Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

A place to talk about Glacier in general, if you have something that is political, please post it in the "Politics" section of the chat system.

Moderators: Tara, Kathy

Catmorell
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Gender?: Female
Please add the numbers(11): 11

Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by Catmorell »

Hi. I will be trekking doing day hikes from West Glacier from Sunday the 3rd through Wednesday the 7th. I have never been to GNP before and am learning that the distances are great when driving to trail heads. I have researched the best trails from and near Logan Pass but would like some input. Firstly, I was going to take guided trek with Glacier Guides through Firebrand Pass at the south end of the park. One of the staff at the park said that that trail is very "dry" during this time of year, which to me is code for "don't bother it isn't a good trail right now." Would anyone concur? Instead I would replace this trek going alone to Siyeh Pass Loop Trail. Is this a much better option? The other days I will be doing the Highline, Avalanche Creek, and possibly Hidden Lake as those trails keep coming up as the best for that area without terrible driving time involved. Any input on better options would be great. Also, if anyone needs a hiking partner for the 3rd through the 7th please let me know.

PeteE
Posts: 3127
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Gender?: Male
Please add the numbers(11): 11
Location: Kalispell Montana
Contact:

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by PeteE »

Catmorell wrote:Hi. I will be trekking doing day hikes from West Glacier from Sunday the 3rd through Wednesday the 7th. I have never been to GNP before and am learning that the distances are great when driving to trail heads. I have researched the best trails from and near Logan Pass but would like some input. Firstly, I was going to take guided trek with Glacier Guides through Firebrand Pass at the south end of the park. One of the staff at the park said that that trail is very "dry" during this time of year, which to me is code for "don't bother it isn't a good trail right now."
I think they may have meant "dry" referring to available water along the trail, but that's a guess on my part.
Would anyone concur?
Instead I would replace this trek going alone to Siyeh Pass Loop Trail. Is this a much better option?
I have not done Firebrand Pass but heard it's a nice hike. That said, Siyeh Pass is one of Glacier's iconic and most popular day hikes. Also one of my personal favorites. I'd do Siyeh but I'm biased. Siyeh might present a shuttle problem. Check on shuttle service.
The other days I will be doing the Highline, Avalanche Creek, and possibly Hidden Lake as those trails keep coming up as the best for that area without terrible driving time involved.
The Highline and Hidden Lake are good choices too. The Highline will have a shuttle issue too as you finish at The Loop. Check on shuttle service.
Any input on better options would be great. Also, if anyone needs a hiking partner for the 3rd through the 7th please let me know.

There will be lots of people on all those trails except Firebrand(which you are doing as a group) I wouldn't worry about being alone if you can't find a partner. Same with the Siyeh Pass hike. The good news is everyone has the same shuttle problem. So getting a ride usually isn't that big of a problem.
I hear you about driving times, but the better hiking right now is on the East side. I would drop Avalanche Lake and drive to Many Glacier/Swiftcurrent and do Iceberg lake, or maybe Cracker Lake. It'll be about 2 hours but well worth the drive. I have driven from my apartment in Whitefish to Swiftcurrent many times to day hike--2 1/2 hours. It's not like it's a horrible drive, especially if you are new here. 8)

pete

My 2 cents
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

George Carlin

toddnick
Donator
Donator
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:52 am
Please add the numbers(11): 0
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by toddnick »

I did Firebrand once and am planning on doing it again on 9/6...

Really nice hike, especially the last few miles...

But Siyeh Pass Loop is an amazing hike, I'm doing it again for the fourth time on 9/4...

If the shuttle is running this would be my choice...park at Sunrift Gorge, shuttle to Siyeh Bend and hike back to your car...it is 10.5 miles and about 6 or 7 of them are among the finest in the Park...

llholmes1948
Donator
Donator
Posts: 5136
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 8:48 pm
Please add the numbers(11): 0
Location: Maine

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by llholmes1948 »

I agree with Pete and Toddnick. Give Siyeh Pass high consideration. In addition, since you are going to be on the west side you might consider Apgar Lookout although I don't know how the view would be with the smoke. You could consider doing Apgar Lookout early in the day and Avalanche Lake later in the same day since they are not long hikes.

I also think you are too concerned about the driving distances. Since this is your first trip to the Park I suggest that you drive to Many Glacier just to get a good orientation to the Park and you can do Iceberg Lake then as Pete suggests. It might make for a long day but it would be a great one.

