The place to be. (July 14, 2017)
Visitors to Glacier Park all have lists of things they want to see and do while they are in the park – The lists may vary, but the one thing that appears on almost everyone’s list is a drive up Going to the Sun Highway with a stop at Logan Pass. Consequently, Logan Pass is CRAZY busy during July and August, especially over the past two summers. Here’s proof – I organized a hike for a family reunion last week, and when we reached Logan Pass at 9:15 am the parking lot was full! We (3 vehicles, 11 people) had to circle around for half an hour until everyone found a spot to park. Despite the crowds, Logan Pass is still one of my favorite places in Montana.
Due to varying levels of fitness and enthusiasm, my family group opted to do a short hike to the Hidden Lake Overlook, which everyone seemed to enjoy (3 miles round-trip, warm, but lots of snow). Afterwards a few of us climbed Mount Oberlin, supposedly the easiest peak in the park to climb – 3.5 miles round-trip, 1,500 feet of elevation gain, with some fun class 3 segments. The climb was the perfect way to spend the afternoon – We got away from the crowds, reached the summit in 1.5 hours, and were treated to incredible views of the central part of the park. The views from Logan Pass are great, but it is amazing what another 1,500 feet will get you! We relied on a book called “Climb Glacier National Park” (Volume 1) by Blake Passmore to help us find the best route. There was an obvious climbers’ trail much of the way, but the book came in handy as we climbed from the “Clements Saddle” to the summit. (Photo Tour)
Mt. Pollock – one year earlier.
In July of 2016 a couple friends and I climbed Pollock Mountain on the other side of Going to the Sun Highway. Pollock is higher and much more difficult – about 11 miles round-trip from Siyeh Bend, with 3,280 ft. of elevation gain. For this one we relied HEAVILY on Passmore’s book, opting for what he calls “The Great Cleft Route”. Here is the Pollock Photo Tour, which includes some nice ones of that “cleft” – my favorite part of the climb.
Don’t assume that a great guide book is all you need to get to the top of a mountain in Glacier Park – If you are not an experienced climber/hiker, Glacier Park is not the place to learn! The slopes are steep and the sedimentary rock is not as dependable as the granite of Yosemite.
- Photo Tour of the Oberlin Climb – July 2017
Great views of the Logan Pass area.
- Photos from Mt. Pollock Climb – July 2016
11 miles round-trip from Siyeh Bend.
- Climb Glacier National Park – By Blake Passmore
Four Excellent climbing guides for peaks in the park.
Volume #5 is coming out next spring.
- Interactive Topo Map of the Logan Pass area.
Includes Oberlin and Pollock.
- The Highline Trail.
Also starts from Logan Pass.
Below: This map marks hikes that have been featured on bigskywalker.com so far – Select full screen to expand, zoom in for more detail, or click on a marker for a link to the post.