The concentration of pronounced peaks in Glacier National Park is one of the highest anywhere in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Looking up from Going-to-the-Sun Road is sure to make any peak bagger's mouth water. Many of the summits are difficult to access and dangerous to climb, but some are relatively user-friendly and still incredibly rewarding.
Mount Reynolds is a great introductory mountaineering adventure that sacrifices nothing in the way of views. Located in the heart of the park above Logan Pass, its summit grants a 360-degree panorama and vantage over both ends of Going-to-the-Sun Road as it traverses the park.
The hike begins from Logan Pass Visitor Center and Hidden Lake Trail. When looking in the direction of the trail from the parking lot, Mount Reynolds is the prominent horn to the left (south). Directly ahead (west) is Clements Mountain, and to the right of that is Mount Oberlin, which is probably the park's most popular for casual peak baggers. Reynolds' summit is guarded with slightly more difficulty than Oberlin, but it is well worth the extra work.
First you will only have to contend with the Hidden Lake crowds, but only for about a mile of the trail. The approach departs at the top of the rise, just before the main trail descends to the Hidden Lake Overlook. Follow a well-worn path to the left between two small ponds and into the trees directly toward Mount Reynolds. From here, continue along the trail is it crosses talus and intermittent snow. During early season when the snowfields are large, you may want crampons and an ice ax.
One the trail crests the ridge to your right, you will get an amazing view of Hidden Lake that is even better than from the boardwalk overlook. Continue along the ridge from here and contour the base of Mount Reynolds' cone. Once rounding a corner on the next ridgeline shoulder, you will see Mount Jackson and its glaciers. At this spot, begin looking at the cliff band right next to you to find the notch and cairns that mark the way up.
The route is fairly easy to follow, taking the path of least resistance through two sets of cliff bands and a scree field in between. Cairns will probably be there to mark the way, and the path where others have trod is evident. Be cautious; take your time on the loose scree and on the somewhat exposed ledges that follow. From the scree field, you will work your way up and left to link ledges and round the west shoulder before gaining the summit ridge and an easy walk to the top. To descend, carefully retrace the route.