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Montana - Homer Youngs Peak 11Aug2017

K7VK's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Homer Youngs Peak is a great hike/scramble over mostly good trail.  The final ascent is in open terrain and somewhat arduous bouldering.  It is typical of high alpine in the area and the views, barring summer wildfire smoke can be tremendous.  Several alpine lakes are visible and other high summits that you’ll deem ‘gota get’.  A good base camp is at Miner Lake, a popular, but underutilized US Forest Service Campground with good facilities and a fine grayling lake fishery.

Spring and summer thunderstorms can also make the activation challenging as one will spend considerable time on open high elevation ridges.  Picas dominate the numerous talus slopes and elk frequent the upper meadows.  A moose may also surprise you in the many shallow bogs and stands of willow along the route.  Except in late summer and fall be prepared for mosquitos a notorious biting midge of the Big Hole Valley. 


Miles:  4 of good maintained trail. 

Off Trail Ridge Running:  2.5 miles

Elevation gain:  3600’ from Miner Lake

Water:  plentiful along the route provided you filter it except on the upper elevation ridges which are dry or snow covered.

Cell phone coverage is sporatic at the Campground, but as one gains elevation out of Kelly Creek it is good.    

Antenna area:  The summit is open rock with plenty of rock supports for antenna poles and wire antennas. 


Directions:  From Jackson Montana travel south 0.5 mile to the Miner Lake road, well signed.  Continue along this road approximately 10 miles to Miner Lake Campground.  Above the campground 0.25 mile is the trailhead.  The road above trailhead is steep in places and requires a high clearance vehicle to the trailhead.  A mountain bike is a good alternative.  Follow the primitive road west of the trailhead for approximately 1.5 miles.  The Kelly Creek trail may not be signed so a map and GPS is recommended.  Begin the hike up the ‘two-track trail’ for less than 0.25 mile.  Here the road ends, but wood cutters have other tracks.  Look for the foot trail taking off to the right and climbing up slope.  Once accessed the trail is very well defined.  Follow it a little over 1 mile to the junction with the Gravelle Park trail.  Take the upstream trail, 1.5 miles.  The end of the trail is abrupt at a large grassland meadow, wet during much of the summer season.  Hang a left at this meadow and stay along it to its end.  You’ll be off trail, but an old ‘manway’ is apparent in many places as a faint trail.  The trail basically stays to the north of the main drainage against the southern ridge.  It continues to a low saddle between Heart Lake and Kelly Creek.  The route is in mostly open forest and easy travel.  At this saddle Homer Youngs Peak is visible along the ridge to the northwest.  Stay on this ridge to the summit.