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Dome Shaped Mountain, Montana | October 2022

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Dome Shaped Mountain is a scenic and lightly traveled trail near Hamilton Montana. Much of the hike overlooks a large portion of the Stony Mountain Roadless Area. Alpine larch dominate the summit with brilliant yellow fall color in early October contrasting with green whitebark pine. Most of the trail system is in unburned forest with large wildfire burned areas to the east. Two unsigned trail junctions are worthy to note as they could be easily missed on the return trip.  See the directions narrative.

The summit is broad and open with ample trees and snags for erecting antennas. 

Trail Miles: 7 roundtrip

Elevation Gain:  1200’ with some losses along the route. 

Water:   None along the trail.

Bear Spray:  Recommend for all Montana summit hikes

Camping: Developed Bear Creek Campground is along the paved Skalkaho Highway.  Crystal Creek Campground is along the east side of Skalkaho Pass.  Other dispersed camp areas exist including at the trailhead. 

Maps: US Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest.  Also, Lolo National Forest Missoula RD and Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest, Philipsburg RD. 

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 travel north on FS#1352 for approximately 4.5 miles. Here is a turnaround and a rock blocked ATV road traveling north near a draw.This is mapped as trail #88 but it is not signed.  (An option is to travel 1.5 miles farther up the deteriorating road and hiking up the hill to intersect trail #88). The road is suitable for SUV higher clearance vehicles. Trail #88 is heavily gullied on steeper sections but is easy to follow for approximately 1 mile to the intersection with the Easthouse National Recreation Trail #86. Do take note of this junction as it is easy to miss on the return trip.  Travel up #86 for approximately 0.9 mile to the junction with National Recreation Trail #313. Again, take note of this junction as it is not signed and is another easy to miss turn on the return trip.  Note the pictured signs that can be a visual signal to not go that way (south) and look for your western bound trail #86.  Continue to Dome Shaped Mountain to the north on #313 for approximately 1.6 miles.