Northwest Peak

Missoula, Montana 59806

Northwest Peak

Northwest Peak Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This is a short uphill hike to a mountain summit with an old lookout cabin, vast views of the Northwest Peak Scenic Area and, on a clear day, the Canadian Rockies. Northwest Peak (elevation 7,705 feet) is the central attraction of a high mountain ridge, the most striking portions of which are included in the Northwest Peak Scenic Area, an official designation of the Forest Service. Under this designation the unique qualities of the area are recognized and protected.

The peak is a long drive from almost everywhere except Yaak. It receives only moderate numbers of visitors, but it’s a great trip if you’re car camping or fishing up in the Yaak River Valley. Tank up on water before hiking, because there isn’t any along the trail. This area usually gets more than its share of snow, however, so wait until July to conquer Northwest Peak."

Northwest Peak Trip Reports

3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
A good hike up a well maintained trail, I carried my 3 year-old son up this trail in a backpack with no problem. The view from the top is decent but I wouldn’t plan a whole day around this trail, the hike is only a couple hours but you have a long drive from anywhere but the Yaak river valley.

Trail starts in a ~15 year-old clear cut but quickly gets into an older pine forest. The grade is steady but reasonable to the top. The forest slowly thins revealing a rocky ridge on trail right. There was plenty of elk (and some bear sign) but we didn’t see any wildlife. You start getting peaks of the top with about a half-mile to go then break above the tree line about a quarter mile from the top. The final section is over rock but the trail has been well cleared and marked to the top. There is a cluttered/abandoned fire lookout and restroom on the peak.

If you are fortunate enough to have a place to stay in the Yaak river valley I would recommend the hike, otherwise I would head over to Glacier NP, many more high quality day-hikes to be had.

Happy trails!

Northwest Peak Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
July through September
Kootenai National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Northwest Peak
Local Maps