Southwest Montana Walks

Photo by Jim Chapman

Learn botany in a day, hike to 11k feet of elevation, or summit Mt. Haggin

Please pay attention to Early and Late Seasons and their sign-up dates

Southwest Montana


Saturday, May 11 (Early Season)

Botany in a Day (Hike Full)

Location: Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
Miles/Difficulty: 3 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Joe Naiman-Sessions and Ryan Quire

Have you ever seen a plant and wondered what it was? The Botany in a Day framework will help you learn the major eight plant families and how to identify native Montana plants.

Register for Waitlist



Saturday, May 18 (Early Season)

Humbug Spires (Hike Full)

Location: Divide
Miles/Difficulty: 7 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Jack Kirkley and Brenda Kirkley

This early spring hike at low elevation provides a good warm-up for the season, as the first wildflowers and summer birds will be just appearing before full green-up.

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Saturday, June 15 (Early Season)

Rock Island and Little Lakes (Hike Full)

Location: Jackson
Miles/Difficulty: 8 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: O. Alan Weltzien and Neal Straus

This hike takes us into the fabulous West Big Hole. Depending on energy, snow level and/or wildflowers, we'll climb along the Contintental Divide Trail and then drop to Little Lake.

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Sunday, June 30 (Early Season)

Sheep Mountain - Centennial Mountains WSA 

Location: Lakeview
Miles/Difficulty: 11 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Jack Kirkley and Brenda Kirkley

This hike into the Centennial Mountains WSA follows Odell Creek before winding eastward and upward through grassy wildflower meadows that cover the southern slope of Sheep Mountain.

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Saturday, July 6 (Early Season)

Mt. Powell and Geology 

Location: Deer Lodge
Miles/Difficulty: 11 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Sherry Vogel and Colleen Elliott

The first few miles of this all-day hike in the Flint Creek Range follow an old road, while the final ascent is carpeted with wildflowers and the summit provides spectacular views of surrounding mountain ranges.

Register for hike



Saturday, July 13 (Early Season)

Mount Haggin Summit Loop 

Location: Anaconda
Miles/Difficulty: 13 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Mark Phillip and Dave Williams

From the summit of Mt. Haggin, we'll see over 10 mountain ranges. On the way, we'll pass through old growth forest & alpine meadows, climb a talus slope, ridge walk, and visit two mountain lakes.

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Friday, July 19 (Early Season)

East Pioneers Campout 

Location: Melrose
Miles/Difficulty: 12 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Frances Galvin and Bill Clark

We'll camp the night before the hike. Hike leaders will meet participants in Melrose to shuttle to the campground, with points of interest along the road including the charcoal kilns, built in 1881 and used for smelting lead and silver.

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Saturday, July 20 (Early Season)

Wildlife Ecology (Hike Full)

Location: Joiner Gulch
Miles/Difficulty: 3 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Rick Douglass and Callie Boyle

This short walk provides a great opportunity to observe the ecology of beaver and other wildlife in an area that has recovered stunningly from environmental degradation.

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Saturday, July 27 (Early Season)

Stonehouse Mountain 

Location: Alder
Miles/Difficulty: 9 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Emily Cleveland and Rick Douglass

Tucked away in southwest Montana, the Snowcrest Range offers lots of opportunities to explore quiet trails, like this hike from the Notch to Honeymoon Park, a high plateau with views of the surrounding peaks.

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Sunday, July 21 (Early Season)

Goat Flats 

Location: Anaconda
Miles/Difficulty: 7.5 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Kriss Douglass and Sherry Vogel

REMINDER: This date has been changed since the trail book went to print. This is the correct date.

Hike along the edge of Storm Lake in the Pintlers, enjoying shallow stream crossings and riparian vegetation.

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Saturday, July 27 (Early Season)

Twin Lakes 

Location: Anaconda
Miles/Difficulty: 8 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Callie Boyle and Matt Moore

A perfect hike for older children and families, this single-track trail travels through rocky, flat terrain with great views of Mount Howe and Mount Evans before crossing a bridge into lush forest.

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Thursday, August 15 (Late Season)

Eighteen Mile Peak (Hike Full)

Location: Dell
Miles/Difficulty: 7 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Frances Galvin and Bill Clark

Eighteen Mile Peak, at 11,141', is capped with a rugged quartzite summit block and is the highest peak on the Continental Divide in the Beaverhead Mountains.

Register for waitlist