Siyh Pass with views all the way to the Great Plains
We took a day hike to Siyeh Pass in Glacier last Saturday. Summer is coming to a close and we’re trying to get in some of those high country hikes before the snow flies and makes the higher elevations inaccessible. I was familiar with the first leg of the trail, as we had been to Piegan Pass in the summer of 2007 right before my parents visit. The trail starts out relatively easy as it follows Siyeh Creek. Then it turns into forests and meadows abundant with wildflowers. We snacked on huckleberries and played leap frog with most of the other hikers as they stopped, we stopped, and so on. The trail splits at 2.7 miles, left to Piegan and the right to Siyeh. After taking the fork in the trail to Siyeh, we continued to hike through beautiful valleys surrounded by cliffs. The trail climbed, got rocky, and became moderately strenuous. I was climbing switchbacks of loose scree with a 14 lb backpack and wondering why I torture myself. What am I complaining about? I just met a 9 year old girl, at Camp Misery, that packed 20 lbs to camp out in the wilderness of Jewel Basin! David and I often read each other’s mind and as I was contemplating my choice of Saturday fun, he quipped that a treadmill may be the preferred choice of exercise for some, as opposed to climbing mountains.
We plodded on following the trail in the barren alpine landscape and finally I saw it…my reward! A grin came over my face as I spotted the first glimpse of the awesome sight beyond. A little bit farther and I had the great feeling of seeing Boulder Creek Valley with its rugged mountains and sweeping vistas that spread all the way to The Great Plains. After a lunch of summer sausage, cheese, crackers, and flax snacks, we headed back down the trail.
The round trip was a little under 10 miles with an elevation gain of about 2,240 feet. I’m glad the way back was uneventful as I didn’t feel like getting charged by a bear that day. As for hiking, I’ll accept the challenge again. The scenery from a treadmill just doesn’t cut it.