OverviewIf you're into old lookouts, or what's left of them, then Weigel Mountain may be just the hike for you. Weigel Mountain is located in the central portion of Northwestern Montana's Salish Mountains. Weigel is located just to the NW of Wolf Point. Strong hikers could combine these two mountains for a full day of exercise and beautiful solitude in the lush forests of the great state of Montana.
After hiking a total of approximately 1.88 miles the trail makes a hard right into the trees, luckily there is a remnant of a trail sign there or this turn could easily be missed. The elevation gained on this portion is about the same as the clear-cut but in less mileage, so this part is somewhat steeper in sections than the clear-cut. The trail emerges onto a narrow meadow or bench, stay on the trail until you approach a small hill. This is where you leave the trail and begin the bushwhack portion of the hike.
Find the gap in the trees to your left and go up. Unfortunately, there are no cliffs to scramble up on Weigel Mountain. Just a couple of small hills and you're well on your way to the summit. The vegetation is not thick and the deadfall is minimal...just keep looking up for the path of least resistance.
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain|
|FS Road||.71||151'||Clear-cut Trail 128||1.17||245'||Forest Trail 128||.76||254'||Bushwhack||.52||328'||Total||3.16||978'|
ViewsThe summit used to house a lookout and there are some remnants of it still there. Views to the north and east are blocked by trees, but the better views are to the south and west.
Trip OptionsWeigel Mountain is located just to the northwest of Wolf Point. The robust hiker could more than likely summit both of these mountains in the same day. We attempted to do this by accessing Wolf Point first, using "Trail 110". This turned out to be a huge mistake due to the massive amount of deadfall across the trail. Time becomes a factor as does energy. As it turns out, Trail 110 (Weigel Creek) has more than likely been decommissioned by the KNF, but I never really got a straight answer.
The best way, IMHO, is to access Weigel Mountain first, using Trail 128. This trail is in good shape, it is a shorter hike, and the summit of Weigel is much easier to reach than the summit of Wolf Point.
After summitting Weigel, return to the trail and continue hiking for approximately 2 miles to the SE to the intersection of #128 and #110 (if you can find it). Turn left or NE on #110 and hike for approximately 1 mile until between the main summit mass on your right and a small knob on your left...at that point it is time to bushwhack/scramble up through several cliff bands to the summit. On the topo map, this portion of #128 looks like it could be enjoyable with open views to the south until reaching #110. At that point, all bets are off....there will be lots of deadfall on #110...lots!
If doing both mountains this will be a STRENUOUS hike! Approximate round trip mileage would be close to 14 miles and elevation gain/loss of well over 2000 feet...but the real killer would be the deadfall on #110.
Camping and RedTapeWeigel 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. Although we did not see any bear sign specifically on Weigel Mountain, the Salish Mountains are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.
There was plenty of water available on this hike. A map of the Kootenai National Forest is also very helpful in negotiating the many FS Roads in the Salish Mountains. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June!
The closest official campground is Sylvia Lake located in the Flathead National Forest.