Siyeh Bend to Logan Pass (Montana)

DISTANCE (round-trip)

95 mi (152km)

DIFFICULTY

TIME

4-6 days

ALTERNATIVE TO

Going-To-the-Sun-Road

SOLITUDE

The Crown of the Continent

Glacier National Park is the center of the largest pristine ecosystem in the lower 48, it is so large it even encompasses parts of Canada. This large swath of preserved landscape is still home to 100% of the species that existed in North America before the arrival of Europeans.

If you are interested in experiencing rivers with arctic grayling, fields of Elk and Mule Deer, and of course, Grizzly Bears, then this is the park for you.


The best backpacking route through the wilderness of this beautiful area is called The Siyeh Bend to Lake Mcdonald trek. It's over 90 miles long and is for experienced backpackers only.

Hike through valleys, prairies, mountains, and tundra, taking in breathtaking views and absorbing some of the cleanest and purest air on the planet. The water quality is also incredible, receiving Montana’s highest standard; the high altitude lakes are considered pristine.


The first leg is a 69 mile loop of the northern half of the park. This hike takes you to the Fifty Mountains area, be careful, lots of bears call this area home.

The trail meanders through valleys and cuts across the mountains, making the hiking relatively straightforward. Enjoy the pristine lakes and try your hand at backcountry fishing, when the trout are biting, catches can be quite liberal.


Take advantage of the parks free shuttle service and resupply at Logan Pass. Start the second leg from Jackson Glacier Overlook and hike to Lake Mcdonald.

An incredible backcountry hike through one of the continents most epic landscapes, enjoy every second of it.

When to go

Spring, Summer, and Fall; snow in the Winter can make areas of the park unreachable. Try to avoid holidays as the crowds can be intense.

Getting there

An hour and forty six minutes north of Kalispell, take US 2 East, following signs to the park. Take a left on Glacier Rte 1, driving through the park until you hit Siyeh Bend. You can also park at the visitor's center and use the free shuttles to navigate.

Mcdonald Valley, U-shaped, carved by glaciers during the retreat of the last Ice Age. Photo credit: NPS.gov

One of the many pristine lakes that dot the landscape. Photo credit: NPS.gov

Gear Recommendations for this trail:

Know before you go

  • This is a very long hike, be sure you carry enough provisions.
  • Carry bear spray, there are both Grizzly and Black Bear, both are accustomed to being at the top of the food chain.
  • Bring plenty of layers, at high altitudes the weather can turn in an instant.

For more information:

  • Check out the NPS website for all your backcountry questions.
About the author

JoelSalvino

Addicted to the dark areas on light pollution maps, I focus on documenting the world's remote spaces. I hope to inspire others to be an active member of the ecosystem all around us. Our most valuable resources, clean air, clean water, and open spaces are being parceled off and destroyed at an alarming rate. Let's enjoy Earth and share it with future generations. You can check out my blog Not A Guide Book