Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,477.00 ft (1,059.79 m)
Trail type
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail spans nearly 3,100 miles across 5 states from Mexico to Canada, traversing a vast array of different environments and landscapes along the way. The CDT can be completed as a single thru-hike that will take 4 to 6 months, or by section-hiking smaller segments. The Montana-Idaho portion of the CDT features nearly 1,000 miles of diverse mountain terrain. You’ll pass alongside the lofty peaks of the Anaconda, Bitterroot and Beaverhead Mountains; walk through the rugged and remote Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex; and finally arrive at the “Crown of the Continent” that is Glacier National Park. In this guide we’ll take a closer look at the Siyeh Pass Alternate.

The Siyeh Pass Alternate is not taken by most CDTers, but it does provide some stunning views that the official route misses. The downside is that it requires a big climb to reach Siyeh Pass, some extra effort that the official route does not require.

Begin from the Sunrift Gorge Trailhead. You’ll follow Baring Creek upstream for a little while. The trail doesn’t waist any time getting started on the climb, it’s basically one big unrelenting ascent until you top out at the pass.

But the views are worth it. As you climb, the views across the valley of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain (9,642’) and Matahpi Peak (9,311’) are stunning, not to mention Sexton Glacier.

From the pass you’ll have incredible views of the valley you just climbed up, as well as the Boulder Creek valley to the north. From the pass the trail climbs just a bit more, then begins the descent down to Preston Park, another beautiful valley.

Mount Siyeh (10,013’) is to your right as you descend, at the base of which are a couple small tarns. Piegan Mountain (9,039’) and Piegan Glacier are in front of you as you descend and walk through Preston Park.

You’ll eventually come to a trail junction with the Piegan Pass Trail. This is the official CDT route. Turn right and continue north.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Stunning views of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain and Sexton Glacier.


Requires a big climb that the official CDT does not.

Trailhead Elevation

4,696.00 ft (1,431.34 m)

Highest point

8,102.00 ft (2,469.49 m)


Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.