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Fabulous on-trail day hike into Scapegoat Wilderness (4.5 miles, +2800 ft, -130 ft)

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This is a fabulous hike on a nice trail that climbs to the Patrol Mountain Lookout on the edge of the Scapegoat Wilderness.  The top offers stupendous views of the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness areas.  Snow drifts may present difficulties into the first week of July during heavy snow years.  Drive West from Augusta and follow the signs to Benchmark.  Watch for the airport on the left as you approach Benchmark.  Turn left after passing the airport at the well marked intersection towards the Straight Creek trailhead.  Park here and walk 2-miles south on the Straight Creek trail, then turn right at the signed trail to Patrol Mountain.  Ford Straight Creek.  Although the crossing may be done barefoot, sandals make it easier on your feet.  The crossing was quite pleasant in mid-June during a low water year, it may become more difficult during periods of high runoff.  Follow the trail upwards as it switchbacks through the forest and through some cliffy areas into the beautiful Honeymoon Basin.  Continue upwards to the summit.  The lookout is manned later in the summer and space is somewhat limited for antennas if there are lots of hikers.  Take appropriate precautions for Grizzly Bears.  We had the pleasure of watching a sow and two cubs play in a snow bank north of the summit.

Crossing Straight Creek in late June during a low snowpack year