Siyeh Bend ~ Sunrift Gorge Trail

Logan Pass opened on July 13, 2011.
Siyeh Bend ~ Sunrift Gorge Trail opened sometime in mid August of 2011.

Siyeh Pass is the highest of the front country trail passes at 8,080 feet.
This is not a casual spur of the moment hike!
At Siyeh Pass it is windy! You will need a hat that won't blow off your head. Plenty of water and strong knees!
Siyeh Bend to Siyeh Pass is clear of snow except for one small snow field about 1/4 mile after the trail head at Siyeh Bend. This is a bear grass wildflower bloom year for Siyeh Pass Trail. After Siyeh Pass there are numerous snow fileds to cross going down to Sunrift Gorge as of July 31, 2012. There is also a bear frequenting notice once you enter the forest above Sunrift Gorge.

Major avalanche during this past winter at Siyeh Bend. Dozens of trees broken by the avalanche along with trail signs. The trail along the creek which would normally be clear of snow is under ten feet and more of snow. Siyeh Creek is still melting's it's way through the avalanche. Siyeh Bend parking 'improvements' are finished and parking spaces have been greatly reduced.

NPS Trail Crew Report: 2012
Sun road at Siyeh Bend to Preston Park/ 2.7 m Trail is clear except for one low angle, icy snow field covering about 20 ft. of trail at trail head 7/27/2012
Preston Park Jct. to Siyeh Pass/ 2.0 mi.Trail is free of snow 7/27/12
Sun Road at Siyeh Bend to Preston Park ~ 2.7 mi. Initial clearing scheduled for: Winter status. Clearing of downfall will begin in July 2012

  • Siyeh Bend/SunRift Gorge
    Historically this trail doesn't open until late July.
    This is a great view hike.
    Open full length 2012 Unknown
    Open full length mid August 2011
    10.3 miles gains 2,250 feet drops 3,440 feet
    It's worth the effort!
    This is the highest day hike pass in Glacier Park.
    Views of Sexton Glacier and Piegan Glacier from this trail.
    Trailhead elevation 5850 feet
    Siyeh Pass elevation 8080 feet
    Sunrift Gorge elevation 4760 feet
    Off trail access to the base of Sexton Glacier.
    Strenuous hike

Siyeh Pass Trail at Baring Creek © Nathalie Coggins

Parking is limited at Siyeh Bend and at Sunrift Gorge so the earlier you get a start and a parking space the better. From July 8 to August 3 everyday except Wednesday and Saturday there is a free Ranger led hike starting at 9 am at Siyeh Bend.

This is a good trail to use the free park shuttle. Shuttle stop at both ends of the trail.
This trail passes through Preston Park which is an sub-alpine meadow which frequently boasts a colorful wildflower display. When the wildflower will bloom is always the question.

It's not a good idea to make long range plans for this trail being open before mid July.
I've never done the ranger led hike on this trail and am usually able to say hi to the ranger and get out onto the trail before the group coalesces. I'm guessing that the early July hikes only go as far as Preston Park.

This is an easily accessible hike. Parking can be at a premium at Siyeh Bend. There is a narrow spot on this trail at Siyeh Pass. Frequently the complete trail to Sunrift Gorge won't open until mid July because of snow at the pass. This is one of the best trails to hike when you have a lot of time as the views and potentially the flowers can be very dramatic. This is a strenuous hike. I hike it from Siyeh Bend to Sunrift Gorge my kids always hike it from Sunrift Gorge to Siyeh Bend. For me the hike would be difficult from Sunrift as it has another 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
Siyeh Bed Trail starts at Siyeh Bend on the right side of the creek. The trail follows along the shore of Siyeh Creek and then turns to the right and heads into the forest. This stub trail continues for 1.2 miles until it comes to a 'T' intersection with the Piegan Pass Trail. Take a left at the trail sign onto the Piegan Pass Trail. At this point you will be 1.5 miles from the intersection with the Siyeh Pass Trail. The Piegan Pass Trail soon rises from the forest into the meadow called Preston Park. If your lucky it will be in bloom. Multiple creek crossings one of which crosses over Siyeh Creek. This crossing unlike all the earlier ones is about 3 feet above the creek bed and a plank bridge not a log bridge. At this point you will be a short distance from the intersection of Piegan Pass Trail and Siyeh Pass Trail. The trail intersection is 2 miles from Siyeh Pass and 7.6 miles from Going To The Sun Road at Sunrift Gorge. The trail going up to Siyeh Pass quickly leaves Preston Park and turns into a series of switchbacks up a scree slope. The view below of The Piegan Pass Trail is a short walk past the intersection with the Siyeh Pass Trail and if you are not going to get the chance to actually hike up to Piegan Pass it it worth a short detour. It is about a 10 minutes detour which will also give you a better view of Piegan Glacier across the valley.

piegan pass trail glacier national park

Once you are up the scree slope you will come to a narrow path and Siyeh Pass. Boulder Creek flows into Lake Sherburne (reservoir) in Many Glacier. On a clear day you will able to see out of Glacier National Park towards the small town of Babb, Montana. The Siyeh Pass Trail remains above the tree line for a short time and then starts it's steep descent towards Sunrift Gorge. Sexton Glacier will eventually be visible on the right side of the trail tucked under Matahpi Peak.

Boulder Creek from Siyeh Pass © Nathalie Coggins www.glacierhikers.com

Sexton Glacier melt water feeds Baring Creek and it's numerous waterfalls. The trail down from Siyeh Pass to Sunrift Gorge is why I hike with two poles! Do your knees a favor and take frequent breaks on this decent and turn around to look at the view up the trail towards Siyeh Pass. No is about the time that you wished you had brought a water filter. While the start in the end of this trek are through forests the majority of this hike is exposed. Bring extra water or a filter at hat and a windbreaker.

going-to-the-sun-mountain © nathalie coggins www.glacierhikers.com