Musselshell County High Point Trip Report

Date: March 19, 2001
Author: Jerry Brekhus

On the last full day of winter, we visited the two areas above 4900 feet in Musselshell Co., MT. We left our vehicle just inside the Lewis and Clark Mational Forest boundary in nearby Fergus County. We walked back across the cattle guard at the boundary and followed the fence line south on unposted land just outside the national forest. We crossed into Musselshell Co. and located the possible high point on the west county line. We placed a flat white rock on the fence line and built a tiny cairn (or duck) on it. We used our hand level along the fence line which has been cleared. But pine forest completely blocked the view toward the other possible high point area, so we could not use a hand level to assess which is higher.

We then made our way over to that other area and wandered back and forth across the Fergus-Musselshell County line which is unmarked in this area. We also explored the vicinity of the 4905 ft. spot elevation, which quite likely is not the county high point. I estimate that both the west and north county lines reach 4910 or so. The high ground is gently sloping enough that the exact high point could change the next time a tree is blown over. We noted a few instances where such an event has pried up a mound of rock and soil rising a couple of feet.

Road access was on the Snowy Mountain Road (gravel) from US 87 about 12 miles north of Roundup. This signed Nat'l Forest Access road goes about 25 miles to the forest boundary. Beyond the last ranch I guess it would often be impassable this early in the year, but there was little snow there yesterday. (Havre, Montana reached 70 F. and Roundup, 65.) On our way back to US 87 we saw a gathering of eight golden eagles.