Columbia Mountain Trail #51 | Columbia Falls, Montana
Columbia Mountain Trail hugs the forested northwestern side of the Swan Mountain Range before climbing to the summit of Columbia Mountain. The summit offers unparalleled views of the Glacier National Park to the north, Great Northern Mountain and the Great Bear Wilderness to the east and the Swan Range to the south. The trail remains a popular trail with locals due to its close proximity to the communities of Columbia Falls and Hungry Horse. This trail is rated difficult and most often traveled as an out-and-back, but can be made into a "loop" hike or used as a connector to the Alpine 7 Trail.
If you do not feel up for the approximately 5 mile trek to the summit there are plenty of rock outcrops along the lower section of the trail that offer views of the Flathead Valley. There are waterfalls located approximately .5 mile, 2.5 miles and 4 miles from the trailhead. The trail is notorious for its wildflower blooms throughout the spring and summer. This is a multi-use trail, so even though you will most likely see hikers expect the occasional mountain biker, equestrian or dirt bike.
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark
To reach the Columbia Mountain Trailhead drive east of Columbia Falls, Montana on U.S. Highway 2. Continue on U.S. Highway 2 through the junction with MT HWY 206, the turn off will be approximately 3.5 miles after junction. Take the first right after House of Mystery. The turn off is an unmarked dirt road. Follow this road south for 0.2 mile until you see the Columbia Mountain Trailhead on your left.
Highlights and Best Features of this Trail
- Waterfalls along route
- Exceptional wildflower variety
- Scenic overlooks
- Access to Alpine 7 Trail
Approximately 5 miles one-way
Trail Vertical Gain or Loss
1,906 foot elevation gain