Beaverhead National Forest - Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness - Member Hike

Hike Name: Beaverhead National Forest - Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Country: United States
State: Montana
Nearby Town: Philipsburg, MT
Rating: 5 stars
Directions: From Philipsburg, MT go south 6.5 miles on MT 1 to Porters Corners. Go west on MT 38 (Skalkaho Rd.) for 5.5 miles and then turn south on County Road 672 (Georgetown Lake Rd.). Go 5.4 miles and turn right on East Fork Rd. East Fork Rd merges into County Road 261 after 1 mile. Continue 3 miles south on County Road 261 to end of pavement south of the East Fork Reservoir. The reservoir is at 6100’ elevation. Trailhead parking is in the trees at the end of the pavement.
Total Hike Distance: 40.25 miles
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Permit Required: Yes
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: East Fork Reservoir
Trails Used: Hi-Line Trail and Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
Backcountry Campsites: Yes
Backcountry Water Sources: Streams
Management: U.S. Forest Service
Contact Information: Beaverhead National Forest
Wisdom Ranger District
PO Box 238
Wisdom, MT 59761
Best Season: Summer
Users: Hikers
Road Conditions: Primary Paved Roads, Secondary Paved Roads, Maintained Gravel or Dirt Roads
Hike Summary: From trailhead, follow trail #38 through the dense forest of lodgepole pine along East Fork Rock Creek toward the Queener Basin. The trail climbs 1700’ over 4.5 miles, and then it joins trail #9 (Continental Divide Trail). Go right (west) 3 miles on trail #9 to the top of Cutaway Pass (elevation 9030’ on the Continental Divide) a 1230’ climb where it joins trail #111, known as the Hi-Line Trail. Trail #111 goes west and climbs up the divide to the 9400’ level and then cuts across the open alpine slope of Marche Mountain regaining the Continental Divide on the western downslope of Marche Mountain. After about 1.5 miles on the rocky upper slopes of the ridge it drops down in a series of switchbacks another 1.5 miles through the trees to an elevation of 7500’ into Maloney Basin. Turn right on trail #24 and follow it for 2 miles along Carpp Creek down into the canyon. Then turn left (south) on trail #110 at an elevation of 6900’. This trail will climb to an elevation of 7700’ over 1.75 miles to Lower Carpp Lake. Just past the lake, turn right (west) on trail #111 (the Hi-Line Trail again) and follow it along the north shore of Carpp Lake and around the ridge to the west. The trail will drop down a few hundred feet over the next 1.25 miles and then it will cross Tamarack Creek. After crossing the creek, the trail begins climbing Porter Ridge on the west side of this drainage. The top of the ridge at 8200’ elevation is 1.5 miles from the creek. On the west side of Porter Ridge, the trail begins a long descent. Two miles into the descent the trail crosses a rough talus slope for about a half mile – very rugged walking. From there it is another 1.5 miles to Johnson Lake. Johnson Lake is at 7600’ elevation and along its south shore the camping is best (adjacent to the Continental Divide Trail).

From Johnson Lake, follow the Continental Divide Trail (trail #96) east 1.5 miles along the south slope of Mt. McGlaughlin to the top of the pass at 9000’ elevation. The CDT then descends 800’ with a series of switchbacks through the talus slope to Rainbow Lake. From there the trail continues descending 3 miles down Fishtrap Canyon, crossing Fishtrap Creek six times in the process to the 7400’ level where it joins trail #9. Turn left on trail #9 (this is still the CDT) for 1.75 miles as it climbs 1100’ to a pass. The last half mile is a steep series of switchbacks. After crossing through the pass, the trail drops 100’ down into Warren Lake (elevation 8400’). This lake and its surrounding peaks are very picturesque, but there is a sizable marsh on the west side of the lake and the mosquitoes can be overwhelming here.

From Warren Lake, continue on the CDT (trail #9) into LaMarche Canyon. About a half mile from the lake, the trail begins a steep descent with lots of switchbacks for another half mile. At the bottom of the switchbacks, the trail continues down the canyon to the 7300’ level, staying on the slope above LaMarche Creek. After crossing the creek, the trail begins ascending the east slope of Beaverhead Mountain, and winds its way around to the south slope of Marche Mountain where it climbs to Cutaway Pass at 9030’ elevation 2.5 miles from the LaMarche Creek crossing. As the slope steepens the trail resorts to a series of broad switchbacks. The last half mile is right at the tree line and into the alpine zone. After crossing Cutaway Pass, the trail descends to 7800’ over the next 3 miles to the junction with trail #38. Turn left (north) on trail #38 and follow the trail down 4.5 miles to the trailhead at 6100’ elevation.



11,550 points


Trip Reports

  Date Rating Duration Hiker
Beaverhead National Forest - Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness - July 5, 1977 July 5, 1977 5 stars 5 days gmyersut


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