Hope you have a great trip and please post a report of your trip.

Lyman

Catmorell
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Gender?: Female
Please add the numbers(11): 11

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by Catmorell »

Great suggestions. Thanks to all of you. It sounds like I should drop Firebrand Pass (unless someone REALLY sells it) and use that extra day to do Iceberg Lake. How long does it take to do the Iceberg Lake Trail? Also, is this the "best" trek from Many Glacier? How does it compare to Grinnell, which I have heard is also great?

And Toddnick, it is possible I may do Siyeh Pass on the 4th if you want a partner. I was planning on taking a ranger led hike that day on the Highline Trail. It would be the only ranger led hike I do. I don't know if it will be worth it as I probably move at a quicker pace than the average trekker. Also, I don't know how many people show up for those hikes. I heard that the crowds thin out next week due to school starting so maybe there won't be that many people. If I decide not to go let me know if you want a buddy for the 4th on Siyeh. You can facebook friend me at "Catherine Diane Morell" so we can stay in touch.

toddnick
Donator
Donator
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:52 am
Please add the numbers(11): 0
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by toddnick »

Catherine,

I find ranger led hikes to be very slow (Highline is a great trail though); guessing that Labor day weekend there will be plenty of people at Logan Pass...

I will be catching the first shuttle from Sunrift Gorge to Siyeh Bend on 9/4...it leaves St. Mary at 7am; and should pickup at Sunrift Gorge around 7:15-7:20am...and arrive at Siyeh Bend trailhead at 7:30-7:40am...

I move along pretty well on trail and always welcome hiking partners...

Feel free to join me...

Todd

Catmorell
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Gender?: Female
Please add the numbers(11): 11

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by Catmorell »

Todd,

Yeah I will probably skip the ranger led hike. I just thought it might be cool to listen to some history along the way but probably not worth the slowness. I will look for you on the 4th!

Catherine

toddnick
Donator
Donator
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:52 am
Please add the numbers(11): 0
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by toddnick »

Regarding Many Glacier hikes...

I have done them all many times; I generally stay at Many Glacier for about 70% of my vacation and will be based there 11 of my 16 nights this year...

A reasonable argument could be made that any of the following is the best Many Glacier hike...

Grinnell Glacier
Ptarmigan Tunnel
Iceberg Lake
Cracker Lake

They are all excellent options...for a first timer, I'd do Grinnell Glacier or Iceberg Lake....I'd give a very slight edge to Grinnell Glacier...

al_in_al
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:13 am
Gender?: Female
Please add the numbers(11): 11

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by al_in_al »

Catmorell wrote:Great suggestions. Thanks to all of you. It sounds like I should drop Firebrand Pass (unless someone REALLY sells it) and use that extra day to do Iceberg Lake. How long does it take to do the Iceberg Lake Trail? Also, is this the "best" trek from Many Glacier? How does it compare to Grinnell, which I have heard is also great?
IMO, Grinnell Glacier is the "best" trail from Many Glacier (and possibly best in the park for the effort required). I find it much more scenic than Iceberg Lake, which is still a great hike.

I haven't done Firebrand Pass yet, so I can't sell it (but I've definitely heard good things about the hike, and it's very uncrowded). But from your original post, when someone said it was a "dry" trail - that could mean two things to me - 1) there isn't any available water on the trail (to filter if you run out), so take enough with you to get you through the hike, or 2) there hasn't been much rain, so the vegetation is dry and dusty (this was true of all the trails when I was there in late July). Neither of those would steer me away from doing it as a day hike.

PeteE
Posts: 3127
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Gender?: Male
Please add the numbers(11): 11
Location: Kalispell Montana
Contact:

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by PeteE »

Toddnick wrote:I move along pretty well on trail and always welcome hiking partners...
LOL!
Hey Catherine! Yeah, Todd moves along pretty well alright.
Seriously, Todd is a lot of fun to hike with.

If I can sneak away from work, would it be OK if I joined y'all for the Siyeh Pass hike?
I move along alright for a geezer 8) I've done Siyeh Pass many times as it's maybe my all time favorite day hike.
I can drive you to Siyeh Bend and back to Apgar when we finish since I live in Whitefish.
With Todd's car available we won't have to use the shuttle.

