Sweet Grass County High Point Trip Report

Mount Douglas (11,282 ft)

Dates: July 26-27, 2002
Author: Tim Worth

This peak is fairly remote, and was a tough solo hike.

From Big Timber, MT I headed south on MT 298 to Mcleod. The road turns to gravel soon after, and becomes washboard and rough the rest of the way. After another 25 (?) annoying miles I arrived at Hicks Park and the Upsidedown trailhead. Camped there that night, then started up (down?) the Upsidedown Trail, #26. Starts off with switchbacks out of the valley, reaches a high meadow at Horseshoe Lake, then continues west to Rainbow Lakes. It is 7 miles to Horseshoe Lake, 10 miles to Rainbow Lakes. There were a lot of hikers on the trail this day, including an out of shape outward-bound crew.

I headed north along Rainbow Lakes Trail #28. Broke off the trail at north edge of Rainbow Lakes, across another meadow. Set up camp near a small unnamed lake, great location, about 13 miles from the trailhead. It was early afternoon, weather was perfect and I was feeling good, so I decided to go for the summit.

Headed northwest to another unnamed lake, referred to by a local hiker I met on the way up as "Squeeze Lake". Appropriate name. Getting around this lake is the hardest part of the climb. The lake has steep cliffs on each side - do not go down to the shoreline as it is impossible to get around. The idea is to keep your elevation as much as possible to the east side, and work your way around the corner to the east, then head north to the summit. I stayed high to the east, but not high enough, ended up having to climb up a near vertical stack of boulders to get around the edge. Was a little dicey at times.

Once around Squeeze Lake its a taxing, straightforward grind northward, about 2200 feet up to the top. Summit is pretty flat with small rock outcrop to the east edge. Cliffs to the east. Forest Service register, first entry 1972. 1-2 parties a year, that's it. Saw Bob Packard's entry of 8-5-1984.

Going down, I made the mistake of descending to the shoreline of Squeeze Lake. Ended up crossing to the west side and climbing up maybe 100 feet to get around, with more dicey moments. Back to camp just before sunset. Hiked out the next day.

Trip statistics: 29+ miles round trip; net elevation gain of 11,282 - 6,359 = 4,923 feet.


Squeeze Lake is readily navigated around its western shore. For details read this trip report from 2009.