Hike the Skyline Experience

Rate this Adventure Montana Cracker Lake Trailhead

Added by Alec Fotsch

This route summits 4 mountains including Mount Siyeh. It includes a 5 mile ridge hike/climb that has absolutely views of Glacier. 

The route starts from Many Glacier at the Cracker Lake Trailhead, about 5000 feet. Hike the trail about 2 miles until you come to a fork, stay right here to keep your approach hike a little shorter. Hikers wind through switchbacks and beautiful meadows and forests on the way to a crossing of Cracker Creek.  Cross the Creek on a log bridge and look left up mountain. You will see a creek bed that heads directly up Wynn Mountain which is about 3000 feet above. Follow this creek bed an be cautious of slick rocks. If the rocks are too slick or the water too high, another option is bushwhacking up next to the creek. Eventually the creek will fork, stay left and continue up to the cliffs above. When you find yourself in an open meadow staring at exposed cliffs work to the right (south) and up large gully, the goal is to go around the cliffs and end up on the ridge about them. The way to the ridge has tons of tiring scree you'll have to push through. Once you are on top of the ridge, continue up to the first summit of they day at about 8500 feet. The next 5 miles are the some of the most spectacular views imaginable as rows of wind swept mountains appear in every direction as far as you can see.

From Wynn Mountain head south along the ridge towards the next peak creatively named 9190 for its peak elevation. There is a game trail that takes you most of the 2 miles to the next climb.  The climb up 9190 has the most technical and exposused climbing of the 4 peaks. Follow a climbers trail up that works its way a bit south and pick your way up this fun class 3 climb.  Top out and enjoy magnificent views of Cracker Lake in the valley below, Cracker Peak to the south west and Mount Siyeh just past Cracker Peak

From 9190 to Cracker Peak is straightforward but can be tiring. It's a long slog to Cracker Peak via the fairly obvious ridge route.   Work your way across the ridge and up to Cracker Peak. The summit route has lots of loose rock so be careful not to climb below your partner. The climbing is also less exposed and very fun as the rock gets more solid half way up.  Top out and look around because it is gorgeous up here. Only one peak left. 

Siyeh is the final destination before descent.  Again work your way along the ridge, you may need to descend a little to find a safe trail to Siyeh.  The climb to Siyeh is similar to that of Cracker Peak, just keep along the ridge and work your way up.  Towards the top you will come across a few more exposed sections.  All have plenty of holds and can easily be claimed by anyone who can climb 5.5 in a gym.  The last portion to the summit is about 15 to 20 feet of ultra fun stem climbing.  Go up and let the view at 10,014 feet take your breathe away.

The descent to Siyeh Bend is now the only thing separating you from a cold beer and hot meal. It is about 5.5 miles and 5000 feet to the trailhead.  Head west down the ridge following carens and the climbers trail. You will have to traverse past the permanent snow field before you descend below the ridge.  Drop down the ridge and again follow the climbers trail. Eventually you will be on top of a class 3 cliff system. An hour or so of down climbing fairly safe rock will get you to the scree tongue in the valley below. Be observant when route finding in this area, look for signs of past climbers routes and try to follow them for the easiest way down.  Once you reach the valley, follow the small creek bed that lies to the west (right) of the scree tongue. This will lead you to an unmarked but very obvious trail that after about 15 minutes dead ends into siyeh pass trail. Head west (right) and follow signs to Siyeh Bend.  3.5 miles will put you at Siyeh Bend shuttle stop. 

This climb took me and my partner 11.5 hours of constant motion. We left at 5:00am to ensure our descent was in the daylight.  Be sure to wear a helmet the entire time you are off trail as other climbers could easily knock rocks down mountain.  This is a route that should be respected and planned for with special care given to weather. 

Pack List

Need to Have

  • Water (I recommend 5L.  My partner finished 3L by the time we hit the 9190 summit and had to share my water the next 5 hours.)
  • Calories
  • Helmet
  • Cold weather protection(even in a warm day the summit can be cold)
  • Rain Protection
  • Sun Protection
  • Bear Spray

Highly Recommended

  • A partner, don't climb alone
  • Scree Gaiters 
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Trekking Poles
  • Ice axe (early season) 
  • Crampons (early season)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



16 Miles

Elev. Gain:

6500 Feet



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Added by Alec Fotsch

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