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Warex Peak

Warex Peak

Warex Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.65835°N / 115.27438°W

Object Title: Warex Peak

County: Lincoln

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 6242 ft / 1903 m


Page By: rebelgrizz

Created/Edited: Nov 8, 2012 / Nov 8, 2012

Object ID: 824507

Hits: 783 

Page Score: 81.84%  - 14 Votes 

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If one is looking for a fall hike in NW Montana after the snow starts flying in the higher elevations, then Warex Peak, located in the Salish Mountains, easily fits the bill.

Warex's unique location, directly on the east side of Lake Koocanusa, provides the hiker with dramatic sweeping vistas of NW Montana's Purcells to the west and south. Back to the SE, one also has views of a portion of the Salish Mountains. Views to the north and east are mostly blocked by trees.

Hiking in along the ridge, colorful views of the south side of McGuire Mountain, the highest summit in the Salish Mountains, keep you company on the trail.

In the 1930's a 70' pole tower with an L-4 cab stood atop the summit of Warex. This, unfortunately, was destroyed some time in the early 1970's.

Getting There

Warex Peak
Large parking area
Warex Peak
Gated #7996
Drive 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 3.28 miles to Edna Creek Road (#433) and turn right. This road is paved for the first 8 miles...after driving 16.5 miles there is an intersection with FS Road #1900...turn left here. After 1.3 miles on #1900 there is another intersection. Go straight here and the road changes to FS Road #494...stay on this road for approximately 2.9 miles or until reaching the intersection with FS Road #7996. Bear left here and continue on #7996 for 2.03 miles until reaching the large parking area and gated, overgrown #7996, which serves as your "TH".

Route Information

Hike along overgrown FS Road #7996 for 1.46 miles, gaining around 200', until reaching an obvious trail up and to the left of the road. I would not want to do this hike in the summer due to the overgrowth, bugs, etc. The pictures below were taken after some hard freezes.

There is a sign up above where you leave the road. When we found it, it was lying face down in the dirt. As mentioned, once on the trail on the ridge, up above the vegetation on the road, you're able to see McGuire Mountain to the north, pictured below.

Warex Peak
Snowy Trail #277
Warex Peak
Just below the summit on #277

Hike on Trail #277, on the north side of a long ridge, for about 2.6 miles, gaining a little over 500', until reaching the summit, pictured

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
FS Road #79961.46191'
Trail #2772.62514'


Camping and RedTape

Warex Peak 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 didn't see any bear sign on this hike, but the Salish Mountains are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.

Bear Stuff

There is no 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 sometimes August. No ticks were seen on this hike.

The closest official place to stay is the McGuire Mountain Lookout. However, some moose hunters had thrown down a tent right at the parking area.

Parting Shot