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    Member Since May 2019

    Eric Phillips

    Lake George, New York 

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    Eric Phillips reviewed Gunsight Pass Trail

    about 1 month ago

    What a beautiful and varied trail. We completed it as a three night trip, which made it fairly relaxed in terms of mileage.

    We parked our car at Lake McDonald Lodge and took the shuttles to Jackson Glacier Overlook to the eastern trailhead. This required two shuttle transfers and took 1.5 hours so make sure to budget this time into your planning if you are choosing to do the trail this way.

    The first day we hiked 6.2 miles from Going to the Sun Road to our campsite at Gunsight Lake. In general be prepared for late afternoon - early evening showers along the whole trail. We got a late start from Jackson Glacier Overlook (around 3:30) and although we made it to Gunsight Lake with daylight to spare, we got poured quite a bit.

    The next day we climbed up from Gunsight Lake to up and over Gunsight Pass to Lake Ellen Wilson (5 miles total). We had fabulous weather for this whole hike and perfect visibility of the entire valley. We had seen a trail posting that indicated there might be lingering snowfields along the route but by August 15 the trail was clear. There's a nice hut at the top of the pass where we stopped and ate some lunch.

    From Gunsight Pass we descended down to our campsite at Lake Ellen Wilson and again were treated to perfect weather and fantastic views. In the area between Gunsight Pass and Logan Pass we saw numerous bear droppings, many of them quite fresh by the looks of them. Ultimately we passed three groups of people who had seen bears in this area, but had noneventful encounters (ex: a bear looked at a hiker, and then went back to foraging). We were making plenty of noise on the trail and didn't see a bear. But something to be mindful of in this area.

    Once past Gunsight Pass we also started to see mountain goats. We were warned beforehand by park rangers that there were "problem/nuisance" goats in this area, and were advised to yell at the goats and even throw rocks if the goats became too aggressive. The rangers didn't lie -- these goats were aggressive! They are interested in anything you have or produce that contains salt, including your clothes and especially your urine. If you choose to pee in sight of a goat be prepared for it to essentially charge you or the area where you peed to consume your pee for its salt.

    After Lake Ellen Wilson we hiked to Sperry Campground (~3 miles). At Logan Pass we climbed up to the left of the path up to the top of Logan Peak. I highly recommend taking the time to do this, as you are treated to panoramic views of Lake Ellen Wilson, Lincoln Lake, and the surrounding area. If you have heavy packs, take off your packs and have someone in your group always stay down at the bottom with your packs (but that person may need to be prepared to fend off some pesky goats).

    There are gorgeous views from Sperry Campground but beware that it is at a fairly high elevation (maybe 6900 feet) and it was quite cold at night (dropped down to the low 30s). Make sure to pack your clothing accordingly.

    In addition, even though the Sperry Chalet is closed due to construction, there is a dining hall open where you can stop for coffee or lemonade or hot chocolate, and they will even serve you dinner and breakfast if you chip in. Even if you forget your cash, they will still serve you and just request that you make a donation later online. This is a great option if you happen to get stuck in some cold rain up by Sperry and want a place to warm up. Plus the people who run the place are incredibly nice and have been running the establishment for multiple generations.

    The hike down from Sperry is all downhill, and you lose over 3,000 feet over the course of 6.5 miles. Be prepared to be a bit sore in the joints after this descent.

    All in all a breathtakingly gorgeous trip.

    Eric Phillips completed Gunsight Pass Trail

    about 1 month ago

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    3 months ago

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    4 months ago

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    4 months ago