Marias Pass Cross Country Ski Trails - Glacier National Park
The area surrounding the summit of Marias Pass, locally called Summit, is a popular winter recreation spot for skiers. The conditions may occasionally be very windy, but the snow can still be good here when other areas are not. Parking at the main lot by the monument is usually best although other areas may be blown or plowed free of snow.
Autumn Creek Trail
Autumn Creek is the most popular ski route in this area. The trail starts right at the summit of Marias Pass and crosses the railroad tracks before entering the park. Use caution when crossing this main line; removing skis is a good idea.
Look for the orange markers as you enter the trees as they will mark the trail's location. Turn left at the first trail junction. The first section of the route follows the gradual grade of the trail until you reach the open section below Elk Mountain. The views of the mountains from this opening are spectacular but several avalanche paths cross this area and openings to the south.
If you get off trail, or have to detour past areas blown free of snow, ski to the obvious drainage of Autumn Creek to the west. Here the route follows the right side of the creek. From the start of the creek drainage there are some steep hills and creek crossings which merit caution, especially in icy conditions. The route follows the trail to the railroad tracks again and then follows the steep access road to a pulloff at mile marker 193.8 on U.S. Highway 2.
Beginners may want to just ski the first part of this trail and explore the open areas along the beginning of the trail, especially the Three Bears Lake area.