Elevation: 12,118 ft
GPS: 45.089, -109.588 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 474 total · 62/month
Shared By: Jeff McGowan on Nov 8, 2018
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer
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Description

Whitetail Peak is an absolutely stunning mountain sitting in southwest corner of Montana. Located in the Beartooth Mountains, Whitetail Peak at 12,551 is the fourth highest peak in Montana and by far one of the the states premier objectives for hikers, mountaineers, and skiers alike. The views on the summit are by far some of the most rewarding that Montana and the U-shaped valleys, moraines, and lakes provide one with an amazing perspective of how glaciers sculpted the surrounding mountains.

Whitetails two most popular routes are the Northeast Ridge and the narrow Whitetail Couloir on the mountain's northeast face, for which the mountain aptly bears its name.

Beginning at the top of Sundance Pass, the Northeast Ridge is nothing more than walk up with a short Class 3 scramble to the summit, while the Whitetail Couloir is steep 2000 foot snow climb and provides a great descent for expert skiers.

While Whitetail can be done in a long day, most people will opt climb it in two and make camp at either Shadow Lake, Quinnebaugh Meadows, or September Morn Lake, depending on which approach is utilized. No matter the route and approach taken, Whitetail is a worthwhile experience for beginners and experts alike.

Getting There

From Billings drive West on I90 for 18 miles and take exit 434 signs for US-212/US-310 towards Laurel/Red Lodge. At the intersection turn left onto US Highway 212 and follow US 212 for a little over 43 miles to Red Lodge.

From Bozeman drive East on I90 for approximately 98 miles until reaching Columbus. Take exit 408 for State Route 78 towards Columbus. From here you can either follow 78 to Red Lodge or you can follow State Highway 421 to Joliet. At Joliet take a right at the T-Intersection and follow US 212 for another 25 miles to Red Lodge.

From Red Lodge there are two ways to go. If approaching via West Fork of the Rock Creek head South on Broadway Avenue for a little over a mile and turn right onto West Fork Road (see signs for Red Lodge Mountain). Follow West Fork Road for about 13 miles till the trailhead. Begin hiking down West Fork of the Rock Creek Trailhead for roughly 9 miles till you reach Shadow Lake. From Shadow Lake you can either take a left (east) and hike the switchbacks up to Sundance Pass or head south until you reach the base of the Whitetail Coulir.

If approaching from the Lake Fork drive about 10 miles from Red Lodge down US 212 then turn right onto Lake Fork Road. Follow Lake Fork Road for a little under 2 miles till reaching the Lake Fork Trailhead. Hike roughly 6 miles till the junction with Keyser Brown Trail. Continue for another hiking another 3.3 miles till reaching the top of Sundance Pass. Great camping found at September Morn Lake (elev 9694) found roughly two miles after the Keyser Brown Junction.

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