OverviewWolf Point is located in Northwestern Montana's Salish Mountains. I'm sure most of the local populace, and tourists alike, enamored with the rugged beauty of Glacier National Park view the Salish Mountains as nothing more than tree-covered hills. Not a destination climb for 99.9% of the population, the joys of scrambling up the cliffs of Wolf Point far outweighed the negatives of the un-maintained trail. Another benefit of the Salish is the solitude derived from it's lack of "pizzazz".
The trees...on the "trail" alone, before the off-trail bushwhack began, you must go over, under, or around almost 300 downed trees. (Yes, they were counted on the return trip) What could've been...no, should've been...an easy enjoyable hike became an absolutely nightmarish sojourn of pain and agony.
Upon reaching a large blowdown after about 3.8 miles of "trail" we opted to leave the trail to climbers' left and begin the off-trail bushwhack portion of the hike to the summit.
Climbing the first cliff band required the use of hands to gain elevation on more than one occasion.
After climbing the first and largest of what was to be four cliff bands...this was your view toward the summit...it was over there somewhere.
There were more blowdowns to contend with on the off-trail bushwhack. The one on the bench between the first and second cliff bands was the worst.
The third cliff band, though not as high as the first, also required the use of hands to gain elevation, proved to be almost as fun as you had to climb to a ledge, walk the ledge for several feet and then resume upward progress.
This continued for one more cliff band, which could be bypassed, and then finally, a little more walking to reach the summit area and the summit itself...a long, narrow rock ridge with vegetation growing in the middle of it.
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain||Downed Trees|
|FS Road||.36||Minimal||5-10||"Trail 110"||3.81||606'||290||Forest Bushwhack||.58||387'||100?||Total||4.75||993'||400|
ViewsViews are not especially good from anywhere on the mountain due to the staggering amount of trees. Summit views were blocked to the west, north and east by trees. Elk Mountain to the NE could be glimpsed through the trees but not photo worthy. A couple of views to the south and SE are below.
Best view of the trip was on the return hike...from the trail...pictured below.
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 RedTapeWolf Point 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 Wolf Point, 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!
A NOTE OF WARNING. I called the KNF the day after this hike to inquire about the condition of Trail #110. After being passed around to several different ranger stations I found one who was willing to help me. After discussing the condition of the trail, she was not familiar with the location of it, she retrieved the current KNF map (mine is several years old) and this trail is not even on the map...apparently it has been decommissioned and will no longer be maintained.
The closest official campground is Sylvia Lake located in the Flathead National Forest.