St.Mary’s Peak Trail

Total Miles
3.2

Elevation

1556.8 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

summer, fall, spring

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Trail Overview

This trail is mostly a 1 but earns the 2 rating in the last mile and two switchbacks getting to the top of the trail. This trail is used primarily to access the very popular St.Mary's hiking trailhead. There is a small parking area at the top that tightly accommodates about 10 vehicles. From the parking area at the end of the trail there it's a 4.5-mile switchback hike to a lookout tower atop St..Mary's peak. Most of the driving trail is a well-maintained wide gravel dirt road with a few potholes. It is very twisty. Lots of beautiful trees changing colors in the fall making this a nice scenic drive. There are also a few spots that look out over the Bitterroot Valley. This trail does have quite a few blind corners as it climbs in elevation and the trail is dusty if it hasn't rained. Watch for less than polite oncoming traffic due to the popularity of this hiking trail. Would recommend extreme caution if taking a 2wd or lower clearance vehicle with street tires on the last mile up to the top. The trail is washed out in a few spots and very rocky. Would easily puncture a street tire. That being said a minivan did make it all the way to the top.

Difficulty

Easy

History

In 1934, the U.S. Forest Service established the first St. Mary Peak lookout to assist with fire detection along the Montana-Idaho divide. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the original lookout on a 50-foot tower, which served until the spring of 1951 when it was destroyed by high winds.

Technical Rating

2

Access Description

Travel 3.5 miles south of Stevensville junction on Highway 93. Turn west on Indian Prairie Loop. Continue west 1.8 miles to St. Mary's Road, turn right and continue 1 mile to McCalla Ridge Road and St. Mary's Peak Road 739 junction.