McGregor Peak is a low, tree-covered peak located to the north of McGregor Lake and east of Little McGregor Lake in the Salish Range of Northwestern Montana. McGregor is a great conditioning peak for tougher climbs later in the summer. It is also an excellent location to snowshoe in the winter as the access is just off of Hwy 2. Another item of interest in the area, located just to the southeast of the peak is McGregor Meadows WPA. Almost 800 acres of wetlands that have been set aside for the protection of waterfowl.
The views from the summit of such a low peak were surprisingly excellent in every direction as it stands alone with no other peaks nearby to block the views.
Getting ThereTravel approximately 30 miles west of Kalispell on Hwy 2. You will see large McGregor Lake on your left. Look for two signs denoting Little McGregor Lake fishing access. The first sign is on your right and the second sign pictured below is on the left side of the road almost directly across from the turn-off on the right side of the road.
Shortly after turning right off of Hwy 2 you will pass the un-marked logging road on your right. There is no where to park here, so you must proceed onward to the campground at Little McGregor Lake where there is ample parking for several vehicles. There is also one space before you get to the campground for day-users. If you have to park at the campground the hike back to the un-marked logging road is .3 miles. If you're able to claim the day use space then the walk is a little bit less.
The logging road switchbacks up the west face of the mountain. Each of several different maps I have examined all show a different number of switchbacks towards the summit and none show any of the spur roads coming off of the main logging road. Continue hiking upward until you reach the intersection of the 5th switchback and the 6th switchback coming down from the right. At this intersection you will have hiked approximately 2.06 miles and gained 654' in elevation.
At this intersection do not turn right onto the 6th switchback. Instead, continue forward on the 5th switchback for another approximately .34 miles while gaining another approximately 100' in elevation. Now there were points along the 5th switchback immediately after the intersection where it looked like it was possible to leave the road and just head up for the summit. This would've been a long, tiring bushwhack through heavy tree cover and deep snow. We were headed for the west/northwest ridge that looked to have less tree cover and possibly less snow. At the area of the dead tree on the left side of the road, turn to the right and look up through the trees and see a prominent cliff band. Leave the road and start the bushwhack.
Climb through the cliff band using this gap. At the top of this first hillside there was a large, flat tree-less bench. Continue upward from here and up the next small hillside. At the top of the second hillside we popped out onto a logging road. No idea where it originated...we traversed left (north) on the road for approximately 75-100 yards and then started upward again. After these two short climbs you have gained another 100' in elevation over approximately .1 miles.
From this point forward it was just sweet, virgin snow for about .5 miles gaining approximately 438' in elevation over several smaller false summits to the true summit block. Due to deep snow we were able to almost walk up to the top of the summit block, but in the summer a short climb would probably be necessary to get you to the top.
Due to the fact that McGregor Peak is surrounded by higher peaks in the southwest portion of the Salish Range the summit views lend themselves to spectacular vistas in all directions.
Camping and RedTapeMcGregor Peak is located in the Flathead National Forest which is in bear country. Don't hike alone and make plenty of noise and carry bear spray and know how to use it.
According to the Flathead National Forest Map the entire mountain is owned by the Plum Creek Timber Company as is a lot of the surrounding countryside. There were no "No Trespassing" signs anywhere on the mountain.
The closest campgrounds are located at Little McGregor Lake and McGregor Lake which are both considered to be part of the Thompson Chain-Of-Lakes.