Watchtower Peak

Michael Hoyt

Watchtower Peak

Watchtower Peak is on the Montana/Idaho state line 2.7 miles west of Mount Jerusalem, just over 8 miles due north of Nez Perce Pass. This peak is one of the many seldom-visited Bitterroot Mountain summits.

How this peak received its moniker is not provable, but it seems likely it was named for what it is: a watchtower. Climb it to see if you agree.

Of the few who visit this area of the West Fork, most are horsemen and hunters. Since they generally stay low in the drainages, they improve the climbing experience by helping keep the access trails open.

To reach this summit, begin at the Watchtower Creek Trailhead and hike northwest along the long-established and well-maintained stock trail. At an elevation around 7,200’ (7.5 miles from the trailhead), go north off-trail for a climbing traverse (Class 2+) over grass and talus to Watchtower’s southwest ridge.

Once on the crest of the ridge, hike and scramble (Class 3) northeast for less than a mile to the summit.

Michael Hoyt


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