OverviewFirefighter Mountain is one of those mountains that is difficult to see from a road. As you wind your way along FS Road #38 along the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir you get glimpses of the mountain but never really get a good view of the entire mountain. But, due to its location, just west of the Great Bear Wilderness and across the Hungry Horse Reservoir from the Swan Range to the west, you just know that if you make it to the summit, you will be rewarded with absolutely fantastic views, especially of Great Northern Mountain and Mount Grant in the Great Bear Wilderness which is located in Northwestern Montana's Flathead Range. This mountain was an excellent choice on which to place a lookout!
Getting ThereFrom downtown Columbia Falls drive 7.1 miles to Martin City, turning right at the sign denoting the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. The road forks almost immediately, take the right fork past the Deer Lick Saloon. Drive 15.3 miles down this road. Initially, it is pavement but does change into hard-packed dirt and gravel. In July 2011 it is in pretty good shape and passenger cars can easily travel upon it. Look for the sign pictured below.
We were able to climb up the lookout to just below the floor of the cabin. It was locked as this lookout is staffed during the summer months.
The views to the east, of Great Northern Mountain and Mount Grant, begin almost immediately as you switchback up the road.
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Camping and RedTapeFirefighter Mountain is located in 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.
The Firefighter Wolfpack is also active in this area.
There is no water available on this hike. A map of the Flathead National Forest is helpful. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June and July.
There are several campgrounds along the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir, the closest is at Emery Bay.