A high alpine traverse along the top of the Snowcrest Range. When you hike hundreds of miles each summer, you sometimes go places that make you say, “I’ve already been here.” While it’s certainly true that every piece of wild nature is unique, that doesn’t keep some mountains and lakes and streams from looking similar. Then, once in a great while, surprise, the stars are all aligned, and you end up in a place that lows you away like a 100 mph gust of wind and you say, “This is a truly unique place.” Such is the Snowcrest Range. Snowcrest is probably the nicest hike in Montana that nobody goes on. In fact, when we hiked it in late August 2003, we ran into a trail crew who told us we were the first hikers they’d seen all summer, even though this route had been in this book for twenty-five years. That’s incredible, because we were standing on a 9,500-foot ridge amid scenery as amazing as Glacier or Grand Teton or Absaroka-Beartooth, although different in nature — more gentle and peaceful. The Snowcrest Range stretches for 20 miles north to southwest of the Gravellies in the far southwestern corner of Montana. Because of the high wildlife populations, Snowcrest is now the domain of big game hunters and outfitters, but after experiencing the area, I wonder why it isn’t more popular with hikers. The scenery is clearly world-class, and the heavy horse traffic during the hunting season keeps most trails nicely distinct all year.
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Directions to: Snowcrestprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||2,800 ft|
|Duration||Extended backpack with day hike options|
|Season||July through September|
|Trailhead Elevation||7,200 ft|
|Top Elevation||10,000 ft|
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