OverviewAs you travel west on Hwy 2 between Kalispell and Libby, Montana the mountains look the same but the names of the ranges do change from the Salish Mountains east of the Thompson River to the Cabinet Mountains west of the river.
Bowers Peak is probably the second Cabinet summit you would see to the south of the highway as you drive, but you would have to look carefully. It is actually easier to see Middle Thompson Lake and know that Bowers Peak is located directly on the south side of the lake as evidenced by the picture below.
Now, when I look at this picture, I can hear the scoffers out there laughing...4445' and it looks like a piece of cake!! There are probably many ways to climb this mountain (inter-laced with logging roads as are other Plum Creek properties, but I am yet to find a map that accurately depicts the amount of, or the beginning and ending of these logging roads) we chose, more-or-less, a direct frontal assault. In no way, do the pictures on this page, convey the actual STEEPNESS of this mountain or the amount of DEADFALL that had to be overcome to reach the summit. Elevation gain of approximately 1109' over 1.54 miles one-way. I would subtract approximately .25 miles from the one-way mileage due to aimless wandering on logging roads hoping for a better way up. You will notice throughout the page that I've used "hike/climb" several times...we found in many instances the necessity to use our hands to gain elevation...definitely not just a hike!
We meandered for a bit in both directions on this logging road looking for a clear way up and through a dense band of trees but never found one. We finally decided to walk to the right/west to get closer to a more open northwest ridge going up the mountain and chose to just bust through the dense band of trees above the road to gain the more open area on the side of the ridge. Climb up to the crest of the ridge and look for a game trail that will make your upward progress somewhat easier.
Continue up the ridge and after gaining approximately 607' (total) over approximately .83 miles we popped out onto a second logging road. Again we meandered a bit looking for a good way up and decided to walk left/east on the road very briefly before going up.
Climb another approximately 168' over .26 miles up the steep hillside to a third and final logging road. We walked left/east for .13 miles and decided on a way up.
Climb/hike to the false summit and then look to the right for a clear way through the trees to the actual summit. The actual summit was tree-covered with no views, but there was a small beautiful meadow just to the south. Views were much better from the false summit. Elevation gain from the third logging road to the actual summit was 334' over .32 miles.
False Summit Views
Camping and RedTapeBowers Peak is located in the Kootenai National Forest which is bear country. Make noise as you hike, don't hike alone, carry bear spray and know how to use it!
You can get water at the lake but we carried our own. Hiking poles were EXTREMELY beneficial on this mountain! A KNF map is helpful in finding your way to the mountain.
The closest NAMED campground is Logan State Park on the north side of Middle Thompson Lake in the Thompson Chain of Lakes. The closest campground is the small 2-space one on the south side of Middle Thompson Lake directly across the road from the beginning of the hike/climb.
Parting ShotThe picture below was taken from the third logging road.
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