|Hiking||7.75 Miles|| 6 Hrs 15 Mns ||2.38 mph|
|2,240 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs Break|
||no linked trail guides|
|This was a hike we had hoped to do on Thursday, the day of our arrival at the Park but the weather did not cooperate. So after checking into the Rising Sun we just goofed around in Many Glacier. We stopped by a meadow on the Many Glacier road to shoot flowers and scenery before heading to the Swiftcurrent Inn area. However, before arriving at the Inn we had to stop and pullover at the Bear Jam where we got out and took some photos of the popular female bear and her 3 cubs as well as a male bear lower on the side of the mountain. |
We did try to hike on the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail but as soon as we put our foot on the trail, the rain started so we decided to opt for sitting it out at the Many Glacier Lodge. We did meet a couple from Houston who would be heading up the Gunsight Trl with an over-nite stay at the Sperry Chalet. We would end up having breakfast with them on our second day as they arrived the day after us.
Here is some video including some bear action: http://youtu.be/d5aBiZAOO5A
Well the weather never did lift so we headed to dinner at my favorite meat place, The Cattle Baron Supper Club . It lived up to its reputation as Ambika and I split a wonderful steak.
Oh ya, now on to the hike. We had a good hearty breakfast at Two Dog Flats before driving up to Siyeh (sigh yee) Bend where the TH was located. Our goal was Preston Park to see the flowers . It was an overcast day with weather that threatened well into the afternoon. We would have to don our rain gear a couple different times coming and going.
The hike starts off with a bang as you hike along the rushing creek that has made its way down from the mountains above. But before you even start, you need to look south to see Mount Jackson and its glacier. The bear grass was bent over from the previous days rain. I also noticed some snow had dusted the tops of the mountains so that was pretty cool.
As you start winding your way up the mountain, you pass through an avalanche area that was created just this spring. It is amazing how the tops of healthy trees have been snapped off. Fortunately the trail crew had done a good job and we didn't have to negotiate over, around or under any dead fall or in this case live-fall. It sure did smell good though. Then you wander into the forest as the trail winds slowly upward. You cross several creeks. Any water that is running madly will have a bridge, oh except for the crossing up higher not too far before you head up to the Pass.
The sun would try to come in and out so that you could see the tops of the mountains. Over to our left was Piegan Mtn with a big long waterfall flowing down its side. As we would get higher, we would see Piegan Glacier. The sun would dance off and on that all day too so it was a challenge to get that perfectly lit shot.
Soon we would come upon one of the few small meadows we would pass along the way. The Indian Paint brush were a bright pink and we also saw lots of bracted lousewort that was toward the end of its blooming stage. And of course, lots of purple/blue daisies/asters. In a little ways we would reach the intersection with the Piegan Pass. We went right and after a couple tenths I was re-reading the directions and just wanted to make sure we were headed the right way so we went back down to the intersection to verify we were headed up the Siyeh Pass trail; which of course we were.
We would soon see, off to our right, a reflecting pond. It was so pretty but I couldn't get a decent reflection of Matahpi Mountain as the angle wasn't right. We hung out here for a couple minutes admiring the different flora and views .
You eventually get to Siyeh Creek which is running pretty wide here. You have to step stone your way across to the other side. We had to decide if we wanted to turn around before the trail started going up too far. Fortunately Ambika said, let's hike for another 15 minutes and grab a lunch spot. What a great decision that was! We started walking up this hill and in a few minutes turned to look back. We were treated to the scene of the hike and a scene I had seen pictures of online.
Before you stretched Preston Park with Siyeh Creek through it and in the distance was the partially snow-covered Reynolds Mountain. It was truly a magnificent scene and moment to behold. And though it was chilly we continued higher where we were treated to some more beautiful flora alongside our trail. Ambika spotted a lunch rock and despite the wind, we added a layer and broke out the sandwich and snacks. What a great place for lunch!
We eyed the saddle above us with great yearning thinking about whether or not we should go that last mile but it was all elevation (though gradual) and we had a big hike the next day so we thot better of it. And you know what they say, "a reason to go back". You can actually do this hike up over the pass and down to Sunrift Gorge (or in reverse) and catch the shuttle back to your car. It's not quite 10 miles total.
It was time to move on so we slowly made our way back down the hill grabbing some more pics of the flora, in particular the blue Gentian. We stopped in a meadow just before crossing the creek for some "wendys" and then continued on our way. The weather would get misty from time to time so we pretty much just headed down the trail... well as much as tibbermode would allow me that is . Some more of the flowers had opened up so that was a nice surprise.
There were still quite a few hikers coming up the trail as we were returning mid-afternoon (for Arizonans that is - since it stays light here until 9:30PM). This hike is pretty coming and going. There was this one flower we that we got the biggest kick out of, I called it "IT" like Cousin It . There were many of these flowers which we believe are actually pasque flowers after they bloom. The ranger on our St Mary hike knew exactly what we were talking about when we described "IT" to her.
By the time we had gotten back to where the Creek runs under the road, the bear grass was now standing upright so of course, more pictures were in order. It was a great hike that I would probably want to do every time I came here just so I could get my wildflower fix. If you go to the Park, this is a pretty easy hike for the whole family. In fact, one family we passed by was carrying their infant in their arms.
I will try to get up a hike description for this hike called Preston Park. We've been back since Aug 9 and I still haven't even had the time to look at the movies I took until I did this trip report and the photos are AWEsome!
Video 1 to the pond below Mt Matahpi: http://youtu.be/AyQAFi12jJc
Video 2 to just across Siyeh Creek below Siyeh Pass and back to the TH at Siyeh Bend:
RW Storm was perplexed as to why my videos weren't recording in larger size. Well the videos were but when I edited them in Premiere and then uploaded to youtube, they loaded as .flv in the smaller size. This time I paid attention so Video 1 is plain .flv and Video 2 is HD. I think there is a difference as you can watch the HD on the full screen.
Here is a short video of the garden at Glacier Park Lodge: http://youtu.be/XFNNCQd3bwg
||Wildflowers Observation Extreme
|For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination. |
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.