Fergus County High Point Trip Report

Greathouse Peak (46 deg 46.099 min N, 109 deg 21.422 min W) - Datum WGS84

USGS elevation 8,681 ft (GPS elevation 8,726 ft)

Date: July 11-12, 2001
Author: Jerry Brekhus

We started our hike in Swimming Woman Canyon about 9 miles from Judith Gap Road on the south side of the Snowies. We climbed across the creek on a wooden fence and hiked upstream along the west side. Keeping to the west side, in about 1.5 miles we passed a sign closing the old jeep trail to vehicles. The lightly-used trail soon climbs steeply 1500 feet to join the main trail that connects Half Moon Pass to Knife Blade Ridge. You may even lose the trail, but you can see the main trail cut into the face of Greathouse Peak looming up ahead. Turn left (west) when you get there and follow the trail to the ridge top. Once on the ridge, a sharp right turn points you to the ridge that runs up to the summit of Greathouse Peak. The trail passes very close to the top, so it is an easy walk from the trail to top which had 2 cairns on it when we there. I placed a sealed plastic bag with our names under a rock at the base of the north cairn.

I used my hand level to sight back to Big Snowy, visited the day before, confirming that Greathouse seems slightly higher, but it shows by only a fraction of a bubble from level. Highpointers will want to visit the Golden Valley highpoint anyway, and while there need only to go 100 yards farther to stand on the summit of Big Snowy/Old Baldy.

Do not plan on visiting both candidates for Fergus County on the same hike! The terrain on the east side of Half Moon Pass is a serious obstacle.

Trip Statistics: Hiking time 5.25 hours; round-trip distance 9.2 miles; (Avocet watch) elevation gain 2,760 ft

Big Snowy benchmark data

(46 deg 45.106 min N, 109 deg 18.852 min W) - Datum WGS84
USGS elevation 8,678 ft (GPS elevation 8,698 ft)

Hiking time: see Golden Valley report