Sunday, July 10, 2022

Mosaic Monday #183: Let's Go Hiking!

Summer comes slowly to high elevation mountains, the very same peaks we like to hike.  So, we have learned to wait until July to attempt those trails.  Anticipation builds; I can't wait for next week and our plan for 3 hikes over 2 days. What better way to prepare than to re-cap a trip from exactly three years ago?

Piegan Pass, our destination on July 11, 2019, is Entry 53 in my hiking journal.  "We left the house at 6.30 a.m. to ensure that we would find an open spot at the Siyeh Bend parking area.  As it was, we had to park up the hill from the trailhead.  We left the car at 9.10 a.m. and arrived at Piegan Pass at noon." 

Reading this, I am struck by how the situation has changed in three years.  Due to high visitation in Glacier National Park, a vehicle reservation system was implemented in 2021.  Today, to reach the Siyeh Bend parking area, you would need a vehicle reservation, or plan to enter the Park well before 6 am.  Sounds simple, right?  Time to read the fine print:

  • There is a limited number of Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Vehicle Reservations available for each day and demand will exceed supply. Vehicle reservations will be released on a rolling basis on (Vehicle Reservations), beginning March 2, 2022, at 8 am MST.
  • A portion of the available vehicle reservations will be released 120 days in advance of the effective date (e.g., vehicle reservations for July 1 are available on March 3), and the remaining vehicle reservations will be released at 8 am MDT the day before the effective date (e.g., remaining vehicle reservations for July 1 are available on June 30).

To be honest, I am a supporter of the system.  Something needed to be done to control the number of people entering the Park.  And even though the "limited number" of reservations still means you may not find a parking spot, it is much better than the free-for-all of the past!

"It was very windy and cold in the draw when we started, so we both had on our puffy jackets.  The sky above Piegan Pass was consistently threatening, but it did not rain.  The Beargrass and other wildflowers were blooming profusely at the lower elevations."

"I saw a Rose Paintbrush for the first time - it was mixed in the meadows with Glacier Lilies and Lanceleaf Spring Beauty."

"I stopped counting when I reached 20 people [on the trail].  We met a nice couple who work at the Rising Sun Motor Inn.  They gave us a tip about taking the right-hand fork toward Siyeh Pass to reach Preston Park, an area known for its wildflowers - we did this on the way back."

The picture below is the panorama that greets you as you ascend the trail on the right.

At this elevation, the landscape is covered with snow much of the year, and the wind blows non-stop.  It's no wonder these pines are stunted.  Man without Hat gives you some perspective for size, as we approach the saddle of Piegan Pass.

But the flowers are well into the bloom cycle - adapted to the short growing season, they waste no time preparing their seeds for the ongoing propagation of the species!

"At the top, it was windy and cold.  We did not linger too long over our lunch.  We descended a short way on the other side of the pass to get a view down the valley.  Several large marmots 'ruled the roost', and one sat on top of the rock foundation for the bell which used to stand there."

The picture below is the view on the other side of the pass.

"On the way down, we ran into the same two gentlemen from Washington who had told us their retirement story [on the way up].  One of them was losing the sole on his boot.  Man with Supplies helped him put our duct tape on and the hiker was good to go."  Ah, the camaraderie of the hiking community!

The two pictures below were taken just as we left the pass, beginning our return journey.  At the end of this hike, we would have walked 9 miles and climbed 1700 feet.


I have chills of anticipation, just musing about our hikes next week.  "Man with Hat" returns, and we can be together with nary a distraction.  Life is busy right now with his flying lessons and my gardening, not to mention the normal daily tasks.  Carefree time, just the two of us, will be joyful.  Mix in epic landscapes, with its natural flora and fauna, and it's the best of all possible worlds.  And last but not least, this is our inaugural adventure with a new volunteer opportunity - collecting data on the Mountain Goat and Bighorn Sheep populations in the Park.  Stay tuned for our report!

*** Due to our 2-day trip, I will be slow in commenting this week.  Also, there will NOT be a Mosaic Monday on July 17 - please link up on July 24!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
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Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. ...a beautiful hike through God Country!

  2. Blogger is still causing problems with leaving comments!!!
    Have a lovely trip.

    All the best Jan

  3. i just read online that British Columbia is going reservation for almost all of their campgrounds, even forest service ones that have traditionally been first come, first serve. When we travel in our RV we often find that people make reservations but don't arrive, and don't cancel, leaving open spots that could have been used by others. - Margy

  4. Sorry, my previous comment posted as anonymous. Not sure why that happened. Have a wonder trip and hike. - Margy

  5. I'm constantly amazed at the beauty in your neck of the woods, wow!

  6. I can see that you are really looking forward to the hiking season.Those vistas are amazing though I don't know if I could manage those mountains. We don't have mountains like that near us, so hard to get into trianing for me! And of course spring wildflower time. Beautiful. And a new project collecting data on wild sheep and goats. Enjoy your hiking season. Stay safe and thank you again for the link up.

  7. I love the mountains so much, well, you already know that. Your photos and post are just amazing! Love them.


  8. Gorgeous photos! I love the early morning misty mountains and lush fields of wildflowers. I can't wait to see your volunteer work with mountain goats and sheep. We saw many in Glacier on our visit a few years ago.
    Rocky Mountain National Park also has a reservation system for the past 2 years. It was sad to see the park being "loved to death" by millions of visitors, especially the ones who did not follow the "leave no trace" rule, so the reservation system has helped a bit.

