Friday, July 1, 2016

Glacier National Park Montana Day 3

I debated whether to drive to the Far East side to hike Scenic Point which I knew was in perfect condition or take a chance that the snow slopes were not too bad for the hike to Piegan Pass.  That road to Scenic Point scares me as do snow slopes.  Which is worse?  The drive for Piegan Pass is short, I could wait and go a bit later when I know folks are ahead of me, don't care to be first and alone  to clear the bears away along the early on long forested stretch.  I opted to give Piegen Pass a try knowing I could turn around if the snow slopes got the better of me.
I made the final decision while having coffee on my veranda and taking in the view.
I came to the trail head for Piegan a Pass and there were no vehicles there so I drove the few minutes more up to Logan Pass to hang out for a short bit.  This is what it looks like at 7:45 am before the crazy starts. 
    I checked the view below to see the fog still hanging in there.
The Visitor Center did not open until 9:00am so I ate a banana at my car then went into the washroom.  While I came out there was shouting and running about going on.  Parks People appeared from where I don't know and held everyone back from the grizzly Mom and her cub. I watched for a little while then drove down hill to begin my hike.
There were now four vehicles here and I was happy for that.  The trail starts along the creek.  Then it takes a sharpe turn to the right and the climb through the forest begins.  I was purposely and obviously loud as I made my way.
At the first intersection after about two kilometres, I came upon a Ranger.  His job for the day was checking trail conditions for Piegan Pass and Siyeh Pass and to put up a warning sign.  We ended up hiking together the entire way to Piegan Pass.  This was perfect, he was great company.  

passing through Preston Park which is carpeted with glacier lilies
He had loads of gear to carry, including this red sign and a drill. The sign warns that in fire damaged areas trees can fall, rocks can fall, ground can give way, flash floods can occur.  This was posted at the second intersection where the trail veers off to Siyeh Pass.
Then everything opens up and I could see the trail forever as it traverses the slope.  At this point we already crossed three snow slopes. One is not worth mentioning, the other two I was OK with although I did hold my breath until I got to the other side.  
We arrived at Piegan Pass.  The Ranger stopped here to have a snack and then he was heading back to hike up to Siyeh Pass.   I carried on a bit further.... where I could see more and to capture my destination shot.
   looking down into the valley on the other side of Piegan Pass
    the local marmot 
    The Pass was covered in wild flowers.
Once the marmot had his visit with the cairn then I took my turn.  I also made this spot my dining location.  You can see the snow slopes below my elbow. Keep in mind they are a few kilometres away from where I am. 
    another view of the valley I came up and the slope I traversed
I had Piegan Pass to myself after the Ranger left.  Then it was time for me to leave.  I could see off in the distance people ascending and the Ranger stopping to talk to them.  I am parked center photo at the end of that long thin beige line.
    passing through Preston Park
    Preston Park
I met lots of people coming up now and once again so I thankful for my early start.  Also it was very hot with this being the hottest one yet at 31 Celsius.  I got through the forest section and back to the open part aiming for the creek.
The Ranger told me the beargrass was plentiful this year.     
What a day this was.  It was an experience to share the trail for two hours one in one with the Ranger. We chatted the entire time.  There is so much involved in his day.  He needed to pay attention to announcements in his radio and I felt like I was privy to insider information as I listened also.  This man is living his dream! There is too much info we talked about to share here but I will document it for myself.  What I experienced today will make this a memorable Canada Day celebration!



  1. How cool you saw a bear and cub right away! And so nice you got to hike with the ranger. Your posts are making me want to plan a trip back to Glacier NP.

  2. Another perfect day in your great outdoors. So glad you met the grizzly when others were around.

  3. I used to work for the NPS and it was great. Never worked at Glacier though. Too many scary bears.


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