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Big Hole Peak, Montana - July 5, 2020

KJ7OKW's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Some stations received, but no digi echos


A 7.4 mile drive out of Plains, Montana then a 13 mile drive up on good Forest Service roads. 4WD not required but some rocky parts. Then a moderate 2.75 mile hike to the top on established trail. A 1,500 foot elevation gain in 2.75 miles for an average gain of 545 feet per mile. Two to two and a half hours to summit from Plains. The summit has a firre lookout station that was still closed the day we hiked. A metal firre pit and stacked firewood and outhouse also graced the summit. Good place for an overnight. I used a Yaesu FT2D 5 watt handheld with a 42 inch foldable tape measure style antenna. I received Missoula about 60 miles away with a 59 reception. three of four contacts were Missoula and one local from Plains. All on 146.52 voice. Outstanding views of three other 4 point peaks in our region.


Update 7/27/2020. I talked to the Forest Service today and was informed that in 2021 this lookout will become rentable to the public for overnight stays. For now you can still pitch a tent at the summit and have an overnight with fire in the established iron fire ring. Next year the summit might be reserved when you attempt to go. However, I see no practical place along the road leading to the trailhead where a gate could be placed without blocking access to the other established Forest Service roads in the area. 

URL to Trailhead Map: