There’s a reason Montana is called Big Sky Country – I mean… just look at that blue sky there’s really no end to it! We had a beautiful cloudless day to hike Piegan Pass with stellar views every step of the way! From the top of the pass, you’ll see into the Many Glacier region of the park where the red rock begins, (photos below). It can be a through hike like Siyeh Pass, but it’s a bit more problematic because the end of the trail is so far from the beginning.
The trail for Piegan Pass shares the same start as Siyeh Pass, but as it takes you up and over the mountains you finish a good solid hours drive from your car. There is a shuttle system in the park but it doesn’t go to the Many Glacier region, so if you want to hike all the way through you’ll need 2 cars and a really early start!
We only hiked to the pass and back, and I can say that even hiking just the one side it’s still a worthy objective! The view in the above photo is approaching the pass – like I said, awesome views every step of the way!
After you leave the tree line and you’re making your way to the pass, you’ll see Jackson Glacier looking back over the valley! The only time to see this particular glacier without the harsh lighting is super early in the morning. Something about the angle it’s situated makes it difficult to get a good view for most of the day – you’re almost always pointing into the sun.
As you crest over the pass these craggy mountains emerge in all their splendor!
Here’s the view I mentioned earlier looking into the Many Glacier region. The beautiful red rock starts primarily in Many Glacier (check out our adventure to Ptarmigan Tunnel for more stunning red rock) and runs up into Waterton. If you do happen to meander into Waterton on your visit, Red Rock Canyon is a fun place to go. It’s not much in the hiking department but the canyon is really beautiful – be sure to go earlier in the day because it’s crowded!
We went on this hike in late September, and there were still a few snow fields lingering around. It makes for a really dramatic landscape when you have snowfields and fall color at the same time!
This is a slightly closer view of Jackson Glacier – you can see what I mean with the blinding light shining off of it, not great for photography but it’s a nice view none the less!
If you happen to get a later start in the day, (like we often do) you’ll have lots of shaded water to take slow-shutter pics when you get back down to the trailhead!
4 thoughts on “Piegan Pass in Glacier National Park”
When I lived in the south, I drooled for “big sky” again. There’s so many trees I always felt suffocated and claustrophobic. It’s not even that I don’t love and adore trees and appreciate what they are, but sometimes I just wanted to see SKY!
Loved this pics! Thanks so much again for sharing. I love living my Montana dreams through you. I’ll make it up there one day and we’ll hike together!
Yes!!! It would be so much fun to get out in Glacier with you! As a Northerner I can’t imagine living in the South, visiting yes but I’d be miserable w/o the mountains!
As always amazing pictures Kari and that sky…the colors are so saturated, vivid, and lively!
We have amazing blue sky here, but something extra magical happens in the fall and the sky deepens with the ombre effect you see in the first pic!