Beartrap Ridge

Elevation: 8,078 ft
Prominence: 818

This peak is not in the book. Published June 2019


Beartrap Ridge is located north of the Salmon River and west of North Fork, Idaho. It is in an area where the Clearwater and Bitterroot Mountains merge without a clear boundary line. This peak was a fire lookout site as early as 1919. The lookout was finally destroyed by the Mustang Forest Complex Fire in 1982.  USGS Tincup Hill

Bing Young described the lookout in 1982 as follows:

Beartrap Lookout (el. 8078 ft.) sits at the edge of Beartrap Ridge between Owl Creek and the East Fork of Owl Creek. It is in the North Fork Ranger District on the North Side of the Salmon River in the kitterroot Mountains.

Beartrap had a lookout—smokechaser stationed by 1929 and the building is typical of the Depression construction. Although not used  since 1968, the building is still in fair condition and is left open to hunters, hikers, and all others interested, so long as people don’t vandalize it. The North Fork District manages the site. It is easily reached by road from Spring Creek or Alta, Montana. On foot it can be reached from Owl Creek. 

The view from Beartrap is excellent. The likely reason for its closure seems to be duplication of service by Long Tom, Sagebrush and Stormy Peak lookouts. Near the lookout is a garage—flyshed (flyshed being a place to hold horses) in mediocre condition according to the Forest inventory of 1975. —Salmon National Forest Fire Lookouts by Bing Young 1982, page 19.

Access

Google Maps will give you driving directions from North Fork, Idaho. Google reports the route as 35.0 miles and two hours of driving time. While a 4WD is required it is recommended that you check with the Forest Service before venturing to this remote vantage point.

Mountain Range: Southern Clearwater Peaks

Longitude: -114.44379   Latitude: 45.39149

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