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Mount Wright Climb--RM Front
Length: 7 Miles
Elevation gain: 3,425 Feet (340 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 8 Hours (Approximately 2 hours’ drive time each way)
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 90 Miles; two hours
Age limit: 16 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 13
Difficulty Level: Expert
Coordinators: Sean Higginbotham and Matt Washington
Note: Must bring bear spray; SUV advised
Description: A trip up to Mount Wright! This seven-mile, very strenuous round trip will give your legs and lungs a great workout as the journey is steep! This mountain sits in the Sawtooth Range of the Rocky Mountain Front. With an elevation of 8,875 feet, Mount Wright has views that are unparalleled for typical day hikes. You will see Corrugate Ridge, Washboard Reef, Mt Lockhart and a host of unnamed mountains. On a clear day, you can even see the majestic peaks of Glacier National Park. It is not uncommon to see Big Horn Sheep in the area, so bring your cameras and field glasses!
Notes / Advisory: This is prime grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered. This is a remote area, and cellular devices may not have coverage. There is a short section of this trail that can give certain people a sense of exposure, please keep this in mind. There is limited cover from the elements during this hike. Thirty miles of the drive are on gravel. SUV advised.
Arrow and Lava Peaks
Length: 7.5 miles
Elevation gain: 2750 feet (275 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8:30 Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 8-10 Hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 55 miles; 1 hour, 15 minutes
Age limit: 13 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 12
Difficulty Level: Expert/Extremely Difficult
Coordinators: David Schuler and Mercy Padgett
Note: This hike is a bushwhack (off trail); SUV advised; waterproof boots needed
Come enjoy a very steep, off-trail mountain climb in the Highwoods, with gorgeous views all around. This hike to Lava (7142 feet) and Arrow Peaks (7485 feet) is quite strenuous with 2750 feet of elevation gain, so it requires hikers be in excellent shape. In addition, we will be traveling at a moderate pace. This is the second tallest peak in the Highwood Mountain island range, which is volcanic in origin.
The hike will begin at trailhead off Country Road 208 about 55 miles east of Great Falls to the south of the mountain range. We will begin up the ridge to Lava Peak for about two miles, and then follow the ridge over to Arrow Peak. This hike is off trail; we will be going through forested areas and traveling on uneven ground.
We will follow the clearing up high then through some trees until we hit the igneous rocks near the summit. We will have lunch on the summit, enjoying the great views and possible wildlife.
Please be sure to bring good, preferably waterproof, hiking boots, backpack with three liters of water, sunscreen, and high energy snacks and food. We will be climbing over coarse rocks, so it is important that all hikers be in shape and used to walking over uneven terrain and have good ankle strength. Part of the road is on well-maintained gravel. SUV advised.
The hike coordinator David Schuler is retired U.S. Coast Guard, an experienced mountaineer, and currently serves on the advisory board for the Glacier Mountaineering Society and Get Fit Great Falls.