This point-to-point hike to Piegan and Siyeh Pass is a prime example of the wonderful one-way hiking that is possible with the free public shuttle along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and it is a must-do hike for anyone with trail legs that are broken in enough to tackle this in one shot. Piegan Pass is on the Continental Divide that separates the continent of North America between water that flows into the Pacific Ocean and water that flows into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Piegan and Siyeh passes both were also home to locomotive bells from 1926 to 1943. They were installed at the request of the Glacier Park Hotel Company as part of a Swiss tradition to allow hikers to experience the sound of bells high in the mountains. They were taken down in 1943 as part of a scrap metal donation effort to help fund for the war. Siyeh pass has the separate honor of being the highest maintained pass in the park, topping out at 8,100 feet.
Begin by leaving your car at the Sunrift Gorge Trailhead and catch the free shuttle to Siyeh Bend Trailhead. This direction allows for more downhill hiking than uphill hiking, and it saves the best pass for last. Hiking starts off in a dense conifer forest, but it gently opens up as you climb higher toward the trail junction. Head left first to Piegan Pass, a side-trip that is not to be missed. Once you're finished, return to head toward Preston Park and Siyeh pass.
Preston Park blooms bright for much of the summer with some of the highest concentrations of wildflowers in the park, and these blooms help distract you from the strenuous climbing toward Siyeh Pass. Once the shale starts and the flowers disappear you will certainly be unable to ignore the climb any longer. The climb tops out with three valleys stretched out beneath you along with Sexton Glacier and endless rows of craggy peaks in all directions. Few views in the park compare, and Sunrift Gorge (and the incredibly steep descent) will tantalize with views across St. Mary Lake to Little Chief, Mahtotopa, and Red Eagle mountains the rest of the way back to your car.