But I didn't get any good photos because I was on the wrong side of the car for the trip to the trailhead we hiked at Glacier National Park. Going-To-The-Sun-Road road was a bucket list item for me and I got to experience it. Possibly best known for the opening credits to The Shining as the road to the Overlook Hotel, it really goes over Logan Pass and connects East Glacier and West Glacier. Someday I will drive it myself at stop at more scenic overlooks, but that proved unnecessary on this trip.
I was glad I wasn't driving though when I got back from a long hike 8,000 feet above sea level and 2,200 feet above the trailhead off Going-To-The-Sun Road. Over the course of 10 miles, I ascended Siyeh Pass near the top of Matahpi Peak.
The path we took up was incredible but not overly difficult. It starts off as a climb through increasingly frequent alpine meadows full of Glacier Lilies separated by beautiful forest with burbling creeks and streams fed by glacier runoff.
Then the path switchbacked up a dry craggy trail in the midst of a boulder field. It was above the timber line and was devoid of most plant life.
Eventually the path cut along a cliff and out onto the highest point with a breathtaking view of the valleys below. But it was at this point that the adventure really began.
Fortunately, we had some time to relax at the top and try to ignore the enormous pile of rocks tourists had used to unsuccessfully try to steal the show from the magnificent unspoiled wilderness.
See that lake? We needed to make it to where Going To The Sun Road passes it. The trail became increasingly difficult on the way down. Snow blockage was present but wasn't too much of an issue except in one place.
This shot shows the only place where snow posed a challenge. There was a place to cross it lower down to reach the trail that was significantly less sketchy but I still wasn't fond of the experience.
The geography on the south side of the mountain was much more conducive to diverse plant life. It was still above the timber line but the scruffy grass and beautiful flowers sprouting out from among moss covered boulders between gushing ice cold streams was possibly one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.
This gave out to dry rocky terrain and grassy slopes depending on where you were in the valley we descended. The diversity in the terrain was incredible! You can just make out the broad expanses of burned land we had to pass through at the end.
Honestly a rather depressing sight. I was fine up until this point but I got pretty badly sunburned by the lack of shade here.
The verdict? The most beautiful place I've ever been by a longshot and easily the most intense hike I've ever done. 11/10 ultimate bucket list item.