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 you some helpful details and tips to get on your way!
This weekend, we closed out June and head straight into the dog days of summer – and a long holiday weekend. If you haven’t hit the trails yet, we’d say this is the time to get started!
Sleeping Woman (Ch-paa-qn) Peak, Trail #98
Hike to the top of the iconic pyramid-shaped summit for a unique 360-degree view of the Missoula, Mission and Bitterroot valleys.
Total Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Directions: From Missoula, head east on I-90 and exit at Ninemile (Exit 82). At the end of the off-ramp, turn right (north) and drive 1.5 miles to a Y intersection. Take the road that veers right and drive Remount Road 2.5 miles to the historic Ninemile Ranger Station.
Here, Remount Road changes to Edith Peak Road. Follow it another 1.8 miles until another Y fork. Stay right at this fork as well, staying on Edith Peak Road for another 8.2 miles to the trailhead at the top of Reservation Divide. Note: This last section of road is especially narrow and sometimes in poor shape, making for a slow drive.
What to expect: There are multiple routes to the summit, including one of which is only 5.6 miles round-trip. Trail #98, though longer, begins from a higher elevation and makes for a more pleasant hike.
The trail follows the crest of Reservation Divide, with the Flathead Reservation to the east and Lolo National Forest to the west. The trail is generally gradual, ascending 1,200 feet in 3.25 miles to the base of Sleeping Woman Peak. The final quarter-mile is a scramble up large boulders to a rewarding view at the 7,886-foot summit.
Tip: Spend some time checking out the historic structures and small museum at the Ninemile Ranger Station, which continues to play a central role in backcountry skills training – both for mules and for people.
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!
Big thanks to Rangitsch Bros RV for sponsoring the Trail Well Traveled. Proudly serving Missoula for over 56 years, whatever camper best suits your needs Rangitsch Bros has got it!