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Spread Mountain, MT | June, 2020

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11.3-miles, +3,828 ft; -574 ft; From N. Fork Trailhead

I activated this as the first summit on a multi-day backpacking trip.  We camped at Canyon Lake and climbed from there.  There is also camping at Lake Otatsy and Camp Pass.  The entire route, including the Lake Otatsy area was burned in the 2017 Rice Ridge fire, so care should be taken in selecting a camp to minimize the danger from standing dead trees.  Most of the area around Canyon Lake is not burnt.

Hike north from the N. Fork Trailhead on the North Fork of the Blackfoot River and turn left (west) on Tr. 061 (Lake Creek Trail) after about 0.6 miles.  The trail is well defined and gets cleared early in the season.  Follow the broad Lake Fork Valley up about 2.2 miles to the shallow ford.  Shortly after crossing the creek, the trail will begin climbing.  There is a nice overlook of some falls on the West Fork of Lake Creek part way up.  The trail climbs at a steady grade before leveling out around 6,200 feet in a beautiful open hummocky area that has nice views of the surrounding country.  Soon the trail drops down to Lake Otatsy.  Continue straight (left) at the trail junction at the outlet for Lake Otatsy and continue up past Camp Lake to Camp Pass on Tr. 16.  The trail from Camp Pass (Tr. 166) is marked by a “trail not maintained sign”.  It is much fainter, but generally follows the track on the USGS Quadrangle.  Follow the tread where it is evident, and the mapped position on the USGS Quadrangle where it isn’t.  There is some deadfall near the beginning of Tr. 166, but nothing particularly problematic.  Leave the trail to climb the gentle north ridge to the summit.  It is likely that there are nice view from the summit, but it was socked in when we were there.

It was on this activation that we learned via APRS messaging that our first grandchild was to be a boy!