click to enlarge Printz Ridge

Michael Hoyt

Printz Ridge

Printz Ridge was named for Fred Printz, a guide and packer who operated a sawmill in the area.

Printz Ridge is bordered on the south by Blodgett Creek and the north by Mill Creek. For over a century these two drainages have been used by trappers and hunters to gain access to the Bitterroot Mountains. For almost that long, Bitterroot Valley ranchers have used the creeks and lakes flowing from these long east-west canyons to water their crops and stock.


Accessible from Blodgett Canyon, this ridge’s southern exposure contains many exotic rock formations which have attracted rock climbers since the sport first became popular. These south-facing spires have many well-established Class 5 routes which are attempted year-round. Three of the most popular—Flathead Buttress, Shoshone Spire, and the Nez Perce Spire—are close enough to the Blodgett Creek Trailhead that they receive annual visits from many of the area’s best climbers.

Adorning the crest of Printz Ridge are seveal interesting highpoints, among them Mill Point, Mill Point West, Hauf Peak, and Sears Point.

—Michael Hoyt

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