Sunday, June 10, 2012

Arrow, Lava peaks in Highwoods

The route along the ridgeline

The weather was so unsettled this weekend I wanted to stay close to home for my hikes.
Although I've been in the Highwoods lots this spring I thought that Arrow Peak at 7,485 feet and the second highest peak in the range might be something worth doing again.  If the weather changed, it wouldn't take too much to abort the trip.
We had been on the Arrow ridge a little over a year ago while skiing, climbing Lava Peak (7,142 feet) along the way.
We had reached this peak by skiing a ridge from the Highwood-Arrow Creek divide.  We can in from the Geyser side of the range, using the Scion Kop access off Montana 200 east of Raynesford.  This is the area where a large wind farm is under construction.
We wanted to try it as a hike and extend it to Arrow Peak.
Volcanic outcroppings on ridge line
It worked out marvelously and the weather cooperated nicely.
This is really a wild section of this isolated mountain range where taking the wrong turn can plunge the hiker into a remote drainage that never seems to end.
That's something that happened to us on the way down, adding some mileage and elevation to the hike.
The straight-forward hike gains about 2,500 feet if both peaks are climbed.
The views from on top Arrow are exceptional, with the Bear's Paw, Little Rockies, Sweetgrass Hills, Little Belts, Big Belts, Judiths, Snowies  mountain ranges and Rocky Mountain Front in clear view.
The stretch from Lave to Arrow is a gorgeous, open ridge walk punctuated by volcanic outcroppings.
It is extraordinarily green this spring because of all the rain the past couple of weeks.
The red line is our up route; the blue line, where we got lost

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