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Montana, United States, North America
9431 ft / 2875 m
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Created On: Aug 26, 2011
Last Edited On: Jul 17, 2012


ElephantHead Mountain is a unique looking knob located in the Northern Absaroka range. It is a nice mixed hike to the headwaters of Mission Creek, with some steep parts and a dramatic summit. From the top you get great views of more jagged mountains to the south.

Getting There

Head out of Livingston on Swingly road, which is found East of town between the Yellowstone and the East exit off of I-90. Swingly road runs SouthEast and is a very nice drive from Livingston over to McLeod Montana. About 6 or 7 miles you will turn right, the turn is past Beaver Creek but before the main Mission Creek road intersection, I'm sorry but can't recall the name of the road you turn on, perhaps it is "Buffery", but it runs south about two miles up to the 63 ranch where you turn off. Turn south right into the 63 ranch, through their yard, you will need to go through 4 gates (leave them as you find them) and finally get up to the forest service parking area where there should be signs.
The trail goes right up Mission Creek, straight south, (perhaps a bit SSW at first) towards a rocky saddle where you vere right (west) and ascend a steep slope to the summit. "vere" before the cliffs. This is 5 miles in to the summit (10 miles RT) with about 3,400 feet of elevation gain. It's a good route and took us 2 hrs and 20 min to the summit, and 2 hours down.

Red Tape



You can camp anywhere you want up here (on the forest or in the wilderness area) but it is fairly close to town. Be respectful of the 63 Ranch, they live there.

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Draqqi - Jul 16, 2012 11:27 pm - Voted 1/10

Lots of missing info.

I tried to climb this peak using the info in this post - it is either totally wrong or missing lots of important info!

#1: if you climb to the saddle of Elephanthead and go right, as suggested, you will face 100 foot cliffs that you certainly can't climb without ropes!

#2: the obvious ascent is visible from the Mission Creek trail on your way up. It's a steep, but grassy and easily climbable ascent that is not visible from the backside, Suce Creek, where we came from. I assume it's easy, but after wasting so much time looking for the other ascent, we didn't have the energy to go for it.

Suce Creek to Mission Creek trailhead is a great and fairly easy through hike.


CBakwin - Jul 17, 2012 2:33 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Lots of missing info.

Sorry Draqqi, I can see how it was confusing. I meant you "vere" before the cliffs you mention. Before the actual saddle you start the "vere". Probably difficult to see coming from Suce crk. Sorry it cost you the summit.

Draqqi - Jul 20, 2012 8:53 pm - Voted 1/10

No worries

Another day, another time...I'm excited to go check out the caves!

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8 Images 6 Climber's Log Entries 1 Comments 3 Additions & Corrections


Mountains & Rocks in Montana


Montana Absarokas (Western Beartooths)Mountains & Rocks