OverviewLink Mountain, at 7227', is not a destination climb for the great majority of hikers passing through this area of the Whitefish Range. Most of these folks are in the area to climb Link's two higher and more well-known neighbors to the north...Lake Mountain and Nasukoin Mountain. Nasukoin, at 8086', is the highest peak in the United States' portion of the Whitefish Range and is a popular destination for locals, and to climb Nasukoin, one must first climb Lake and there are also trails to both of these summits. Climbing these two last year we noticed that Link might also be a fun climb and we were correct. We found Link Mountain to be a relatively easy and fun bushwack up the north ridge from the saddle of Lake and Link.
Getting ThereGetting there is an exercise in patience as you must travel over many miles of unpaved, rocky roads.
But, to begin, drive 18.5 miles north of Whitefish on Highway 93. Turn right on the access road to Upper Whitefish Lake which is almost directly across the highway from the Olney turnoff located between mile markers 145 and 146.
Drive up the main dirt and rock-filled road for almost 19 miles until you come to a large turnout on the left and signs indicating Link Lake Rd # 589. Turn left on Link Lake Rd and follow it for approximately 1.5 miles until you see the meadows on the right...the trail begins just beyond the meadows.
Two-wheel drive, low clearance vehicles were parked at the trailhead the day we were there but I would certainly recommend a high clearance vehicle for these roads
Route InformationBegin your hike by switchbacking up the trail for approximately 1 to 1.5 miles. Your view, as you hike up the switchbacks, is dominated by Whitefish Mountain 7417'.
After approximately 1 to 1.5 miles you will have reached a fork in the trail located by the tree and trail sign pictured below. At this point, you have reached the saddle between Lake Mountain and Link Mountain.
Look to your right and at a place that looks convenient to you, begin your bushwack. Try to stay to the left of the highpoint of the ridge as you start and you should be able to find a game trail pretty early on, as we did, and this will make the going much easier. The game trail disappeared higher up on the ridge and we ran into snow but were able to climb to the right of it. Occasionally, we would climb over the top of the ridge onto flatter ground or what looked like an easier way through the small trees and around the snow. A simple and straightforward bushwack.
TH Elevation-Approximately 5750'
Saddle Elevation-Approximately 6600'
Elevation gain to saddle on trail=850'
Elevation gain to summit from saddle bushwack=627'
Total elevation gain=1477'
Trail mileage one way=1 to 1.5 miles
Bushwack mileage one way=approximately .75 miles
Total mileage=approximately 3.5 to 4.5 miles
Summit ViewsViews are outstanding in every direction and are extremely rewarding for such little effort required to achieve this summit. Views to the north are dominated by Lake Mountain and Nasukoin Mountain, pictured below.
Red Tape and CampingLink Mountain is located in the Flathead National Forest which is bear country.
People were camping right at the trailhead but the two closest official campgrounds are located at Upper Whitefish Lake and Red Meadow Lake.
Water is available in the area and a Glacier View Ranger District Map as well as a Flathead National Forest Map would also be useful, available at local outdoor retailers.