Welcome to SP!  -
Elk Mountain (MT)

Elk Mountain (MT)

Elk Mountain (MT)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.45548°N / 114.91472°W

Object Title: Elk Mountain (MT)

County: Lincoln

Activities: Hiking

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 6587 ft / 2008 m


Page By: The Levitator

Created/Edited: Jul 3, 2010 / Jul 16, 2011

Object ID: 634255

Hits: 5040 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote



Layout designed for best viewing on a "1024 x 768" screen.

Elk Mountain Ridge
Elk Mountain Summit to the right

Destroyed Lookout
Elk Mountain Lookout ravaged

Elk Mountain stands 6,587 feet above sea level. Its the seventh highest mountain in the Salish Range and is located in the Kootenai National Forest.

L-6 Cabin
L-6 Cabin Dave Mosters photo

Elk isn't your ordinary Salish mountain.
Its very unique and one of the very few astounding peaks that accommodates open grassy slopes and pleasant views into the neighboring mountain ranges and surrounding valleys.

Forest Road Gate
Forest Road Gate

The Elk Mountain Lookout was developed in the year 1923 with a 10x10' frame cab and roof platform. The present 10' pole tower with L-4 cab was built in 1940 a quarter mile southwest of the summit, and has been vandalized. There is also an L-6 cab 1 mile northeast of the lookout. What event that happened to the lookout and what time it took place is unknown.

Getting There

Forest Road Fork
Fork in the Road

Bear in the Salish Range
Bear in the Salish Range

To access the Elk Mountain Trailhead drive 16 miles north of downtown Whitefish on Hwy 93. Next, turn left on Good Creek Road which is just north of Lower Stillwater Lake. Then, travel 6 miles on paved Good Creek Road. Continue onward on un-paved Good Creek Road #60 for an additional 13 miles.

After that turn left at forest service road 2883 and travel approximately one mile to forest service road 9528 located on the right which serves as your trailhead.

Walk up the road approximately one mile until it forks at forest service road 9581 take the left fork which is still 9528 and continue for approximately 1.8 miles.

Red Tape

Local Resident
Snowshoe Hares are sustenance for Cougars

As with all hiking and climbing in Northwestern Montana use caution and practice good manners with the wildlife.

You are in bear and mountain lion country. Carry your bear deterrent, don’t hike alone and make lots of noise.

The forest service road gate states that for wildlife security no motorized vehicles are allowed on the road. Snowmobiles are restricted May 15th to November 30th don't know who would try to ride then anyways. However all are allowed on the trails.

For more information on bears and mountains lions visit these websites.

Mountain Lions

Elk Basin Trail #182
Is there a trail somewhere in there?

Route Information

After reaching the trail walk for half a mile through water running down the Elk Basin Trail #182 as well as many fallen trees await your arrival on the steep trail. After hiking the half mile another sign marks the Elk Mountain Trail #252.

Sign marking the Lookout Trail
Second sign that marks the lookout trail

Summit View
Snowshoe Peak with a melting blanket of snow and the Cabinets

The Elk Mountain Trail #252 will take you two and a quarter miles up to the Elk Mountain summit and its devastated lookout. The trail is very steep and most places its very much like a rut.

Another sign is seen a quarter mile from the summit which is what it says. The whole way up is hiking on Elk Divide, the summit of which is six feet shorter than the summit of Elk Mountain. The total elevation gain is 1,786 feet.

Looking down the ridge
Looking at Elk Divide and my two partners

Last look at the summit
Elk Mountain summit

Plenty of space to relax

Summit views are very rewarding and well worth the energy exertion. Remarkable perspectives of surrounding Salish Mountains and the Cabinets including Snowshoe Peak leave the viewer astounded.

When To Climb and Weather

Elk Mountain is best to hike during the early summer and late fall when snow is not a real hazard on the trail.

[img:634188:alignleft:small:Plenty of space to relax]
Click for the latest Eureka weather forecast.

Camping and Essential Gear

The closest campground is called the Tally Lake Campground.
Tally Lake Campground in Montana is the outdoors at its finest.

Bring the following

Bear Spray
Sun screen
Hiking boots