OverviewI was having lunch with Flatheadnative the other day, as we discussed the ongoing success of his first book Climb Glacier National Park, the conversation turned to the horrendously deep snowpack still on the ground in NW Montana. Blake said, "Yeah, I haven't been able to do anything this year!" "I did one yesterday," I said. "Which one?" he asked. "Swamp Mountain" I replied. "Swamp Mountain?...I've never heard of that one" he said. I kind of laughed and said, "Dude, its listed on your Salish Range page!" He laughed and said, "Oh, I guess I have heard of it." The moral of the story: ANONYMITY CAN BE A GOOD THING! NO PEOPLE!!
Swamp Mountain is a peak just under 5000' located in the north central portion of the Salish Mountains of Northwestern Montana. These mountains are not high, but they are beautiful and solitude is king!
Getting ThereDrive 35.6 miles north on Hwy 93 from downtown Whitefish. Turn left at the "Trego" sign just past Dickey Lake. Drive 2.9 miles through "downtown Trego" and then turn left on #36 (Fortine Creek Rd). Drive 7.8 miles to the 36/48 fork...take the right fork which is #48. Drive 3.2 miles to FS Road #7156 located on the left side of the road...turn in and park on the side of the road. All of these are well-maintained paved roads up to #7156.
When you reach a large burn/cut area on your right begin looking up on your left for a path of least resistance up through the trees. This was actually a pretty painless bushwhack as far as vegetation goes and there were no real obstacles to impede progress up the mountain.
Continue upward through the somewhat open forest and you will encounter the first and largest of two rocky meadows. If you enter the meadow at it's approximate center (where we did) begin ascending to your right looking for a large rock.
When you reach the rock turn to the left and look for this opening through the timber.
Proceed into the timber, over a small area of deadfall, and up a small hill and you will pop out into the second rocky meadow. Continue up and through the second rocky meadow. You will have to go through one more row of trees/vegetation and then you will pop out onto the surprisingly bald, rocky summit and find the remnants of an old lookout.
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain|
|FS Road||2.75||723'||Forest Bushwhack||.42||418'||Total||3.17||1141'|
ViewsViews to the NW were tremendous from the first rocky meadow and from the summit, views to the SE and the south were especially rewarding.
Camping and RedTapeSwamp Mountain is located in the Kootenai National Forest which is bear country. Don't hike alone, make noise as you hike, carry bear spray and know how to use it.
There was run-off from snow melt but this would normally be dry, so bring your own water.
The closest campground is located at North Dickey Lake.