Piegan Pass (Montana)

Piegan Pass (Montana) in MT, USA


This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars
9 miles
7hours
difficult
Hiking
Summer
US City
User Trevbo
Elevation Gain: 1670 ft to pass

This is a pleasant trail hike in Glacier National Park (Montana) with a few options. The hike to Piegan pass initially follows the same trail as Siyeh Pass. After about an hour there is a trail marker that indicates Piegan Pass is to the left.

Eventually the trail emerges from the forest and far off views of Jackson Glacier appear. The mountain hulking across the valley is Mount Piegan, with its glacier cutting into the mountain about three quarters of the way up. Reaching Piegan Pass, there are nice views into the valley on the opposite side, as well as aqua blue waters of a little alpine pond below. At the pass you should find the rocky foundations of a house that has long since been abandoned - which may provide a nice windbreak on a breezy day! If interested in continuing beyond Piegan Pass, the trail descends to Catarack Creek and continues for another 14.5 kms to the Many Glacier hotel.

If you attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Piegan from the pass, there are game trails that lead up to a saddle not far off from the pass. The game trails may not initially be that clear, but make your way up the broad right shoulder of the mountain and you are sure to intersect one of them. Going up this route leads to a saddle between Mt. Pollock (the peak over to the right) and Mt. Piegan. The peak of Mt. Piegan is not far off, perhaps an hour's scramble off.

It was a smoky, windy day in the summer of 2003 when we did this hike. We were hoping to make it to the summit of Mt. Piegan (indeed we all had summit fever) but the wind was crazy! The views on this hike are awesome, so we weren't too disappointed stopping on the saddle between Mt. Pollock and Mt. Piegan.

Below the saddle, you can see the ‘Going to the Sun' road. To return, we decided to do a loop and made the scramble down the front of the mountain to the road. The way down becomes steep in places, but nothing too hairy. If you do a bit of horizontal route finding, it should be no problem. We more or less kept close to the drainage and saw a funny marmot sunning himself on the way down and a few people in our group almost bumped into a bighorn sheep (with big horns) in the woods near the bottom.

If you choose to go down the front of the mountain to the Going to the Sun Road you need to walk back to the cars at the Siyeh bend - about 20 minutes along the road, including (if memory serves me correctly), a short walk through the tunnel, so watch out for cars.

Directions:

Going To The Sun Road, (Siyeh Bend). At the really, really sharp turn in the road that is the Siyeh Bend, there is parking. There is a small stream on the other side of the road where there are trailhead signs.

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