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Rock Island Butte, MT | September, 2016

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0.7 miles, +750 feet, 5.2 mile approach

Rock Island Butte is in the southern portion of the Absoraka-Beartooth Wilderness.  We climbed it from the Chief Joseph Trailhead as part of an extended backpacking trip, but it is also reasonable to climb it as a day-hike.  If camping overnight, there is an excellent isolated campsite on the south side of Widewater Lake near where the trail dips closest to the lake.  There are also numerous campsites in the Widewater-Big Moose area.

We climbed the Butte by leaving the Widewater Lake trail just west of its highpoint, and heading southwest towards the north ridge of Rock Island Butte.  The east and south-east side of the Butte has some cliffy sections that may be problematic, but the south and south-west side is an easy walk, despite some bushwacking.  The summit is forested and offers limited views.