Saint Mary Peak Trail

moderate 133 reviews

Saint Mary Peak Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Stevensville, Montana that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,483 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

bird watching

views

bugs

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

hiking
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

Great trail! Don’t pack anything heavy! It’s a long walk ,you have to pick your footing around rocks very little clear trail of rocks.i carried to much stuff!!!!just take lunch and water!!!!challenging for out of shape people!!

hiking
4 months ago

this seems like it would be a great hike in the right season. the road to the trailhead is pretty well maintained for all but the last mile and even then, should be passable by anything with average or better ground clearance. the trail itself is aptly rated as moderate. with the exception of the final approach to the lookout it’s an easily managed, gradual climb along a clearly defined trail. hiking this mid-October, crampons probably would have helped speed up the final mile to the lookout but it was still manageable without traction devices or trekking poles. when I did make it to the ridgeline, I was greeted by clouds in all directions. gauging by the views I managed to catch through the clouds on the way up, I’d bet the views on a clear day would be outstanding from the top though. even still, it was a nice hike and I’ll probably take another crack at it next summer

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

I don’t know how they label this trail difficult. The only thing difficult is the elevation gain but that was not insane, just substantial. It’s actually rather well groomed, probably 80% of your footsteps fall on flat packed clay, or at least they did this morning, September 23, 2019. Nothing technical whatsoever to the hike, just a good steep walk. Not even a rock scramble. Great views, if the clouds afford it. One may see Idaho from the top. Tower is now closed to visitors.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! Dog and kiddo friendly. A small amount of snow at top but mostly clear.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

As previously mentioned, the temperature turns dramatically colder towards the top, accompanied by a strong wind, so bring lots of layers. We got to the top during a white out snow storm and I ended up layering up with a down jacket, thick fleece quarter zip, hat, and gloves. I do tend to run warm and was able to hike most of it in a short sleeve shirt and rain jacket. With regards to difficulty, the trail itself I’d rate as moderate, but the high elevation (~7000-9500 feet) makes this trail very challenging.

hiking
5 months ago

An amazing trail with breathtaking views especially at the top.... great place to rest and refuel ....dress accordingly ...the wind changes the temperature quickly at 9400 elevation ...

hiking
5 months ago

I never tire of this peak, year round. I'm biased, though, as I see it from my yard, every day.

hiking
5 months ago

Fantastic hike. The views are amazing. At the end of the hike our tracking device said we hiked approximately 9.1 miles. Not sure how the 5.9 mile hike was calculated. Totally worth the extra miles though.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Started at 10am, which was warm but not too bad. The top was a little chilly. Dogs loved it. 2.5 hours up, 1.5 down with lunch and breaks included. Lots of rocks and roots in the trail. Horse flies started coming out around 1pm. I wouldn’t take anything other than a truck or suv with decent clearance and suspension up.

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!!! The views are amazing, we were able to go inside lookout and host gave us loads of information about the surrounding mountains! No bugs when were there, lots of dogs not on leashes and we have a healer puppy who was on a leash but got roughed up by other dogs passing by.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome views!! Definitely worth the work to hike up.. Probably closer to 3.5 to the lookout. The hike down was actually more painful on the feet and knees. Lookout attendant was very nice and very informative. I’d do this hike again for sure.

hiking
6 months ago

The road to the trailhead from Stevensville was ROCKY, but doable in the Outback. Started the trail at 7:30 am and wouldn’t suggest to go any later as the temperature was perfect! The trail is rated as hard but the fiancé and I believe it is moderate, despite the constant uphill, it was gradual all the way up unlike other areas we backpacked that was steep. Pay attention to the huckleberries at the beginning of the trail, we collected a Snapple-bottle full! Bring enough water and a light jacket. The amazing view is worth every step of the hike.

hiking
6 months ago

trail was in good shape. it is rocky...so use closed toe shoes. bring water and carry up a piece of firewood for the lookout. 7.4 miles total.

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

Great hike, no water for dog along way, so pack extra. Horse flys are awful, but used off bug spray and it worked fine. Beautiful view at top. Last half mile is the toughest. Well worth it.

hiking
bugs
rocky
7 months ago

Great hike and the guy up in the watchtower at the top was very welcoming. No snow on the trail but still a lot at the top. Bring bug spray the horseflies are bad.

hiking
7 months ago

Favorite Bitterroot hike so far! It was cold and windy at the top. We never saw the first mosquito or horsefly as other posts mentioned. 1.5 hours to get to the top and a little less to get back to the trailhead.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
7 months ago

I advise one to go in the early morning..before it gets hot. We got on the trail a little before 8:00, by the time we got to the top ( about 10:15) it was hot! But the snow was nice to cool us off. The views are beautiful! the hike was a bit longer than the 5.9 miles stated on the app. by the time I got down( and yes we wandered around the top a bit) we had gone over 9.5 miles. But if you want to see almost the whole valley and gain alot of altitude in a decent amount of miles...this is the ticket! good hike for sure. Beware of the horse flies and misquotes...they are horrible...mostly worse on the way down when it was hot.

hiking
7 months ago

Moderately strenuous, but the best view in the Bitterroots. Correct mileage is 7.5 miles round trip. As to other comments, you can rarely hike this trail in June unless you want to do it with snowshoes or post hole most of the way. Maybe late June after a mild winter and a warm spring. Generally snow free by mid-July. I hiked today and there was one 50 foot long patch of snow about a mile from the summit. It was easy to walk on and will likely be gone in a week. The road was recently graded so mostly easy driving. The last half-mile is narrow and very rocky, but passable with a passenger car if you take it slow (there were two at the trailhead).

7 months ago

The trailhead is complicated to find only because Forest Service Road 739 is not well marked. At the T intersection there is a small, brown hiking sign indicating you are on the right path. Good trail tread climbing over 2500 feet in 3.5 miles. A spring right off the trail for watering the pooch. Amazing views of the Bitterroot Valley and Kootenai Creek.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
8 months ago

The road to the trailhead is rocky & washed out in areas. The trail itself probably needs at least a week of hots days if not 2 or more. After about a mile up the trail it’s all snow and FEET of it. Lots of post-holing. I made it to the top but only because I followed some footprints, lost those footprints numerous times and then bushwacked and scrambled through snow and over rocks because I could see the actual lookout above. Very difficult going. Also, if you have a gps watch it will help you stay on track (as mine did). Currently, it is possible to get to the lookout, but it’s not easy and at times not very fun. But the views from the top are pretty great. Weight your pros and cons before going.

hiking
8 months ago

I think the trail could be great VERY late in the summer. A ton of snow and extremely difficult. If there are no track, you will never find the trail. But once at the top, the views are just amazing. The road to get to the trailhead is super sketchy too. Can be done in a car but not recommended.

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