Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!
Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give one lucky listener some cool goodies to help them embark on their journey!
Grambauer Mountain Trail #319
The northernmost trail into the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness offers great views, lots of wildlife, and high alpine forest
Total Elevation Gain: 5,002 feet
Directions: From Missoula, head west on I-90 to its juncture with Highway 93 at the Wye. Take 93 north through Arlee and St. Ignatius, and then at Ravallis split off to the west again towards Thompson Falls on Highway 200.
Continue on 200 through Noxon, and then head north on Highway 56 to about four miles south of Troy. Look for a sign marking Old Highway 2 veering off to the left just after a large corner store. Take that dirt road and travel about a mile and a half until you reach the roundabout parking area. Look for the trailhead sign to the north that reads “Grambauer Mountain and Old Hwy 2” – take the trail to the right.
What to expect: About 200 yards up the trail is a junction to Grambauer on the left, and an unmarked trail that leads to Shannon Lake. Stay left!
The trail tends to be narrow and steep in sections. Your first viewpoint comes about a mile in, as a rocky overlook reveals the Kootenai and Bull River Valleys. In early spring and late fall, views from this point may be blanketed in fog from the Kootenai River.
Continue climbing and enter a forest sparsely treed with Elk Sedge and native grasses. Soon you will get to the switchbacks that will last for about 3,000 feet. Throughout the forest, you can see where the forest fires of 1994 and 2000 left their mark.
Follow the trail to the west side of the mountain and through the last push to the peak, where you’ll enjoy great views of the Troy, Libby, Bull River Valley and Scotchman Peaks proposed wilderness as well as the Cabinet Mountains.
Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at hikewildmontana.org. And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!