Glacier National Park, Part 2: Siyeh Pass (Sept 2017)


Oct 27, 2013
Glacier National Park

Part 2: Siyeh Pass

September 10, 2017

Siyeh Pass turned out to be my favorite hike of the trip due to the solitude and the dramatically different scenery it traverses along the way. When planning the trip, I wasn't sure how we were going to manage the logistics with just one car, since the shuttle schedule posted online indicated that the shuttle stopped operations on the east side of the park after Labor Day. I had planned on parking the car at the ending trailhead and trying to hitchhike to the beginning trailhead. Thankfully, during our stop at the visitor center the previous day we learned that the shuttle was still operating during the shoulder season, just on a limited schedule. We were in business!

Starting from the Piegan Pass Trailhead, looking up at the pass.

The trail started off through the forest,

interspersed with a few meadows along the way. We were passed by a trail runner here, the first of only two people we saw on the trail all day.



I love the cloud shadows on the mountain.

One last flat-ish stretch before the big uphill climb.

Preston Park, absolutely gorgeous. The weather front from the previous evening had cleared away some of the lingering smoke, leaving decent visibility.


Looking back. We ran into the second hiker of the trail around here; he said the pass was windy and he was turning back.

Almost to the top of the pass. There was a stiff breeze, but just enough to be an annoyance as a headwind rather than dangerous gusts that would blow us off our footing. That other guy was missing out.

Looking down at the switchbacks. The view down into the next valley is starting to become visible, plus interesting clouds over the valley too.

Feeling like we're close to the top of the world.

Amazing view. We snacked and admired the scenery for about half an hour, but I could sit here and just stare at it all day.

And a panorama from my phone, because why not? It's worth seeing again.

This hike was brought to you by Oreos, nom nom nom. Hey Oreos, you should sponsor my next trip in return for this sweet product placement! Or maybe just send me a free pack? Anyway, I digress. What was I talking about? Oh yes, glacial valleys.

Looking back whence we had come.

Random pile o' rocks.

Over the pass, starting the descent.

The switchbacks down. Pretty much the whole way from here back to the trailhead was downhill. I'm glad we didn't have to climb up it, but my knees sure ached by the time we were back on flat terrain.

This side of the pass looked like a different world.


We spent some more time just sitting, enjoying being here. After the work it takes to get to a fabulous locale, I like to spend time there appreciating it before racing off to see the next place.


Lithified ripple marks. Can you picture the waves sloshing back and forth?

Stratigraphy close up. For scale, each layer was about a thumbnail in height.

The trail down.

It's amazing how big the glacier seems, but also how much larger it must once have been.

Look at those curves.


Amazing folds.

Looking back at Siyeh Pass, and those gorgeous folds too.

Glacial melt

Slowly getting further away

Ghostly tree carcasses in an old burn zone. Windy here again.

Waterfall close to the lower end of the trail.

And one last look back at the pass.

Then one final section of dead trees, and that was it. Back to camp for a well-earned dinner and some relaxation before our next day of hiking!
Last edited:
Ranks up there as one of the best hikes in Glacier! I think looking down into that drainage to the east from the pass is special because it is a drainage that has no benign access to. I have never seen an account of any one being there. Thanks for mentioning the ghostly trees. The 2015 fire took out a most incredible short windswept forest. The skeletons left behind are special thou in their own right!
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