Snowy trail in parts, fun scramble to the summit
The true meaning of "sisterhood," when you call up your sister and say you want to climb to the top of Cha-paa-qn next week and she asks what day and time? This had always been a "Bucket List Item" for me, but I call it a "Life Adventure List." We were going to do the Sleeping Woman Trail, but when we stopped at the Nine Mile Ranger Station, they said they don't recommend that road, so we changed out plans to do the Reservation Divide Trail, which added more time to the hike. This trail takes quite a while, so leave early. We felt rushed on the top, so didn't get as many pictures as we would have, as we knew we needed to allow time for the return trip and didn't want to be in the dark. Bring bear spray with you the trail is very brush in numerous spots, in late summer there would be quite a few huckleberries along the trail. We saw a pika on the rocks on top. Also, we found out at the ranger station that you don't need a reservation permit to hike the trail, as it is all in the Lolo National Forest. Bring some flagging tape to mark where your trail is, when you start the rock climb, so you don't take the wrong trail when you come back down. I seriously can't believe the the posts of climbing this at dark and in poor weather. There are a lot of amazingly tough people out there.
On a busy weekend, you can take a different route and have it all to yourself. The Kennedy trail is actually pretty well maintained, only a few logs down. Good views of the peak on the way up. If you've been up the other ways too many times, why not go the longer way? Its 8 miles each way but a rather pleasant hike. Very busy at the summit, same great views!
An evening hike in absolutely frigid weather. All the trees were caked in ice.
Quick trip to the summit, I think it takes longer to drive to the trailhead from Missoula than it does to climb it:) still fun tho with amazing views of the Missions.
Took the divide trail over to the Sleeping Woman trail and then up to the summit. It was still very foggy at the summit and the furthest I could see was an occasional glimpse of the small lake to the northeast. By the time I was back at my car skies were blue, making me wish I had started a bit later.
Very wet on the East side and still a good bit of snow on the West side of the approach from Divide Trail... 50% of the trail is wet basically but no crampons/spikes needed. Nice clear views from the top though! Round trip was about 4 hours with a 1/2 hour on top. First Montana ascent for us!
Wanted to hike this peak for a long time. Very cold and windy. Lots of clouds and snow. Hiked it with my son. Followed the biggest moose tracks we've ever seen. Beautiful views.
Reservation Divide Trail.
interesting spring hike up the 2178 Road from where I parked due to snow, then transitioning onto the Sleeping Woman Trail the rest of the way. Was probably 5 miles each way. Didn't see a soul, had some variable spring weather but with little precip, and overall a nice experience. A couple highlights: walking in grizzly tracks to save myself some post-holing on the road, and reaching the summit to be blasted by a northern wind that must've chilled the temperature at least 25 degrees.
I was able to drive my truck to a spot just past the Ninemile CCC Camp but man, the road sure was icy! The bushwack from there up to the regular SW ridge trailhead was not a big deal, and the snowshoe slog up the trail was a great workout. Too bad it was nasty and socked in up top, but I hadn't been up here for over 10 years, I bet, so it was worth it anyways! Quite a sketchy drive back down that icy road!
I think the most fun was my wife's comments as we drove up the road that led to the TH. She doesn't like narrow dirt roads with drop offs. I found a cairn at the right spot that allowed me to go the trail cross country to the summit. In retrospect, I think I would stay to the right and head for the ridge before it becomes the SE ridge to the summit. I had a couple cl 3 spots the way I went and you can keep it to just class 2 on the correct route. I instead boulder hopped up the talus and going to the right would have made my progress easier. Nice views from the summit. Found a geocache in the rock shelter and a central benchmark as well as one witness marker. Met no one else on a weekday.
Climbed from the Reservation Divide Trail with Ashley and Jesse. Easy peak, but pretty snowy from just above the trailhead. Glad to summit after looking at the peak from work for so long in Missoula!
Great snowy hike in foul weather! See my photos here: http://caverpilot.com/2012/10/climbing-squaw-peak-october-22-2012/
Returned to TH at sunset to find a page-out for SAR in Glacier Park. Had to break camp and head north to Kalispell. Loooong night. The peak was easy and views were decent.
The rock hop at the top was faster than I thought - the dog stayed at the bottom - apparently his paws didn't like the summit.. Quick and easy!
Wanted to catch the sunset at the top and take a couple of pictures. However, we left Missoula too late and by the time myself, 3 friends, and a dog reached the base of the scree it was already dark. We decided to continue up in the pitch black, falling snow, and freezing cold. This was my first summit of the mountain formerly known as Squaw as I am originally from Georgia. Really cool at the top (even though it was dark). Planning on hiking it during the day before the weather gets out of hand. Hiked though snow most of trail and about 6 inches or more at summit. Really cool mountain, really nice hike. Western larches awesome on drive up.
Hiked the Reservation Divide Trail to the top on a hot, breezy afternoon. Great views of the Missions from up top! 3 1/2 hours round-trip. We'll be back!
Have climbed this numerous times..spring, summer, fall, winter. This was both my son and daughters first mountain summit.
Twice on top. Can't remember the dates.