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Summit 8168, Montana | October 2022

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This un-named summit is near US Forest Service trail #313 south from Skalkaho Pass. The trail begins in a regenerated timber harvest unit and quickly transitions to old-lodgepole pine/Rocky Mountain subalpine fir forest partly burned by a wildfire in the early 2000’s.  Most of the trail is within this wildfire and is dominated by snags and windfall trees. Use caution traveling this area especially on windy days. In approximately one mile the trail enters a moist unburned large wet area dominated by large spruce. As the trail climbs out of this draw and along an increasing steep hillside there is a permanent spring complete with a pipe for filling water containers. This spring is depicted on the US Forest Service 2016 topographic map.  

Trail #313 does not go directly to the summit.  A 200’ off-trail easy bushwack is necessary to reach the summit. The mostly open grass, sedge and beargrass summit has distant views of high mountains of the Anaconda-Pintler and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Areas and the Flint Mountain Range.  There are ample trees for hanging wire antennas. 


Trail Miles: 4.6 round trip

Elevation Gain: 1060’

Water:  A permanent Spring exists along the trail at about 1.4 mile.  It has a blue pipe installed to facilitate filling water containers. Though probably safe, Water filtering is recommended in all open water sources.

Bear Spray:  Recommend for all Montana summit hikes

Camping: Campgrounds and dispersed camping exists along the Skalkaho Highway #38.  I chose to camp at the trailhead.  No facilities exist there. 

Map:  US Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. 

Directions: Travel south of Hamilton MT on Highway #93 to the Skalkaho Highway #38.  Turn left onto this highway and travel on pavement approximately 17 miles.  The road turns to gravel for 9 miles to the Pass.  Along the route is Skalkaho Falls a worthy stop especially in the early summer when water flows are high. At Skalkaho Pass continue approximately ½ mile and look for a road turning off to the south.  This road (FS 9450) looks narrow initially due to dense encroaching lodgepole pine branches. 

Continue along this road approximately 0.15 mile to a turnaround at a junction of three roads.  The jeep type road going uphill to the west is your trail.  A high clearance vehicle can traverse the road for several hundred feet more. 

Up this road be alert for another turnaround/dispersed camping area.  The unsigned trail goes straight ahead to the west.  A sign up this trail a couple hundred feet indicates that you are on the right trail.  See photos.