The boat launch near Rising Sun is cold and windy; fall is almost here. The Park is quiet at 7:00 a.m. except for those who want to see the sunrise. Neither the elk herd nor the little black bear that frequents Rising Sun is out. We drive as far as Logan Pass and walk the beginning of the Hi-line Trail looking for mountain goats. Even the goats are absent.
   We start the Piegan Pass Trail from Going to the Sun Road to see where it takes us. It begins along a creek and climbs steadily upward through forest. For short distances the trail levels out, curving through small meadows filled with fleabane and the last of the Indian Paintbrush, bluebells and daisies. At 2.6 miles is the juncture to Siyeh Pass that leads to Preston Meadow which looks out on Piegan Glacier. Mountain goats look down from the high ridges of the opposite mountains. In the meadow is a small pond where we find deer and moose tracks and what Tim thought were the tracks of a large cat - bobcat or lynx.
   A creek winds deep in the valley looking out on the glacier. Then the trail begins to climb steeply over gravel and scree. It' strenuous climbing, but worth along the way and at the top, where look down on two more lakes and through deep mountain gorge. It looks like we can see clear to Canada between the brown and deep red walls of the mountains.
   Coming down is easier in some ways, but also scarier. The rock on the trail is slippery and the height frightens me, so I focus on the few feet in front of me. I am glad to reach the bottom where I can appreciate the gentle stroll across the meadows. The hike was about 10 miles round trip. The first half is a constant climb up, but well worth the effort.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2009