Scenic Point Loop (Scenic Point, Medicine Peak, Mount Henry, and Appistoki Peak)
After a restless night sleeping in my car at the Two Medicine Lake campground in Montana's Glacier National Park, I was eager to put in a long day of hiking and scrambling on the morning of 9 June 2013.  Due to concerns about an abundance of lingering snow, I scrapped my original plan to climb nearby Rising Wolf Mountain and opted instead to try the Scenic Point Ridge Walk (or Loop) as described by J. Gordon Edwards in his A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park.  With an excellent approach trail, I made short work of the 650-metre climb to Scenic Point which is merely an outcrop of rock overlooking Two Medicine Lake.  Above tree line, a strong and sometimes truculent wind became my constant companion throughout the rest of the day.

After tagging the top of Scenic Point, I backtracked a bit along the trail before going cross-country across a vast meadow toward a rounded hump unofficially known as Medicine Peak (strangely, two lower humps to the east have official names).  Though easy, the ascent of this peak seemed to drag out forever due to the severe foreshortening of the slope.  The top of Medicine Peak feels more like a connecting ridge than a summit, and I did not stay for long before proceeding to the much more shapely Mount Henry further west.  As mentioned by Edwards, "the ridge narrows to a sharp arete" (the crux) just below the summit of Mount Henry, and although he also describes a bypass gully, there was sufficient snow there on this day to make it less appealing and possibly more dangerous to ascend.  The actual climbing on the arete--actually a series of pinnacles--was not difficult, but the unforgiving exposure forced me to carefully check all my holds.  Thankfully, the rock was dry and solid, and soon I was standing atop Mount Henry, the high point of the day both literally and figuratively.

Continuing westward from Mount Henry, I easily scrambled over an unnamed high point (H1) before dropping down to a saddle just south of Appistoki Peak.  As I began climbing up the south ridge of the peak, I encountered several people who had obviously come up the Appistoki Creek basin which is encircled by the Scenic Point Loop.  After reaching the top of Appistoki Peak, I decided to return to the saddle rather than follow Edwards' described descent routes (to the north and east) which did not look promising from my vantage point on the opposite side of the valley earlier in the day.  From the saddle, I dropped down into a large basin and essentially followed Appistoki Creek out the valley.  This turned out to be not as trivial as it sounds as I had to bypass a major waterfall and contend with steep drop-offs along the way.  Generally, I found it easier to travel on snow patches covering the creek bed, but I was constantly wary of the potential for collapse and falling into the raging torrent which would have been disastrous.  Consequently, the hike out the valley took longer than I was expecting, and I was quite relieved when I finally regained the official trail.  Without the stress of route-finding, I breezed back to the trailhead to complete a most satisfying day in the mountains.
Hardly worth the short diversion from the main trail. Appistoki Falls looks a bit underwhelming beneath its namesake peak.
The herd hangs back while the sheep with the biggest horns forges ahead--I'm sure there's an allegory somewhere in here. Apparently, sheep like to use human trails too.
Still not sure where J. Gordon Edwards' descent route is. The northeast side of Appistoki Peak appears well-guarded.
Looks like the famous Burmis Tree near Crowsnest Pass. Limber pines dot the slopes along the approach to Scenic Point.
Exiting this valley is not as easy as it looks! Mount Henry (right) is visible at the head of Appistoki Creek valley.

Might as well call it a day, eh?

There are great views of Mount Helen (left), Two Medicine Lake and Rising Wolf Mountain from the trail to Scenic Point.