  9. Dearest Angie,
    that looks like a wonderful, but also very strenuous hike. I can understand that you are not unhappy about the access restrictions to this hiking area. Some of our hiking regions have also been very overcrowded since Covid - and that's not good for nature. However, it's difficult to plan that far ahead - what will the weather be like, how fit do you feel etc. A good idea of your husband to have some duct tape in his backpack! I've also lost the sole of my shoe while hiking, it wasn't a VERY funny experience... (but it was a bit funny though ;-)) And my husband lost his sole BEFORE the hike (which is by far the better solution ;-) ) - the salesman told us that it is normal for the glue to lose its function after about 10 years. After all, the dealers want to sell new shoes... I wish you a wonderful hiking time in this beautiful region.
    You will get two posts from me today - and in one there is also a hike, albeit a comparatively small one.
    All the best and have a good time

  10. Beautiful photos from your previous hike Angie. Looking forward to seeing your current one. Good idea to do something about the parking.

  11. Gorgeous views of the mountains, the wildflowers are a lovely sight to see. I hope the reservations system works and everyone is still able to visit the park. Beautiful photos from your hike! Take care, enjoy your day and have a happy new week!

  12. A third try to write a comment.

    With pleasure reading this Post. Rememberings to our hiking in the past. In Italia, around the Chiemsee. Enjoy this, Angie.

    Best wishes

  13. Many natural areas are becoming overused with damaging consequences for fragile ecosystems. It's difficult to known what to do; we want people to enjoy nature but it is easily overdone. Cutting human populations by about two thirds would be a good start!

  14. Amazing hiking location, Angie, and your photos are great. It's also good to have a look at some warmer places now that we are in midwinter!

  15. I like the idea of protecting the parks!
    (ツ) from Jenn Jilks , ON, Canada!

  16. PS: Thank you for hosting, Angie!

  17. You’re active all the year round, Angie. Accompanying your hike through photos is refreshing, but the real hike must have been much tougher. I support the new system, too. During the pandemic, some tourist destinations got restored. I’m slow in summer. But until quite recently my husband and I would have a trip to our favorite Japan Alps region in Central Japan to get away from the dreadful muggy weather. Enjoy your summer.


  18. I know you are excited about the hikes you are planning! You see amazing views and so many pretty wildflowers. We have to wait until Fall and Winter for our longer hikes. Enjoy your week!

  19. Excellent vistas! Have fun on the trail this year.

  20. Wowza, Angie, the views! It reminds me of some of landscape in the movie Robert the Bruce. The firm was partly filmed in Montana, south of Livingston I read. It’s nice to know where there’s a part of the U.S. terrain that resembles Scottish mountains.

  21. I'm always thrilled to see the photos from your hiking expeditions. Those who put in the miles and the altitude are privileged to see these great views first hand, unlike me. :) Wonderful benefits you reaped!

  22. So much excitement past and to come in your beautiful wilderness. (And at home too it sounds like). How wonderful that you are volunteering in this new way and it will be interesting to read more about your work. The early wildflowers are wonderful to see.

  23. Majestic mountains and scenery; and the wild flowers are superb. Your hikes are always filled with wonder, Angie.

  24. Beautiful photos. In Shenandoah National Park near me, they instituted a reservation system for Old Rag Mountain trail because it was crowded and people were blocking the road with their cars. Some people are upset but something had to be done. It seems strange that it is so popular because that particular hike takes all day and is challenging. I did it when I was young and even then, it was exhausting.

  25. Wonderful pictures and good memories to wet your appetites for the upcoming season. The system sounds like a good one. We in elevation right now for a few weeks in Utah. Though I will walk alot on the rail to trails, I didn't bring my hiking shoes/boots so we won't be going up on the mountain trails.

  26. WOW! Spectacular vistas!
    Your hikes are always amazing, Angie.

  27. I hope you are having a lovely trip, Angie. What a great hike you took that day. More to come soon! It is hard to find a good system to protect the environment and still allow access for hiking.

  28. Lovely way to share how much you are looking forward to "hiking season".... it is SO beautiful in your mountains. Breathtaking really. Thanks for sharing it all.

  29. Montana mountains are glorious to be sure. I've never been to Montana, so your hiking journal is wonderful. Nor have I seen pink Indian Paint Brush, so beautiful. It seems that our favorite mountain spots have become over run, too, and I agree that reservations are the only way to control the traffic. The Colorado Rockies, too, suffer from such over population. For us, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are just an hour away and a wonderful drive to take out of state visitors on a day trip, but now in addition to park entry fees (though we are free because we are old), park reservations are required. The highway continues on to Granby, CO so I think the road is open, but hikers and campers need reservations. My daughter's family has stored its camping gear because their favorite spots are so crowded and people so rude. Still with planning and patience, the beauty of the Rockies can be enjoyed wherever you choose to visit. Lovely post. Thank you for hosting Mosaic Monday.

  30. It's so beautiful there Angie! What a great trip. I'm so in love with the mountains. I'm in the Acadian mountain chain now and they are tiny hills compared to the ones you photographed!! ☺

  31. Such wonderful scenery! So many people now want to walk/climb Mount Snowdon that the car parks and roads are full to the brim with cars (some parked in the stupidest of places).

  32. Hello Angie,
    What a wonderful hike! Beautiful views of the mountains. The wildflowers are gorgeous. I am glad hubby and I visited Glacier NP before the crowds and before the reservations are needed. Our national park are being loved, to death. Take care, enjoy your day and have a great new week!

  33. The system sounds really good. I think a limitation on the number of people is needed to protect the place. I also agree with small fees to be charged for parking, to fund picking up litter and things like that.
    The photos are gorgeous. It looks amazing.

  34. Waving hi, as I make my blog rounds. Hope all is well with you.


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