Deer Lodge County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: August 10, 2010
note 1: All coordinates are in the WGS84 datum.
Author: Adam Helman
note 2: Mouse-click on any image for detail.
This effort was part of a larger journey
collecting Idaho and Montana county highpoints in August 2010.
I do not recommend this route. It is shorter and likely easier to use TR129 for
an eastern approach.
It is 29.7 ATM from I-15 (Exit 102 near Wisdom, MT) along Montana Route 43
to gravel FR1223, signed "Mudd Creek Road".
One ATM (Adam Truck Mile) is about 1.01 normal miles
since my odometer reads about 1% too low.
It is 4.7 ATM along FR1223 to the National Forest boundary; and 5.1 ATM to a
at (45.88311° N, 113.33749° W) with FR1279. Bear right here onto FR1279.
Drive 2.5 miles along FR1279 to the TR130 trailhead on your left (north). Parking is easy
on the road's opposite side on grass. Here's the
at (45.90218° N, 113.33682° W) and elevation 6,344 feet.
There are several reasons why not to take TR130 (and then TR9)...
this deadfall is typical.
I estimate a full 9 miles to reach this 8,580 foot
at (45.97412° N, 113.41594° W). Allow four hours on the ascent.
TR130 is returning to Nature, unmaintained with ample deadfall. There is one location where
it takes all my awareness to find it on the opposite side of one such nightmare.
Furthermore, TR9 is muddy near any of several stream crossings.
There are rock outcrops along the ridge for several hundred feet leading east to the summit -
indeed, clear to treeline. This impediment considerably slows progress.
Leave West Goat Peak's northwest ridge 100 feet below the summit to avoid a nasty subpeak
directly in your path by descending perhaps 25 feet; traversing under said subpeak (to its west!);
and then going east (not south) to gain the true summit along an ever-steepening route.
East Goat Peak from
West Goat Peak's summit.
The weather worsens as I climb the northwest ridge, turning to hail for the final several hundred
vertical feet. I continue since there is no thunder. Once on-top the weather clears enough
for views of East Goat Peak (see photograph) and, later, of Warren Peak in nearby Granite County
to the west.
I estimate 21 miles for the round trip, consuming 11 hours 50 minutes. This includes a 15 minute
breakfast break, at dawn, already 3 miles into the approach hike.
The net elevation gain is 4,400 feet. I estimate 175 feet of downhill travel before the saddle,
adding 350 feet for a total elevation gain of 4,750 feet. My ridgeline rock scrambling, with its
occasional need for descending below the true ridge only to regain it, adds 50 feet to my effort
for a 4,800 foot total as I experienced this route.
The Granite County highpoint,
Warren Peak, seen from roughly
9,000 feet on the northwest ridge.