Might make a good hang glider ramp! Scenic Point in the distance is aptly named.  Lower Two Medicine Lake is also visible.
It was possible to circumvent the snow by climbing higher. On this day, the lingering snow makes this normally easy traverse a tad trickier.
It's an official high point, so I'll claim it! Sonny straddles a tiny cairn on the 2286-metre summit of Scenic Point.
Scenic Point is simply the warm-up for more interesting things to come... From Scenic Point, the rest of the loop is laid out to the southwest.  Mount Henry is just left of centre, and Appistoki Peak is on the right.
You need a permit to fish on the side of the lake that lies in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Along the loop, Scenic Point offers the best view of Lower Two Medicine Lake.
Always love to see the big horns! Two sheep (part of a herd of five or six) bask in the sunshine.
Some mindless slogging coming up! The next high point along the loop is a rounded summit unofficially known as Medicine Peak.
I hate double summits! The double summits of Appistoki Peak are most easily distinguished from the ridge to the east.
A couple of very sexy mountains! The striking forms of Mount Stimson (left) and Flinsch Peak become more apparent on the ascent of Medicine Peak.
I wonder how many people have actually been fined $250 for disturbing this marker... A survey marker is located on the 2597-metre summit of Medicine Peak.
Mount Henry was my favourite ascent of the day. Sonny heads for Mount Henry.
With all the snow left, getting down from the top of Appistoki Peak is not going to be easy. From the summit of Medicine Peak, Appistoki Peak (centre) is nearly invisible against the myriad of spectacular mountains in the distance.
Some of the snow had already gone isothermal, so I tended to avoid them as much as I could. Snow still covers parts of the east ridge of Mount Henry on this day.
Still think this is just a silly hike? The east ridge of Mount Henry looks challenging.
Where we separate the men from the boys... The crux consists of a series of exposed pinnacles.
Luckily, the crux was largely sheltered from the wind. Here is another view of the crux with the summit just beyond.
The register is very full! Sonny grasps the register canister on the summit of Mount Henry (2710 metres).
Look at all them peaks further south, Ma! To the southeast, Stands Alone Woman Peak (far left) and Dancing Lady Mountain (left of centre) are the only named peaks close at hand.
Mostly easy scrambling for the rest of the loop. The loop continues over the next unnamed high point (H1) at centre.
Note how the snow patches cover most of the creek. Appistoki Creek valley separates Appistoki Peak (far left) from Scenic Point (far right).
Definitely the more gentle side of Mount Henry. The red argillite on Mount Henry is more noticeable from further along the west ridge.

H1 also has a double summit, but I didn't bother tagging the other one.

The views from H1 (2646 metres) include Mount Saint Nicholas, the pointy peak on the horizon at left.

Tired of seeing these same peaks again? Not me! This is looking northwest from H1 at Mount Stimson, Flinsch Peak, Rising Wolf Mountain and Two Medicine Lake.
Starting to tire of peak-bagging though... The last mountain on the loop is Appistoki Peak.
I bypassed the top of A1 on the way back to save on some needless elevation gain. Sonny leaves Appistoki Peak's 2475-metre false summit (A1) en route to the true summit.
Cute lamb! Yet another herd of sheep wander along the summit ridge of Appistoki Peak.
Life is good, again. Sonny looks skyward while kneeling beside the cairn on the 2487-metre summit of Appistoki Peak.  Mount Henry is visible in the distance.
Flinsch Peak looks like a big shark fin! Here is one final look at Mount Stimson, Flinsch Peak, and Two Medicine Lake.
World's longest switchback? Probably not. To the east are Scenic Point and its approach trail.
Strangely, A1 (right foreground) looks higher in this photo from the summit of Appistoki Peak. Mount Henry and H1 dominate the southern skyline.
Probably need to hire some technical climbing help to ascend this formidable peak. Here is a closer look at Mount Saint Nicholas, arguably the hardest peak to climb in Glacier National Park.
It was also an awesome glissade! This is one of the many lingering snow patches in the upper basin of Appistoki Creek.
The ghostly haze at upper right was caused by the strong wind whipping up the spray. This is the real Appistoki Falls.

What a fine view to end the day!

All the high points of Scenic Point Loop are visible from this vantage point across Lower Two Medicine Lake.  The two bumps at far left are known as The Head and Bison Mountain.

Technically I bagged 6 peaks today, but I'll only claim 4 of them! Total Distance:  ~18.0 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  10 hours 45 minutes
Total Elevation Gain:  >1270 metres