Italian Peaks

Butte, Montana 59750

Italian Peaks

Italian Peaks Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A backpacking adventure into the huge glacial cirque below Italian Peak, high on the Continental Divide, in the magnificent but little-visited Italian Peaks in far southwestern Montana. The following description starts at the Nicholia Creek Trailhead, reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Few hikers visit this remote, isolated mountain range in the far southwestern corner of the state, but its spectacular alpine scenery is sure to make it more popular in years to come.

The trails in this region receive little use and have a tendency to fade away in the many grassy meadows along the track. A few tips are in order. Don’t trust the trail as shown on the Scott Peak USGS Quad, which is old and inaccurate. Do trust the blazes on the trees, which look like upside-down exclamation points."

Italian Peaks Trip Reports

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lake isabel is beautiful, but very remote. definitely take the two medicine pass route - the landscape is very different than the rest of the park and worth the long trip.
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We hiked from Two Medicine Camp ground to Upper Park Creek on day one - then on to Lake Isabel the next day. We made the return trip all in one day. We left on July 6 but there was still a lot of snow pack via the Two Medicine pass route. It required one to walk over a creek buried under the snow a few times, though we did not realize that until our return trip 6 days later when most of the snow had melted. Wind and sleet greeted us as we walked across the continental divide. We stopped there for lunch – then back to work. The decent from the divide to Upper Park creek had about 20-30 trees fallen across the trail since the rangers had not yet made it that deep after Winter to clear the trails.

We very much enjoyed the remoteness of this area. A very large bull moose walked up to our tents at the Upper Park Creek camp ground during our first night and we later photographed a bear at the Lake Isabel camp ground. The first day there we fished a lot to supplement our meals. After that, it rained and was cold and no one else in my party was interested in fishing, and I chose not to fish by myself. Our first day fishing we caught 22 lake trout that were keepers. My first cast showed how hungry those fish were to bite my spinner as 4 fish followed the spinner up to the shore line and one bit it as I tried to take the lure out of the water. I think our next 10 casts resulted in 6-8 keepers.

While cleaning the fish a couple hundred yards from the campsite a little frog visited me and would not stop hugging my finger for warmth (I took pics). I’d set it two feet aside and it would constantly hop and swim back to me and hug my index finger.

If you have any reason to start your trip from the west coast, take the train to East Glacier and back to add to the enjoyment of the trip.

Italian Peaks Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
July through September
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Scott Peak, Deadman Lake, and
Local Maps

Trail Log