OverviewJumbo Peak anchors the SW corner of US Hwy 2's long turn to the NW in it's journey from Kalispell, Montana to Libby, Montana. While not as noticeable when traveling from Kalispell to Libby, if you're traveling from Libby to Kalispell, Jumbo's summit ridge cuts quite a nice figure as it juts upward into the sky above its nearest neighbor to the east, Owl Peak. This vantage point proves invaluable for studying the possibilities of ascending the "snowy giants" of the Cabinets.
On your travels to Jumbo you will pass several other minor peaks of the Cabinets located south of Hwy 2, in order, from Kalispell: Bowers Peak, Wapiti Mountain, and Fosseum Mountain.
Drive 59.4 miles west of Kalispell on US Hwy 2. Turn left on Silver Butte Road. Drive 1.59 miles on Silver Butte Road to the TH for Jumbo Peak, located on the left side of the road just before crossing a small bridge over the Fisher River. There is only parking here for 3 vehicles at most.
Hike up Trail #110 for 2.3 miles as it switchbacks up the mountain through old-growth forest. The gain over the first mile is 811', so the trail is fairly steep. Before hitting the summit ridge, the trail fades in and out among some small meadows, but you really don't need the trail to go up, the way is really pretty obvious. The summit ridge itself gains just under 500' in about .4 miles. SP Member JFKitty is just about to top out in the photo below.
The broad and grassy summit, pictured below, is really not what we expected, but turned out to be a great place to take your boots off for an afternoon siesta and to absorb some spectacular views to the NW of the peaks of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.
We had a minor route finding issue on the way back. Just remember the trail comes up on the east side (right side on way down) of the ridge and the small meadows where it begins to fade in and out. Just look for this tree blaze on your way down and you will have re-secured the trail.
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain|
|Trail 110||2.3||1863'||Summit Ridge||.4||489'||Total||2.7||2352'|
Camping and RedTapeJumbo 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 saw bear sign on Jumbo Peak, and the Cabinet Mountains are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.
There is water available on this hike from the Fisher River at the trailhead. A map of the Kootenai National Forest and the Libby Ranger District, are helpful in negotiating the many Forest Service Roads. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June, July and August. No ticks were seen on this hike.
The closest campground is Lake Creek Campground located a few miles farther west off of Hwy 2.