|On top Highwood Baldy with Square Butte in distance|
|Plenty of snow on east face on summit cap|
|Drifts at ridge line, but clear until the trees with good snow depth on summit cap|
The standard route is straight up the Deer Creek drainage bottom from Highwood Creek. This requires numerous creek crossings.
Since this is early spring I wanted to avoid the bottom and the potential for ice and high water. Instead, I picked a ridge route between McMurtry and Deer creeks.
The traditional route requires crossing Highwood Creek three times before getting to the Deer Creek trailhead.
The route I describe here requires picking up the ridge about a tenth of a mile after the first crossing (just before the second crossing). There's a pretty good game trail adjacent to a fence line here. Pick your way along the fence line (you'll walk through a downed fence) to the ridge top, where the route is very obvious. Just stay on top!
Along the way and in the grasses there were signficant numbers of wildflowers for so early in the spring: fritilary, pasque flower, shooting stars, chick weed, spring beauty, cat's paws, sweet pea vetch, biscuit root.
The views are superior to the east where Square Butte near Geradline dominates. But the Bearpaws, Little Rockies, Little Belts, Big Belts, Snowies, were all in view, despite an overcast.
For maps and more click here: Highwood Baldy: new route
|A sampling of the ridge line route (right side of photo)|
|My snowshoe tracks|
|Views to the south west|