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The Skyline Experience: Many Glacier to Siyeh Bend

Browning, Montana

Details

Distance

17.7 miles

Elevation Gain

5000 ft

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Description

Added by Josh Osborne

This challenging thru-hike travels over four peaks, providing incredible views onto Cracker Lake and into the heart of Glacier National Park.

When I completed this hike, we travelled over Logan Pass from the west side of the park and left a vehicle at Siyeh Bend. We then received a ride to Many Glacier, where we began the hike.

Starting from the Many Glacier Hotel parking lot, you will begin walking on the Cracker Lake trail. This trail travels through a lush forest for several miles, meandering past Cracker Flats and along the west end of Lake Sherburne.

Several miles later, as you begin walking up the valley towards Cracker Lake, you will cross Canyon Creek on a narrow log bridge. This is the end of the cleared trail for you, and you will see a small creek just past the far end of the bridge. Depending on the volume of water coming down, you may be able to climb up the creekbed itself for a distance. If there is too much water, then cross and bushwhack up the hillside just north of the bed. The goal from here is to pass the treeline and reach the long ridge extending from Mount Wynn, taking you to the summit of the mountain. Be careful, as the steep scramble above the treeline covers extensive scree fields, and you can easily begin sliding back down.

Once you reach the summit of Mount Wynn, take a break and enjoy the view over the Swiftcurrent Valley, as well as south towards Cracker Lake and the surrounding peaks. The largest peak towering over Cracker Lake is Mount Siyeh, standing at 10,014 feet, and is the final destination. The ridge leading south from Mount Wynn is the route to take, and you will see a clear game trail leading across. The large red rock formation that is Peak 9190 is the next obstacle on the ridge, and though it may look daunting initially, it is an easy climb. From there, continue following the ridge up and over Cracker Peak, taking time to enjoy the beautiful views along the way. When descending from Cracker Peak to begin the final ascent up Siyeh, be careful as the notch between the two mountains can act as a channel for the wind, and large gusts may take you by surprise. 

Once you near the summit of Mount Siyeh, you may begin looking for an easy route up on the east side. Rather than attempting any of these, as I did, continue walking around the southernmost end of the summit, where you will find an easy walk up. At the summit of Mount Siyeh, you will stand above the largest sheer cliff face in the lower 48 states, which stands over 4,000 feet high.

When you finish enjoying the incredible views from the summit of Mount Siyeh, you may begin your descent to Preston Park and out to Siyeh Bend. Begin walking down the path you ascended on, but continue south, traveling down the mountain. You will see cairns marking the path down, so if you follow these, you will make a safe descent. From the base of the mountain, we followed a creek until the trail crossed, and from there it is an easy walk out to Siyeh Bend, where your vehicle awaits if you left it there in the morning.

*This hike makes for a long day, and you may spend some time hiking through Preston Park in the dark. If this is the case, as it was for us, be sure to make noise when walking through the forest to ward off any nearby bears.

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Nearby

Hike the Skyline Experience

Cracker Lake

Kayak Swiftcurrent Lake

Walk the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail, Glacier National Park

Hike to Grinnell Lake

Grinnell Glacier in Glacier NP