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There are no roads that cross the Flathead Mountain Range in Northwestern Montana. With Glacier National Park as its neighbor to the east, the incredible Swan Range to the west and the massive Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex to the south, the peaks of the Flathead Range, with the exception of Great Northern Mountain, are seldom visited by climbers. The reason: Most peaks are difficult to access.
Pentagon and Pagoda, Trilobite and Turtlehead, Ousel and Condor, Helmet and Sergeant, Gunsight and Bow, Gladiator and Prospector; are all names of peaks in the Flathead Range. Perhaps each named peak tells a story that we will never know. Some peaks like Mount Cameahwait have ties to the Lewis and Clark Expedition; Cameahwait was Sacagawea’s brother.
|A Look at the Numbers:||#|
|Total Named Peaks||82|
|Total Peaks over 8,000 feet||24|
|Total Peaks between 7,000 and 8,000 feet||48|
|Total Peaks between 6,000 and 7,000 feet||10|
|Total Peaks between 5,000 and 6,000 feet||5|
|Total Peaks between 4,000 and 5,000 feet||2|
|Total Wilderness Areas||2|
|Total Peaks with trails to the summits||13|
|Total Peaks with Roads to the summits||3|
|Total Peaks featured on SummitPost||3|
|Total Named Peaks along the Continental Divide||7|
The Flathead Range, in Northwestern Montana, is primarily located in Flathead County.
The geographic boundaries:
To the west, the South Fork of the Flathead River and Hungry Horse Reservoir.
To the northeast, the Middle Fork of the Flathead River as it flows beside Glacier National Park.
To the southeast, The Continental Divide, marks the border of the range.
To the north, West Glacier, Montana is the terminus.
To the south, the range ends in the Bob Marshal Wilderness at border between Flathead County and Powell County.
Like the Whitefish Range to the north, The Flathead Range is formed from cake-like layers of siltstone, mudstone and limestone that are thousands of feet in depth.
Access to The Flathead Range is available from trailheads along the Middle and South Forks of the Flathead River as well as from Spotted Bear.
During the fall hunting season is in full swing as residents and non-residents pursue elk, deer and black bear in the Flathead Range. Special hunting licenses are required to hunt moose, mountain lion as well as mountain goats. Hunting grizzly bears and wolves is not permitted at this time.
For all of the rules and regulations of the Flathead National Forests see: MT Rules and Regulations.
Peaks within the boundaries of the range stand at elevations between 4,724 and 8,882 feet in elevation. Access to most of these peaks is difficult even under the best conditions.
The tallest peak in The Flathead Range is Silvertip Mountain which stands at an elevation of 8,882 feet ( m) and is located in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. Access to Silvertip is most easily gained from the Meadow Creek trailhead on the western side of the Bob Marshall Wilderness near Spotted Bear.
The shortest peak is Solitude Point at 4,724 feet located near the Spotted Bear Ranger Station.
Great Northern Mountain, the 3rd tallest peak in the range, and Mount Grant, the 4th tallest peak in the range, are featured on SummitPost.
Located below is a list of named peaks that actually lie within the boundaries of the Flathead Range.
The following abbreviations provide information regarding the location of the peaks in the table below.
BMW = Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
GBW = Great Bear Wilderness.
FNF = Flathead National Forest
|Summit Name||Elevation Feet||Elevation Meters||Routes||Location|
|Great Northern Mountain||8,705||2,653||SP Route||GBW|
|Mount Grant||8,590||2,618||SP Route||GBW|
|Red Sky Mountain||8,173||2,491||None||GBW|
|Black Bear Mountain||7,725||2,355||None||BMW|
|Great Bear Mountain||7,668||2,337||None||GBW|
|Spotted Bear Mountain||7,230||2,204||Trail||BMW|
|Dry Park Peak||7,196||2,193||None||GBW|
|Big Bill Mountain||6,652||2,028||None||BMW|
|Mud Lake Mountain||6,361||1,939||Trail||BMW|
|Black Bear Hump||6,139||1,871||None||BMW|
|Hungry Horse Mountain||5,660||1,725||None||FNF|
|Mountain Name||Elevation Feet||Elevation Meters|
|Three Sisters (North)||8,900||2,713|
|Three Sisters (South)||8,660||2,640|
|Three Sisters (Center)||8,630||2,630|
|Name of Rental||Description||Daily Rental Cost||Location|
|Zip's Cabin||The property Zip’s Place (cabin) sits on was originally part of a homestead granted in 1937. In 1945 the land was bought by the Kimmet family of Cut Bank, MT and in 1954 they constructed the cabin that resides there today. The structure is named for "Aunt Zip" who was the first in the family to own the property. On the cabin door, as well as a cupboard door above the stove, bite marks from the Geifer Grizzly of 1974-75 are still visible. The cabin, which borders the Great Bear Wilderness, was sold to the Forest Service by Tony and Lois Kimmet in 1993.||$50/night||Zip’s cabin is located 48 miles east of Hungry Horse, MT between mile markers 191 and 192 on US Highway 2. Travel south 2 miles on Geifer Creek (Lodgepole Lane) gravel county road veering left initially. Follow the signs to Zip’s cabin. In winter months, cabin access is via snowmobile/ski/snowshoe from plowed parking area on the same county road approximately 1.5 miles from the cabin. Summer (or when snow is melted and road is passable), you can drive to the cabin.|
|Challenge Cabin||The Challenge cabin is thought to have been built in 1925 by Evertt Hart. The construction is an example of a C-1 style building with dove-tailed corner jointing. It was originally used as a summer patrol station for numerous crews as there was no road access at that time. The external wall to the right of the door has signatures of past occupants that date back to 1932.||$30/night||Challenge Cabin is located 51 miles east of Hungry Horse, MT on US Highway 2, then eight miles south on Skyland Road #569. Park in the plowed area along US Highway 2, then hike, snowmobile, ski, or snowshoe the eight miles to the cabin along the groomed snowmobile trail. You cannot drive to Challenge Cabin.|
|Silvertip Cabin||Silvertip Cabin is located 55 miles south from Hungry Horse on Forest Road #38. The cabin is within walking distance to the Spotted Bear River.||$50/night||From the town of Hungry Horse travel on US Hwy 2 turn south at Martin City on Forest Road 38 which is paved through this small town and turns to gravel as you enter the forest. You will travel for approximately 55 miles on a winding gravel road along Hungry Horse Reservoir. At the junction with Diamond R Guest Ranch turn east on Forest Road 568 travel approximately 14 miles. Park at the trailhead and hike or ride on trail #228 for approximately 1/3 of a mile to the Spotted Bear River Trail #83 go past Trails #43 and #89.|
Hope for the best and plan for the worst. This phrase is very appropriate for describing weather in Montana. Weather can change at a moments notice and storms quickly arrive over neighboring mountain ranges. Check out the weather before starting climbs.
Climbers Guide to Montana
Hiking Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness, by Erik Molvar
This is an excellent guide to the trails in the wilderness, giving not only mileage, condition and some illustrations of the trails, but fishing info as well.
Montana’s Bob Marshall Country: The Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, Great Bear Wilderness Areas and Surrounding Wildlands, by Rick P. Graetz.
This is a pictorial book of each section of the Bob Marshall Complex, from the Great Bear to the Scapegoat.
Flathead National Forest
Glacier Avalanche Center