The highest peak in the Elkhorn Mountains of Montana is Crow Peak, with Elkhorn Peak a close second (maybe 20 ft lower). Both peaks, much like anything in the Elkhorns, are basically piles of volcanic rock. It’s a hike to the top of either or both of these peaks, and hopping over the volcanic boulders is the most difficult part of summiting.
From Boulder, take MT-69 heading East. Turn left (North) on White Bridge Ln, crossing the Boulder River, and continue East. Turn left again (North) onto Elkhorn Rd and follow it up for about 12 miles to the "ghost-town" of Elkhorn. Although the road continues up the old mining road (very rough and hard to turn around on), I would recommend simply parking in the town Elkhorn at about 6,500-6,600 ft. The road up to the "ghost-town" of Elkhorn is plowed in the winter, as people still live there
There are a couple of options for summiting either or both Crow and Elkhorn Peak.
Crow Peak (highest):
To summit Crow Peak by itself follow the trail up Queen Gulch to Leslie Lake. The 4x4 road/trail will break off multiple times, just stay left while ascending (and stay right while descending). From the lake, head North and gain the East ridge of Crow Peak and follow it to the top. Round trip is about 9 miles and 2,800+ ft. of gain.
Elkhorn Peak (second highest):
Follow the old iron mine road up the Southwest/West side of Elkhorn mountain. At about 8,450 ft. and 2.5 miles in, the trail will break off to the right. This turn is easy to miss (if you start going downhill, you’ve gone to far). The correct trail will lead you East uphill toward the saddle between Windy Point and Elkhorn Peak. From here it is an obvious boulder hop to the top. Round trip is roughly 8 miles with about 2,800 ft gain.
The most common route is following the old iron mine road up to Windy Point, summiting Elkhorn Mountain (as described above), then traversing over to Crow Peak . From Crow you have a few options; 1) do at as an in-and out (11-12 miles with maybe 3,700 ft. of gain; most common); 2) do a short loop by dropping the Southwest ridge of Crow Peak for about a mile, then scramble down (West) towards Elkhorn Creek and follow back to your vehicle (this requires bushwhacking and route finding); all in all this is about a 9.5 mile loop with roughly 3,400 ft. of gain; 3) Drop the East ridge of Crow Peak then head down (South) to Leslie Lake and follow the rail that goes down Queen Gulch all the way back to your vehicle (the trail will branch off in multiple spot; always stay to the right while descending); this loop is about 14 miles with about 3,400 ft of gain.
If going up (or down) the old iron mine road, be mindful and respectful to the owners of the cabin just below Windy Point.
When to Climb
Crow Peak can be climbed any time of the year, although most commonly climbed late Spring through early Fall. The road up to the "ghost-town" of Elkhorn is plowed in the winter, as people still live there.
Add Camping text here.
Add External Links text here.