OverviewThe Little Napa Lookout is located in the Swan River State Forest which is comprised of 40,000 acres in the Swan Valley, within NW Montana's Flathead National Forest. This is an easy forest service road hike to a lookout point with outstanding views up and down the Swan Range and across the Swan Valley to the northern portion of the Mission Range.
Route InformationAn easy forest service road hike for just under a mile, gaining about 540'. This is a great, short fall hike or would be a decent spring conditioner as the road is fairly steep, you would just need to repeat it several times, as a "spring conditioner". The first view of the lookout, as you approach on the road, is pictured below.
The lookout, closed up for the winter, would not allow entry. Currently, only used for emergencies, I believe, the lookout looked to be in fantastic shape. Although we could not get up on the deck, the surrounding views, especially of the fall color, were fantastic!
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain|
Camping and RedTapeLittle Napa Lookout 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. We saw no bear sign on the Little Napa Lookout hike but the Swan Range is chock full of healthy-sized black bears and grizzlies.
There is no water available on this hike. A map of the Flathead National Forest is helpful in negotiating the many Forest Service Roads. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June, July and August.
The closest campground is at Soup Creek Campground.
Another item of interest if staying in the area is the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge.