Redgap Pass Trail (Glacier National Park) 26-Aug-2013

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana

This was another of our sort’a bi-annual visits to this great park. This year we divided out time between Many Glacier Hotel on the east side and Lake McDonald Lodge on the west side, with the idea of doing some of the trails we’d missed before (or which had been closed due to bear activity). There were fires south near Missoula and the air was thick as we entered the park, but, thanks to a passing front that cleared the air during our first night in the park, it was almost clear (there was still a faint red tinge in the air) for the first two days of this year’s visit.

Today we decided to follow the Redgap Pass Trail from the Apikuni Falls parking area toward Poia Lake. Following this trail as it gradually ascended the side of the valley gave us good views of the lower Swiftcurrent Valley,

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
Lake Sherburne from the Redgap Pass Trail

and directly toward Mount Siyeh at the head of the Cracker Lake valley.

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
The deep cleft below Mount Siyeh holds Cracker Lake

We continued on up the trail, below the cliffs buttressing Point 8072,

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
Beneath Point 8072

passed Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake, crossed the ridge, and started down toward Poia Lake. At this point, two backpackers came rushing toward us saying that a grizzly had forced them out of their camp at Poia Lake. They didn’t stop to provide details but they nonetheless deeply dampened our enthusiasm for visiting Poia Lake. So we turned back to Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake,

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
Point 8072 from Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake

with its views of the Yellow Mountain complex to the north.

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
Yellow Mountain from Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake

Then, after a snack and a quick smell of the flowers,

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
A salsify going to seed

it was back to the trailhead (7.2 miles roundtrip; 1,000 feet of elevation gain).

Redgap Pass Trail Glacier National Park Montana
A salsify going to seed

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