Saint Mary Peak

Stevensville, Montana

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1 Review
3 out of 5
Saint Mary Peak rises dramatically from forested foothills west of Stevensville, where Father Pierre Jean De Smet and his followers founded Montana’s oldest settlement at the Saint Mary’s Mission in 1841. A moderate climb to the lookout at its crest draws hundreds of visitors each summer to a timeless scene first enjoyed by Catholic missionaries more than 170 years ago. Late September is perhaps the best time to visit the peak, when the mountain air is free of haze and the alpine larch are ablaze in full autumn regalia.
Hiking the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

by Scott Steinberg (Falcon Guides)

Saint Mary Peak rises dramatically from forested foothills west of Stevensville, where Father Pierre Jean De Smet and his followers founded Montana’s oldest settlement at the Saint Mary’s Mission in 1841.

A moderate climb to the lookout at its crest draws hundreds of visitors each summer to a timeless scene first enjoyed by Catholic missionaries more than 170 years ago. Late September is perhaps the best time to visit the peak, when the mountain air is free of haze and the alpine larch are ablaze in full autumn regalia.

©  Scott Steinberg/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Stevensville
Distance: 7.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4.0–5.0 hours
Season: Late July into September
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Lolo National Forest
Local Maps: USGS 7.5-minute series: Saint Mary Peak, MT
Driving Directions: Directions to Saint Mary Peak

Recent Trail Reviews

6/28/2009
1

The author's description is pretty accurate. I would emphasize that this trail is NOT maintained, and in a couple of sections water flows along the trail and at places, the trail is not easy to find/follow. There are also a lot of downed trees, making it necessary to go around some of the larger ones in spots. The distance is accurate, and it took me about 4 hours up and 2.5 down. Up would have gone much faster if the trail was easier to find in a couple of spots (I lost it twice and had to bushwack for a while). The massive rock wall that creates a natural dam is impressive and the cold lake at the end is refreshing.



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