OverviewStandard Peak is located in the southeastern portion of NW Montana's Whitefish Range. It's unique location, one of only three named peaks in this portion of the range, make for some dandy views of several of NW Montana's surrounding mountain ranges.
The Swans are visible immediately to the SE. Farther to the SE, the wild and rugged Flathead Range can also be seen. Directly to the south, the Flathead Valley opens up wide, until meeting the beautiful Salish Mountains along the SW horizon. Western and northwestern views are dominated by the scenic and un-tamed Whitefish Range. Last, but certainly not least, the Apgar Mountains and the rest of Glacier National Park are visible to the east and NE.
Unfortunately, on this day, wildfire smoke from Idaho, Montana and Washington obliterated all the long-range views.
Trail #270, aka the Smoky Range National Recreation Trail, begins on the NE side of Point 6331 and travels in a southwesterly direction for over 9 miles to just NE of the Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain.
The initial section of the hike is up and through an old burn. The first view of Standard (pictured below) is gained at just about the same place as Trail #565 comes up and intersects from the SE.
Continue along #270 until reaching a point where it looks like the trail disappears...make a hard left here and the trail is visible again as it loses some elevation down the hillside.
The trail continues through a forested pocket before reaching a talus-covered connecting ridge between Point 6893 and a point to the NE. On a clear day this ridge would've granted nice views of the Whitefish Range to the NW. The trail disappears in the talus but the route is marked with several large trail cairns.
The trail curves below the summit of Point 6893 in a southwesterly direction and heads toward Standard Peak. The trail actually passes fairly close to the summit of Standard on the NW side, we discovered this on the descent, but we opted to head directly up the ridge, off-trail, to the summit. It was easy to decide where to leave the trail...pictured below.
In days gone by, the summit, pictured below, housed a lookout. This was an excellent choice for a lookout, as mentioned earlier, on a clear day, one would be able to view four of NW Montana's mountain ranges plus Glacier National Park.
LOOKING BACK AT ROUTE
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain|
|Trail #270||2.9||1638'||Ridge to Summit||.31||267'||Total||3.21||1905'|
Camping and RedTapeStandard Peak 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 did see bear sign on this hike, and the Whitefish Range is chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.
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 sometimes August. No ticks were seen on this hike.
The closest official campground is at Big Creek.