Deer Lodge Mountain sits on Forest Service land a few miles southwest of Deer Lodge, MT. It is connected with Mount Powell which sits at 10,164'. These two mountains are by far the most prominent peaks in the Deer Lodge area.This is not an easy walk up by any stretch of the imagination, so consider yourself warned....Have fun
Deer Lodge Mtn. is the third knob from the right. Mount Powell is on the left.
Getting To The Top
The Montana State Prison has their ranch at the base of the mountain. There are a few roads shown on the map that get you relatively close to the mountain but they are not all open according to the latest information from the Forest Service office in Deer Lodge. The road that I used for this and other trips to access the forest is FR 8507 which takes you into the Dempsey Creek drainage on the south side of the mountain. You head south on the access road from Deer Lodge for a couple of miles until you hit Sager Lane. Take a right and make sure that you have a map because the roads are not marked well at all. You will have to travel through the prison ranch for about five miles till you get to Dempsey Creek at the base of the mountain. You will see a turnoff that takes you to the boundary fence at the base of a long open park. Park here and go through the gate(make sure that you close it behind you!).
There is NO TRAIL
! If you are not confident in your route-finding skills this might not be the mountain for you
...And the trail that you will not find.
The route that I used consisted of hiking to the top of the park and then steadily sidehilling upward to the ridge.
Be careful, it is almost all scree and moraine to the top of the mountain!
Once you are on top of the ridge you will have a hard time getting off course, just stay on top of the ridge and you will get to the top.There is a small cairn at the top, nothing else.
Be careful on this mountain! It is not technical at all, but if you hurt yourself you will be on your own.The only sign of traffic on the mountain was a 2 year old can of bear spray that I found at the summit. Make sure that you let someone know where you are going and when to start looking for you.
Some of the terrain that you will encounter on the way up and back.
It is around 9 miles round trip with 4165' of elevation gain from the trailhead so make sure that you start early and pack a lot of water and energy snacks.
There are no campgrounds within 15 miles of the trailhead, but there is Forest Service land just past the parking area.
If you don't mind staying a ways from the trailhead there is a Forest Service campground on Racetrack Creek which is about 11 miles south of Deer Lodge off Interstate 90. Take Racetrack exit and proceed west 1 mile, then south .75 miles, then west on Forest Road 169.(Beaverhead-Deerlodge FS website)
The trailhead(if you can call it that) is on state owned land.No camping is allowed.Stay on the existing roads.Please be sure to leave the gates as you found them as there is livestock on the land.
Caution!!!Part of this area was used as an artillery range, so if you see any shells leave them alone!!!
This is the approximate route used. Thanks Terraserver.... 3D models are great.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on the sky as this area,like most mountain ranges, is prone to afternoon thunderstorms.
Deer Lodge Weather