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Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.58472°N / 114.61833°W

Object Title: Dog Mountain

County: Flathead

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 3682 ft / 1122 m


Page By: rebelgrizz

Created/Edited: Apr 18, 2012 / Apr 18, 2012

Object ID: 786132

Hits: 916 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Nestled in between the steel ribbons of the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railroad and the pot-holed asphalt of US Highway 93 lies a small and obscure mountain called Dog. Dog Mountain is located in NW Montana's Salish Mountains. Certainly not a destination "climb" for 99.9% of the population, Dog proved to be a fun Class 2 bushwhack up the mountain proper after negotiating several miles of icy Forest Service Roads (on foot). Views of the Salish Mountains to the west and the Whitefish Range to the east were better than expected. In the foreground of each of these views were two nice lakes. Dog Lake, still frozen, serves as the foreground of views to the southeast of the Whitefish Range and frozen, Upper Stillwater Lake, serves as the foreground to views west of the Salish Mountains.

In 1935, a 20' pole L-4 tower was erected on Dog to serve as a fire lookout. Unfortunately, this was destroyed in 1961, however, there are still remnants of the lookout at the summit.

Getting There

Dog Mountain
Turn left here from Hwy 93
Dog Mountain
Parking area
From downtown Whitefish drive north on Hwy 93 for 18 miles to just past the Olney, Montana turn-off on the left side of the highway. Turn left on the very next road past the Olney turn-off. This road is un-marked except for the sign pictured to the left. We drove on this forest service road for about 1/3 of a mile before parking on a utility easement.

Route Information

Dog Mountain
Icy FS Road
Dog Mountain
Dog Lake outlet
As mentioned this hike begins on a Forest Service Road. In the summer, this would've posed no problems, but in April, it was still covered in ice in many long sections. Hike up the road for .8 miles where you cross a small wooden bridge that takes you across the outlet from Dog Lake.

Dog Mountain
Take left fork
Dog Mountain
Locals killed another sign!

After crossing the bridge you arrive at what appears to be a convergence of several forest service roads. Bear right, and then take the left fork. After taking several strides, look into the trees to the right and you will see a shot-up road sign which verifies you are on the correct road.

Dog Mountain
Old logging road?
Dog Mountain
Fresh bear track

From this point it is just a matter of hiking on the road for another approximately 1.91 miles. At this point, the road kind of forks again, take the right fork. Prior to reaching this point there are several ups and downs along the road and at one point, if you choose, you can take a road off to the left and hike right along the railroad tracks. We did not do this but, during the hike we heard two trains pass and caught glimpses of one through the trees. You will also pass several small un-named ponds/lakes along the way...all mostly frozen on this hike. Almost immediately after taking the right fork the old logging road appears on the left. This road is not on the map. We chose to go up the road to see how far we could get before starting to bushwhack. After going up the road for .37 miles we ran across the fresh bear tracks in the snow and decided to head in the opposite direction...which was up the mountain.

The initial up-hill bushwhack to the first false summit consisted of gaining just shy of 200' over .13 miles. Bushwhack photos below...

Dog Mountain
Beginning of bushwhack
Dog Mountain
Dog Mountain
Upper bushwhack..almost there

Along the broad ridge-top, there are gains and losses over the three false summits. Gaining 60' additional feet over .23 miles the summit is finally gained where one finds the ruins of an old lookout.

Dog Mountain
First false summit
Dog Mountain
Route up the third false summit
Dog Mountain
Top of third false summit

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain


Camping and RedTape

Dog Mountain is located in the Stillwater State Forest contained within the Flathead 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 saw fresh bear sign on Dog Mountain and the Salish Mountains are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.

Bear Stuff

There is plenty of water available on this hike. Bring a filter if you don't carry your own water. A map of the Flathead National Forest and the Tally Lake Ranger District is helpful in negotiating the many Forest Service Roads. I referred to this map countless times during this hike. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June, July and August, not so much in April.

The closest campground is at Upper Stillwater Lake .