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Carney Peak
Mountains & Rocks

Carney Peak

Carney Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.02083°N / 115.56694°W

Object Title: Carney Peak

County: Lincoln, Sanders

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 7173 ft / 2186 m


Page By: Orphanage

Created/Edited: Oct 23, 2012 / Nov 7, 2012

Object ID: 821658

Hits: 2406 

Page Score: 85.36%  - 20 Votes 

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As evidenced from the photographs below, Carney Peak is something that we had been eyeing for some time. Carney, and it's striking summit dome, though several hundred feet lower than the nearest neighboring peaks in the southern portion of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, ALWAYS grabbed our attention, as we summitted various Cabinet peaks to the east and southeast over the past two years.

Topping out at just 7173', Carney is not a high mountain by anyone's standards, but as most of you know, judging the difficulty of climbing a mountain by height alone, well, is just foolish. Carney Peak has a little bit of everything. Steep, slick, beargrass, talus, scree, and cliffs are all things we encountered on this mountain. After wondering about this peak for almost two full climbing seasons, it did not disappoint.

Tremendous views of the neighboring peaks in the southern Cabinet Mountains
Wilderness, and the southern Cabinet Mountains in general, are your reward for the arduous effort expended in ascending Carney Peak. These views include, to the SW, Goat Peak, to the west, Engle Peak, to the NW, Flat Top Mountain, Lost Horse Mountain, and more to the north, Elephant Peak and Twin Peaks.

Enroute to Carney you will pass several other minor peaks of the Cabinets located along Hwy 2, in order, from Kalispell: Bowers Peak, Wapiti Mountain, Fosseum Mountain, Kenelty Mountain, Jumbo Peak, and Barren Peak.


Getting There

Carney Peak
Ample parking
Carney Peak
TH Sign
From Kalispell drive west on Hwy 2 for 63.3 miles and then turn left on FS Road #231. Drive for 6 miles on #231 and then turn left on FS Road #2332. Drive for .36 miles on #2332 and then turn left on FS Road #6748. Drive for 1.7 miles on #6748 to the end of the road and the parking area, where there is ample parking for several vehicles. You will actually pass the TH on the right just before the parking area.

Route Information

There are probably several ways to climb Carney. The NW ridge from Flat Top Mountain is probably feasible, but this would be an extremely long day, or even an overnighter. It also may be possible to hike all the way to Lost Buck Pass and find a way up through the cliffs on the SW ridge.

The original plan was to try and get up onto the NE ridge (pictured above) and summit from there, but as we hiked along the trail, this option never really presented itself, due to vegetation that was thicker than expected. We finally cleared the trees and had a clear shot up the east face, so we took it.

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Trail #6564.052073'
Bushwhack to Summit.411223'

Summit Views

Carney Peak
Engle Peak 7583' to the west

Carney Peak
Zoom of Engle Peak

Carney Peak
View NW:Flat Top Mt., Lost Horse Mt., Elephant Peak, & Twin Peaks

Carney Peak
Zoom of Flat Top Mountain 7608'

Carney Peak
Zoom of Lost Horse Mountain 7508'

Carney Peak
Zoom of Elephant Peak 7938'

Carney Peak
Zoom of Twin Peaks 7563'

Carney Peak
View SE

Carney Peak
View South

Carney Peak
View SW...Goat Peak 6889'

Camping and RedTape

Carney Peak is located in the Kootenai National Forest which is bear country. Don't hike alone, make noise as you hike, and carry bear spray and know how to use it. We did not see bear sign on this hike, but the Cabinets are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.

Bear Stuff

There is lots of water available on this hike. A map of the Kootenai National Forest and the Libby Ranger District is helpful in negotiating the many Forest Service Roads. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June, July and sometimes August. No ticks were seen on this hike.

The closest official campground is Lake Creek Campground.

Parting Shot


Engle Peak And Wanless LakeCarney Peak From Upper Gieger LakeUpper Gieger LakeLooking North From Carney PeakMorning Light At Lower Gieger LakeCarney Peak From Lower Gieger LakeLost Buck Pass And Carney Peak
Carney PeakCarney PeakFlat Top And Lost Horse Peaks