Chief Mountain Highway in Waterton National Park

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Chief Mountain Highway

A journey down Chief Mountain Highway, in between Glacier and Waterton parks, is a scenic experience in and of itself, as you thread your way amidst prairies, mountains ranges, and wetlands.

  • Chief Mountain Highway is a 29-mile scenic entrance road connecting Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • Beginning 13 miles north of St. Mary, the highway takes approximately one hour to travel.
  • This gorgeous route features a range of scenery, including prairies, wetlands, and breathtaking peaks and valleys.  

Overview

Chief Mountain Highway is the premiere, scenic entrance road connecting Glacier National Park and Waterton National Park. This gorgeous route begins just north of Babb, Montana, 13 miles north of St. Mary in east Glacier. The highway travels northwest, through Blackfeet territory, into the northeastern tip of Glacier, and over the international border between the US and Canada, where it becomes Provincial Route 6 and continues until intersecting Canada’s Highway 5, at the east edge of Waterton Park. Experience stupendous views of Blakiston Valley and Waterton Valley, grasslands, Maskinonge Lake, and more.

*Note: Chief Mountain Highway is open from May 15 – September 30. From October 1 – May 14, the road closes at Belly River Bridge.

Driving Directions

From St. Mary, in east Glacier, travel 13 miles north on US89 before turning left onto Chief Mountain International Highway (MT-17). The highway entails 29 miles of a diverse range of unparalleled scenic beauty and terminates at its intersection with Canada Highway 5, at the eastern entrance of Waterton Lakes National Park.

Time/Distance

Chief Mountain Highway is approximately 30 miles in length. Driving time from St. Mary to the highway’s end is roughly one hour, not including stops.

Highlights

  • Enjoy pastoral views of the Blackfeet Reservation’s prairie grasslands.
  • See the protruding peaks of Chief Mountain and Sentinel Mountain, located to your west as you drive north.
  • Spend the night at the Belly River Campground, located just off Chief Mountain Highway, 16 miles from Waterton Townsite.
  • Spot birds of prey soaring over the prairies, moose in the wetland areas, deer, antelope and the occasional black bear and Grizzly amidst the mountain slopes.
  • Stop for panoramic photos in the Waterton and Blakiston valleys.

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