Views from the Top:
Apikuni Mountain provides excellent views of areas seldom seen by people.
The mountain in the background is Apikuni Mountain. We are taking this photo from the summit of Mount Henkel (facing east). Notice the large, "elephant-back" shape of Apikuni.
Apikuni Mountain (9,068 feet) is a large, rounded mountain just about a mile north of the Many Glacier Hotel. You can't see this mountain because Altyn Peak and Mount Henkel are blocking the view. This large "elephant back" shaped mountain provides excellent views of the seldom seen Kennedy Lake Area, as well as Mount Merritt, one of the tallest peaks in the park.
There's nothing technical about this mountain, but it's definitely a "cardio" workout because you climb nearly 4,200 vertical feet in a relatively short distance.
Notice the shadows in these photos. We climbed Apikuni in the fall, which presents completely different lighting than in mid-summer, and taking shots to the south in the middle of the day is quite difficult because the sun is directly aiming toward the camera. However, when not shooting into the sun, the autumn lighting creates a really nice photo.
Views from the Summit
This is the classic view of the Mount Merritt area from the summit of Apikuni. We are facing northwest. Merritt is the peak with the glacier on it, called Old Sun Glacier, and is one of six peaks in the park that are over 10,000 feet in elevation. The long ridge in front of Merritt is Crowsfeet Mountain. The reddish area to the right is the famous Red Gap Pass.
Red Gap Pass (to the right) takes hikers from Poia Lake over the pass to the Belly River Area, including Elizabeth Lake and the Ptarmigan Tunnel.
Old Sun Glacier is an iconic glacier in the park. It rests on the great east face of Mount Merritt.
Here's a view to the east from the summit cairn. The mountain to the left is Yellow Mountain. The eastern prairie is flat as a pancake, and you can literally see hundreds of miles on a clear day.
This is a view facing west. Just to the left of Shannon is Mount Wilbur, and just to the right of her is Iceberg Peak. Notice the long ridge of Apikuni Mountain working it's way to Mount Henkel from where Shannon is standing. By the way, the peak to the upper left, far in the distance, is Heavens Peak.
A close-up of Old Sun Glacier and the east face of Mount Merritt.
The peak to the left is Mount Henkel, the peak in the middle is Swiftcurrent Mountain, and the large peak to the right is Mount Wilbur. The camera is facing west.
The rounded, reddish peak in the immediatel foreground is Altyn Peak, which is directly north of the Many Glacier Area, right above the Hotel. Notice Natahki Lake to the right. In the far distance is Mount Gound (center), and the sharp matterhorn to the right is Grinnell Mountain. (The camera is facing southwest).
As far as we know, the extremely sharply pointed spires just to the left of Merritt have never been successfully climbed.
Apikuni Mountain provides very unique views of the Many Glacier Area.
The taller peak to the right is Mount Henkel. (We are facing straight west.) Natahki Lake lies at the base of Henkel. To the left of this photo, out of view, is Altyn Peak. The sharpy pointed peak in the distance is Grinnell Mountain. We are still about 1,500 vertical feet from the summit of Apikuni in this photo.
Far below us is the Many Glacier Valley (to the south), which is where the Many Glacier Road is located. The mountain to the lower right is Altyn Peak, and just to the left of it, in the break between the mountains, is where the Poia Lake Trail Head is located.
The views from Apikuni Mountain are fantastic, and we enjoyed every second of our time on the summit!