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Glacier National Park Summits - Going To The Sun Mountain

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Views from the Summits:
Going To The Sun Mountain
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Going To The Sun Mountain
Going-to-the-Sun Mountain (9,642 feet) is one of the most famous and iconic mountains in Glacier National Park.  The Going-to-the-Sun Road runs directly below it, and this great mountain is the center piece as visitors look down the valley eastward from the Logan Pass Visitor's Center.

This is also a very sacred mountain.  The Blackfoot Indians tell the story of Napi, their Sun God, who actually came down to earth to help his people during a period of great misfortune.  When his work was done, Napi began to climb Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, and he was last seen on the upper cliffs as he  disappeared back into the sun.  And what is so amazing about this beautiful story is there is a large, permanent snow field on the east face of the mountain shaped exactly like the profile of an Indian wearing a large head dress!

The views from this magnificant mountain are stunning to say the least.  You can see forever on top of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, and it truly feels like you can touch the Sun!

A view of the Mountain...
         Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Here are some visitors at the Logan Pass parking lot, enjoying the view.  Going-to-the-Sun Mountain overlooks the parking lot to the east, as if it were guarding it.

         Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is a view of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain from the east side of the mountain.  These cars just came from Logan Pass, and are heading the valley towards the east.   This is an extremely tall mountain with incredible "vertical expression".         

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Going-to-the-Sun Mountain is the large mountain to the east of Logan Pass.  It really looks like it could touch the sun!  This great mountain is one of the most famous and sacred mountains in the park.

Views from the Summit:
Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Here we are on the summit of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.  Logan Pass is directly behind us, Piegan Mountain is to the right, and Reynolds Mountain is just to the left of us.  We are several thousand feet (actually more) above the valley floor.  You can see Siyeh Bend on the Going-to-the-Sun Road just right of Shannon's feet.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
We are facing northwest.  The large mountain with the glacier on it is Piegan Mountain, then Pollock Mountain is just behind Piegan, and beyond it begins the Garden Wall which ends at the large half dome of Mount Gould.  You can see the Livingston Range in the far distance behind these mountains, which is the northwest section of Glacier National Park.
    
   Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
   Going-to-the-Sun Mountain is directly east of Logan Pass.  The arrow is pointing to the 
   parking lot.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
To climb Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, you have to hike up to Siyeh Pass, and then climb up to this saddle.  The mountain to the right is Mataphi Peak, and the mountain to the left is Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.  Sexton Glacier rests on it's east face.  The snow field near it's summit is the one shaped like the profile of an Indian wearing a head dress.  We are facing straight south.  It's a long day because we need to nearly climb to the top of Matahpi before we can get to Going-to-the-Sun Mountain and begin to actually climb this famous mountain. 

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is Sexton Glacier, several thousand feet below us.  It rests on the steep east face of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
To the far left side of this photo is Baring Creek, which eventually ends up at the SunRift Gorge on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  Baring Creek is 3,000 feet below the summit of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain!  You can get a glimps of Saint May Lake nestled in the bottom of the valley.

                     Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
OK.  Now that we've just finished climbing most of Mataphi Peak, it's now time to head downhill to begin the actual climb of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain!

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Another view facing west towards Logan Pass.  That's Piegan Glacier resting on the east face of Piegan Mountain on the right side of this photo.  The Siyeh Bend along the Going-to-the-Sun Road is directly below Piegan.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Here is a view facing north.  Pollock Mountain is to the far left of the photo, and that's where the Garden Wall begins.  As it heads northward, it runs into the magnificent Mount Gould, with its 3,000 foot east face!  You can also see the trail working its way up to Piegan Pass.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
We are facing southeast.  This is Saint Mary Lake, far, far below us.  The snow field right below us is the one that is shaped like the profile of an Indian Warrior that you can see as you are driving up toward Logan Pass from the east.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is a view of the Logan Pass area from about 1,200 feet below the summit of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.  Once you reach the summit, you are higher than all of these mountains.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Logan Pass is circled in this photo to give you an idea of the layout of the landscape.

                     Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
Here's another view of Sexton Glacier, which lies on the steep east face of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.  Saint Mary Lake is in the distance, and Baring Creek can be seen running down the valley far, far below us.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
The tan mountain to the left is Goat Mountain, which sits directly west of the Sunrise Motor Inn.  The large lake is of course Saint Mary Lake, and you can see far off into the distant prairie for hundreds of miles!

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is a view to the south.  Mount Jackson is directly behind Shannon.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is a photo facing east.  Notice the trail heading down the valley far below us.  That's the trail from Siyeh Pass, and it follows Baring Creek down to the SunRift Gorge on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
It's impossible not to smile when you're on the summit of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain!

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is the view facing north.  Mount Siyeh is the tallest peak on the right, and Matahpi Peak is in front of it.  Mount Gould is the shadowed half-dome on the upper left of this photo.

Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
This is a classic view of the mountains of the Lewis Range.  There are so many peaks there are far too many to mention.  Mount Gould is to the far left, and Mount Merritt is to the far right, with Old Sun Glacier resting on it's great east face.

  Going To The Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park
You can literally see for hundreds of miles out onto the eastern prairie from the summit of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.  With binoculars you could probably see Minneapolis (just kidding!)

       
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