pass Trail as it ascends toward the namesake pass. The last mile or so to the pass is quite enjoyable as the trail contours below Cataract Mountain, offering stunning views of the distant Jackson and Blackfoot Glaciers, as well as nearer peaks including Piegan Mountain (9,039’).

From the pass you’ll be met with an absolutely stunning view of a massive wall of mountains to your left, including Mount Gould (9,551’). The views only get better as you descend.

It’s a big descent from Piegan Pass down through the Cataract Creek valley. But again, the views are absolutely jaw-dropping.

You’ll eventually leave the big mountains behind and enter the forest. The official CDT stays above Lake Josephine and Swiftcurrent Lake before dropping down to the Many Glacier Hotel area. You may want to consider taking an alternate route that drops to Grinnell Lake before following the shore of Lake Josephine.

The Many Glacier Campground and Swiftcurrent Motor Inn (with small general store and restaurant) is located just up the road to west from the end of Section 29. This is where most thru-hikers will spend a night and resupply for the final push to Canada.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Impressive mountains all around. Stunning views from Piegan Pass.



Trailhead Elevation

5,323.00 ft (1,622.45 m)

Highest point

7,550.00 ft (2,301.24 m)


Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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