I believe Todd will agree that an early start is desirable.
There's no such thing as too early for me so I'll let you two decide about times.

cheers

pete :wink:

PS
I agree with Todd and Al_in_Al and Todd. You seem a strong hiker so Grinnell would be my choice as well

Looking down Boulder Creek drainage from the high point of the Siyeh pass hike.
click thumbnails
Image

Looking down the Baring Creek drainage on the way down to where you finish at Sunrift Gorge.
No worries, the snow is gone from the trail.
Image

We might want to do a side trip to get a better look at Sexton Glacier shown here in the far background just right of my face. It's off trail but not difficult.
Image
Last edited by PeteE on Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

George Carlin

toddnick
Donator
Donator
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:52 am
Please add the numbers(11): 0
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by toddnick »

Pete,

You are welcome on any of my hikes, of course.

I didn't even think about the fact that with two cars, no need to depend on the shuttle (which is nice because it is unlikely, but possible, that the first shuttle will be full when it gets to Sunrift Gorge)...

I'd still recommend meeting at 7am at Sunrift Gorge, just in case somebody can't make it, the shuttle coming will still be an option...

I'll be coming from Many Glacier (the other direction)...

PeteE
Posts: 3127
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Gender?: Male
Please add the numbers(11): 11
Location: Kalispell Montana
Contact:

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by PeteE »

toddnick wrote:Pete,

You are welcome on any of my hikes, of course.

I didn't even think about the fact that with two cars, no need to depend on the shuttle (which is nice because it is unlikely, but possible, that the first shuttle will be full when it gets to Sunrift Gorge)...

I'd still recommend meeting at 7am at Sunrift Gorge, just in case somebody can't make it, the shuttle coming will still be an option...

I'll be coming from Many Glacier (the other direction)...
Sounds good Todd! Thanks.
Now we just have to see if Catherine likes how were planning her day! :)
Meeting at 0700 at Sunrift will require me picking Catherine up at around 0530 in Apgar...if that's where you're staying Catherine.
The drive to Logan Pass will take 50-60 minutes, then another 20-25 to Sunrift Gorge.
So you need to think about breakfast that morning Catherine....assuming all this planning is acceptable to you. OK?

pete :wink:
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

George Carlin

User avatar
paul
Donator
Donator
Posts: 1389
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:42 pm
Gender?: Male
Please add the numbers(11): 11
Location: MA

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by paul »

I did Firebrand pass this last trip. There are nice views at the pass. Normally I wouldn't expect to see many people on this kind of hike because it's not that well known of an area. However, the glacier institute had a group of about 12 people up there when I hiked it.

I would agree with others that Siyeh pass would be a better option than FireBrand pass. There will be more people there, but it's one of the best dayhikes in the park.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

Catmorell
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Gender?: Female
Please add the numbers(11): 11

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by Catmorell »

Ha! Yeah thanks for planning Pete and Todd. LOL If I don't have to drive I am IN! I am staying at the Belton Chalet. Will be easy to meet you at the Apgar entrance on the 4th at 5:30 am! You can drive and I will sit back and enjoy the views....if I understand the plans correctly!

So now that Monday is all figured out, I am still thinking about the other days. Firebrand Pass on Sunday with Glacier Guides is still not sounding very appealing. If the only good "views" are from the pass then it doesn't seem worth the long day. I may use Sunday instead to do either Hidden Lake, Avalanche Creek or the Highline. Hidden Lake and Avalanche Creek are a bit too close to the fire and so I am worried about visibility. Also, it is still the weekend and I know those trails may be crowded. The Highline will be crowded too on Sunday, but I have to do that trail as it is considered one of the best in the park, and the smoke should not affect it. I don't want to do any major driving on Sunday (as in going to Many Glacier) as I arrive technically at 3 am my time Sunday morning. Will be sleeping as best I can and getting only a few hours sleep that night before getting up to do my first day's trek in the park. Don't want to push it by driving 2.5 hours Sunday. So Sunday is still up in the air.

Monday is all set!

Tuesday can be for one of the hikes I don't do on Sunday (either Hidden Lake, Avalanche Trail, or Highline).

Wednesday, my last day I will spend the time to drive to Many Glacier to do Grinnell.

How does this sound peeps!? Thoughts and suggestions very welcome!

Catmorell
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Gender?: Female
Please add the numbers(11): 11

Re: Best trails near Logans Pass and Trekking Buddies

Post by Catmorell »

And if anyone thinks I am overly concerned about smoke and visibility please let me know. I mean I heard they are even closing the McDonald lodge early due to smoke issues. I am flying from North Carolina and I want to make each day count.

Post Reply