Meagher County Highpoint Trip Report
Mount Edith (about 9,480 ft)
Date: June 30, 2006
Author: Ben Knorr
I had been in Montana taking part in a family canoe trip on the upper Missouri
River for the previous week. On the way home to Utah, I wanted to get a medium
difficult (easy by Montana standards!) mountain under my belt, especially after
my failure on Snowshoe Peak last year. How lucky I was to get a chance to hike
Mount Edith, also a twofer peak.
I had used Jerry and Betty's trip report as a guide to help get me to the start
of the hike. Unfortunately, I jumped the gun and decided to start hiking from
what I would later find was the wrong location. I drove up North Fork Deep
Creek road (FR 423) looking for TR 152. I turned onto a road marked 423 H1
about 6.4 miles from Lippert Gulch Road, which one drives on for a mile or so
between US 12 and the rest of North Fork Deep Creek road. I drove less than 0.3
mile up before I decided to park and walk the rest of it. Just about 0.1 - 0.2
mile from my parking spot, I encountered heavier undergrowth and a locked gate.
Beyond the gate, the grass was tall and wet from the storm that was dissipating.
It soon became clear that I wasn't on the same trail as Jerry and Betty used.
I started walking around 8-foot tall trees in the middle of the road. I decided I
was definitely in the wrong place but, since I was so close, I pressed on
through the forest uphill toward the saddle (out of view). I had programmed the
coordinates of the summit and saddle into my GPS previously. After direct hill-
climbing through the forest and over talus slopes, I arrived at the trail I had
obviously missed by starting in the wrong place. I followed the trail towards
the saddle for a hundred yards or so, then just headed back uphill again through
thinning trees and grasses on the bald ridge. The final ridge is very gentle in
nature and is an easy walk on soft ground and some rocks. I was in the clouds
for this entire period. The summit offered only brief glimpses of the
surrounding mountains when the clouds would break for a few seconds.
The wind was gusting to 40+ MPH and the temp was about 50 F.
On the decent, I went all the way to the saddle and followed the trail (which is
in excellent shape and apparently heavily used). When the trail reached a road,
I followed a faint foot path that contoured the hillside the road goes over.
I thought it would meet back up with the road and get me back to the car.
Wrong again. I did find the road but I felt it was going away from the car too far
so, after visiting an old mine, I turned back into the forest and started the
direct GPS method of returning. GPS is a great thing the hill I descended to
get back to the car was STEEP! I added a miserable bushwhack after crossing
Deep Creek on a slippery log made to make it interesting (my GPS said I was ONLY
a half mile away from the car while on top of the steep hillside!).
I finally emerged on the overgrown road (423 H1) and followed it back past
the gate to the car.
Overall, I think it was a more difficult route than Jerry and Betty's since I
used GPS and compass quite a bit to navigate through the thick forest after
crossing Deep Creek the first time. It was also quite steep with virtually no
trail to speak of after 425 H1 petered out eventually. On the other hand,
I parked less than 2 miles from the saddle (GPS indication). I wouldn't recommend
following the trail back and cutting down the hillside to the east of Deep creek
like I did. Bushwhack the same way or park at the regular trailhead instead.
All roads are good for passenger vehicles with infrequent rocks and bumps,
except 423 H1, which is slightly overgrown with deep tire tracks.