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Poorman Mountain

Poorman Mountain

Poorman Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.97639°N / 114.92806°W

Object Title: Poorman Mountain

County: Lincoln

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 7832 ft / 2387 m


Page By: rebelgrizz

Created/Edited: Aug 27, 2012 / Aug 27, 2012

Object ID: 809394

Hits: 1457 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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Located just south of the Canadian border in NW Montana's Whitefish Range lies the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. This remote hiking/backpacking area offers 89 miles of trails within it's 15,700 acres. There are many alpine lakes, several named peaks, and several other un-named points that provide the hiker/climber with many destinations from which to choose.

Poorman Mountain, at 7832', is the highest and northernmost named peak, located in the Ten Lakes area. That makes Poorman the second highest overall in the U.S. portion of the Whitefish Range, with the highest being Nasukoin Mountain located to the south in the central portion of the range.

Other peaks of note in the Ten Lakes Scenic Area of the Whitefish Range include the following: Green Mountain, Mount Wam, Stahl Peak, St. Clair Peak, Mount Gibralter, Ksanka Peak and Independence Peak.

Getting There

Green Mountain
Bluebird #83 Trailhead view
Green Mountain
Trailhead sign
Drive 43 miles north of Whitefish on Hwy 93 and turn right on Grave Creek Rd. Grave Creek Road is paved and two lanes for the first 3 miles and then is paved and one lane with pullouts for the next 7 miles. Follow the signs to Therriault Lakes. Total distance from Hwy 93 is 29.2 miles. After the first 10 miles it is a mixture of gravel with a couple of paved sections. It is a fairly decent road for the most part and 2WD passenger cars are able to travel on it. At approximately 27.8 miles take the right to Little Therriault Lake and drive for another approximately .8 miles to the turn-off to the left for Little Therriault Lake, but instead of turning left, continue straight up the road for another .6 miles, passing the Horse Camp until the road dead ends at the Bluebird Trail #83 trailhead.

Route Information


Poorman Mountain
Paradise Lake Reflection
Green Mountain
Trail #339 intersection
Hike up the Bluebird Trail #83 for approximately 2.32 miles gaining about 1150'. The goal is to reach the Highline Trail #339 as it traverses northward across the wide bench (Bluebird Basin) containing Paradise Lake and Bluebird Lake. Trail #83 is a well-maintained trail as it is the primary route to Bluebird Lake which is a popular destination in the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. The trail does switchbacking on its way up to the bench and crosses Bluebird Creek several times. Early in the season, more than one of these crossings could be problematic due to snowmelt.

Green Mountain
Approaching the ridge on #339
Poorman Mountain
Point 7712 gets a kiss

When you reach the trail intersection, turn right and begin making your way towards Point 7712 and the ridge east of it. The trail is relatively flat until you reach the ridge...total distance to the top of the ridge is about 1.7 miles with a gain of about 440'. The Highline Trail #339 switchbacks its way up and over that ridge and angles down the other side into another basin with two other small lakes. The ridge offers up some great views...pictured below.




Poorman Mountain
Headed toward Point 7686
Poorman Mountain
View from overlook

Traverse across the basin below Green Mountain's east face until reaching the saddle between Green's NE ridge and Point 7686's SW ridge. Here Trail #339 takes a dip of about 150' as it traverses below the west face of Point 7686. Before reaching the saddle of Poorman and Point 7686 you can walk up a small overlook and get a great view of the Wolverine Lakes from above.

Poorman Mountain
Leave the trail here
Poorman Mountain
Lower part of ridge

Get back on the trail and continue heading north. Continue over the saddle and up the trail and look for a small cairn beside a small set of cliffs. This is where you leave the trail and hop up onto Poorman's south ridge. From here it's pretty much a straight shot up the ridge to the summit. Once on the ridge, there is faint evidence of a trail, here and there, as Poorman had a lookout years ago.

The grassy summit, pictured below, lends rich views in all directions.

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Trail #832.321150'
Trail #339 to Ridge-top1.70440'
Trail #339 to Poorman1.39244'
Poorman's south ridge.31475'


Camping and RedTape

Poorman Mountain 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 lots of bear sign on Poorman's south ridge and the Whitefish Range is chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.

Bear Stuff

There is water available on this hike. A map of the Kootenai National Forest and the Rexford/Fortine Ranger District is 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 at Little Therriault Lake.

Parting Shot