Thompson Peak, Tobacco Root Range (MT)

Thompson Peak, Tobacco Root Range (MT)

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 45.52920°N / 112.02149°W
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 10386 ft / 3166 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Branham Peaks from Branham lakes

Thompson Peak is an easy summit from the Branham Lakes trailhead in the Tobacco Root Mountains of Southwestern Montana. Due to a short approach time and stable terrain, it can be a shorter day hike or one of a few easier scrambles/hike combined in a day. Several other peaks can be easily reached from this trailhead and potentially combined in one full day excursion. These include Leggat Mountain, Branham Peaks, and Long Mountain. On a clear day from the summit one can see many other peaks of the Tobacco Roots. As well peaks of the Madison, Pioneer, Gravelly and Snowcrest Ranges.
Branham Peaks from Thompson Peak

Getting There

Thompson Peak from trail.

From the town of Sheridan Montana take Mill Creek Rd (FSR 111) from the downtown area. A hardware/grocery store is the last chance for food or beer. A sign for "Mill Creek CG 6 miles" is where you want to go. Follow this road for over 10 slow miles on a gravel road which may require 4x4 in some spots. It's not bad though. Clearance is not a huge issue so Subarus and other lower vehicles will fare ok. You will eventually come to the upper and lower Branham lakes. The Trail Head Begins at the southern end of upper Branham lake and should be easy to find. Look for a small bridge and parking off to the left.

The route is pretty straighforward, hike the steep alpine tundra from trail between the ridge connecting thompson peak and the trail. When you see a large cairn, this is point where you go off the trail and improvise a route to the summit. The picture above gives you an idea of how navigable the terrain is.
Granite Peak, Tobacco Roots

Red Tape

I have seen quite a few bears in the Tobacco Roots. Even though there is not an active grizzly bear population, some people still claim it to be grizzly country. Bear spray is advised. Certain areas of the Tobacco Roots are closed in the spring for mountain goat kidding. Please check with local Ranger District if it's during spring or early summer when you plan to travel.
Leggat Spire, Early Morning
Leggat Peak from Thompson Peak


A campsite is located at the TH. The forest service has done extensive felling of trees killed by bark beetles. Firewood was very abundant when I was there.
Leggat Massiff, Tobacco Root Mountains, MT


Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Tobacco Root MountainsMountains & Rocks