Trapper Peak in the Bitterroot Mountains

Trapper Peak


Not the highest point in Montana, but Trapper Peak with its breathtaking granite ridgeline at 10,157 ft is simply an awesome and imposing sight on the mountain covered horizon of western Montana.

  • Trapper Peak is an awesome 10,157 ft.
  • Just southwest of the Bitterroot Valley.
  • Feel the sense of victory as you summit Trapper Peak.
  • From the summit, view the miles of glaciated ridges that are the Bitterroot Mountains.
  • Bring water or you will go thirsty; no water available along the way.

Overview

The imposing granite massif that is Trapper Peak stands at 10,157 ft, not the highest in Montana, but definitely one of the most picturesque. Lying in the Bitterroot Mountains in western Montana, Trapper Peak towers 6,000ft over the Bitterroot Valley.

From the summit, witness incredible high-altitude scenery. If your lucky, on a clear day the views reveal the surrounding sharp glaciated ridge-line of the Bitterroot Mountains.

Location/Information

Trapper Peak is located in the heart of the Bitterroot Mountains of western Montana. It is the perfect distance for a day hike.

To reach the trailhead, take Hwy 93 south and then head west on West Fork Road 473. Turn on Trapper Peak Road (FS 5630) and follow it the remaining 6.5 miles to the trailhead. You won't find a parking lot or toilet facilities here, just a sign marking the trailhead, #133, to Trapper Peak.

For maps or questions, contact the Bitterroot National Forest, the managing body of the Bitterroot Mountains, at 406-821-3269. 

Activities

While you could do only portions of the 8 mile hike, Trapper Peak is for the hiker with summiting ambitions and the bragging rights that go it.

Hiking
Bag that peak! This awesome 8.4 mile hike gains 3,800 ft in elevation and takes roughly 5 hours. The steep hike starts in thick stands of lodgepole pine and douglas-firs before opening up to reveal the illustrious peak. Scramble up the talus slope for a victorious finish.

Although access is also possible from Baker Lake, the south trail is the most popular. The trail is a bit hard to follow but if in doubt look for the cairns which dot the path frequently and follow the west ridge all the way to the summit.

At 10,157 ft Trapper Peak is often covered in beautiful fields of snow. Although pretty, the snow and inclement weather can be hazardous, so hiking is recommended July thru August.

Horseback Riding
Although allowed, you will have to tie up the horses shortly after starting this hike as the last half is a straight vertical scramble. Not something your usually agile horse will be able to do.

Camping
Camping is allowed around Trapper Peak. Camping on the summit is not recommended as mountain weather rolls in rapidly not to mention the uneven rocky ground would make a poor bed.


Share Your Thoughts