Arguably the most well-known summit in the Bitterroot Mountains is Trapper Peak. Located in the Central Bitterroot Range (and part of the larger Bitterroot Range) in Western Montana, Trapper Peak is the highest summit, rising over 6,000 feet above the Bitterroot Valley.
This massive peak, along with the other high points on this mammoth ridge, prevails over the western horizon from Darby, Montana to Conner – a small town several miles to the south. While nobody knows for sure, most believe the peak earned its name because the land surrounding the peak and nearby creek were largely used by trappers when trapping was one of the only ways to make a living in this area.
Along with Saint Mary Peak and Lolo Peak, Trapper Peak is one of the three most climbed Bitterroot Mountains. Trapper Peak Trail climbs 3,800 feet from a Forest Service Road near Darby, Montana. It’s a little over eight miles long and a great place to see wildlife. The trail is primarily used for outdoor recreation but it’s a steep and relatively difficult hike. If you’re up for the challenge, the view from Trapper Peak is breathtaking and envelops much of west-central Montana and central Idaho.
Should you opt to traverse this trail, please note there are no facilities, it is advised you pack your own water, and pay close attention to the cairns that mark numerous routes throughout the rocks as you progress to the peak. At certain points, the trail becomes less obvious, and the cairns are placed to help guide the way.
For more information about the Bitterroot Mountains, Trapper Peak, and Trapper Peak Trail, you can visit the Forest Service website or check out a variety of reviews from other hikers/travelers online.