This trail provides an alternate and lesser-known route to the north end of the Sun River Basin. Because it crosses steep and unstable slopes, it is not recommended for horse parties. The ascent is steady, and the trail zigzags upward at frequent intervals to avoid washouts along the creek. As the path gains elevation, subalpine fir comes to dominate the forest, and avalanche slopes cut broad openings through the timber. This path climbs aggressively through the thinning timber. The trees ultimately part to reveal sheer cliffs: From this point, the path seems bound for a low saddle to the south. Instead, it winds steeply up a wooded spur, heading over one of the highest points on Washboard Reef. The spur leads to a level pad on the summit, and here the trail enters the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Ever-expanding views feature the twin summits of Mount Baldy to the south as well as the rounded west slope of Mount Wright to the north. The path then makes a brutal final climb to the summit, where travelers will be rewarded with sweeping views in all directions. Highlights include the sheer cliffs of Bowl Mountain to the north, as well as a broad sweep of the North Wall rising beyond the North Fork of the Sun.
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Directions to: Washboard Reefprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||2,304 ft|
|Duration||Day hike or backpack|
|Season||Best July through September|
|Trailhead Elevation||5,700 ft|
|Top Elevation||7,934 ft|
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