Hiking to Aster Park Overlook, Two Medicine, Glacier National Park
Aster Park Overlook is a scenic overlook that can be reached by hiking from the Two Medicine parking lot in Glacier National Park. This is a 1.9 mile hike one way, with a 700 foot elevation gain.
You will begin at the South Shore Trailhead which can be found behind the boat tour building. The trail is fairly flat the entire way to the Aster waterfall, which you will pass just before you start going uphill to reach the viewpoint. Click here to read about the hike to Aster Falls.
I found the first part of the hike to be absolutely stunning. You start out going through the trees until the trail opens up into large meadows with ponds to your right and views of the surrounding mountains. Wild flowers bloom and this is a great place to look for moose. (We did not see any.) Early in the day would be your best chance of seeing them.
Then the trail goes back into the woods and you cross a small stream on a wooden bridge just before you reach the turn to your left to Aster Waterfall and Aster Park Viewpoint. To continue straight here would take you to Rockwell Falls or back around to the head of Two Medicine Lake and many other trails.
Once you turn left, it is just a short distance to the trail to your left that leads you down to the waterfall. I would recommend continuing on and knocking out the hike to the viewpoint and visiting the waterfall after so you can relax.
The trail then begins switch backing up the mountain, with very few views until you reach the top. Take a break as you go and enjoy the huckleberries that are found all along this trail.
When you reach the top, you will be greeted with stunning views of Aster Park, as well as Two Medicine Lake:
I overheard many people saying that the hike up was not worth it for the view that you get. It is uphill the entire way once you pass the trail that branches off to the Aster waterfall. But I still think it is worth it. I think that the views of the surrounding mountains and of Two Medicine Lake are absolutely amazing, and a view that you probably will not otherwise get.
Funny story here. We were standing at the viewpoint, about to leave. All of a sudden there was a loud noise a few times that perhaps sounded like a dog. Dogs are not allowed on trails in Glacier National Park, so I knew it wasn’t that. I panicked. There was no one else up there, and there had been no one else on the trail that day. What was that, I asked my husband. He said he didn’t know. We start to head back and I have my can of bear spray out and ready. I start telling my husband how I am going to get on YouTube when we get home and try to brush up on animal noises. I start calling out, “Hey bear! Hey bear!” This is for no good reason, just what I happen to yell to let bears know there are people coming. Just a short distance down we run into two people coming up. I asked them if they had seen anything, and they say no. They asked us where the bear was and I told them we hadn’t seen a bear. She said she had heard us yelling about a bear. I told them that I heard a strange animal noise coming from their direction when we were at the top. The guy says, “Well, I sneezed a few times.” Oh. So that is what that strange noise was. Ok. I felt pretty silly.
Aster Park Viewpoint is a great hike for anyone looking for a short hike that offers pretty views. Enjoy Aster Park and Two Medicine in Glacier National Park in Montana!
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog