Patricks Basin

Augusta, Montana

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This route penetrates a vast reach of wild but unprotected country to the south of Gibson Reservoir, climbing over a minor pass to reach a completely isolated valley. For visitors traveling out of Benchmark, this trail offers the greatest chance for solitude and primitive ambiance. At the end of the trail, a ford of the head of Gibson Reservoir provides a linkage to trails in the Sun River Basin for longer trips. This ford is only passable during late summer, when the reservoir level is low. The trail begins by crossing a series of clearcuts, climbing gently through the desolation. At the edge of the cuts, a spur trail from the Benchmark Wilderness Ranch joins the main trail. The trail now runs eastward along Fairview Creek, climbing modestly through a loose forest of lodgepole pine and aspen. Upon reaching the canyon of Fairview Creek, gaps in the Douglas firs reveal an impressive but nameless summit to the south. Once through the canyon, grassy glades yield views of the Fairview Plateau at the valley’s head.
Hiking Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness

by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)

This route penetrates a vast reach of wild but unprotected country to the south of Gibson Reservoir, climbing over a minor pass to reach a completely isolated valley. For visitors traveling out of Benchmark, this trail offers the greatest chance for solitude and primitive ambiance. At the end of the trail, a ford of the head of Gibson Reservoir provides a linkage to trails in the Sun River Basin for longer trips. This ford is only passable during late summer, when the reservoir level is low.

The trail begins by crossing a series of clearcuts, climbing gently through the desolation. At the edge of the cuts, a spur trail from the Benchmark Wilderness Ranch joins the main trail. The trail now runs eastward along Fairview Creek, climbing modestly through a loose forest of lodgepole pine and aspen. Upon reaching the canyon of Fairview Creek, gaps in the Douglas firs reveal an impressive but nameless summit to the south. Once through the canyon, grassy glades yield views of the Fairview Plateau at the valley’s head.

©  Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Augusta
Distance: 33.4
Elevation Gain: 2,735 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: Best July through September
Trailhead Elevation: 5,500 feet
Top Elevation: 7,450 feet
Local Contacts: Lewis and Clark National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Wood Lake, Patricks Basin, Arsenic Mountain
Driving Directions: Directions to Patricks Basin

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Apr 2018