Morgan Mountain by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,308 ft
Prominence: 1,168

This peak is not in the book. 


This climb begins at Big Hole Pass (7,055′), which can be reached from the Idaho side via Gibbonsville Road/FSR 079 (9.6 miles from Highway 93) or from the Montana side via FSR 624 (17.7 miles from Highway 43). There is a small parking area on Big Hole Pass and even a lovely, albeit small, campsite under a large pine tree there.

South Ridge Route, Class 2

From Big Hole Pass, hike S up the Continental Divide (CD) on a jeep road (FSR 078), skirt the W face of Big Hole Pass BM (7243′), then scramble over Point 7402 and subsequently drop to a minor ridge saddle. Continue S on FSR 078 as it climbs then traverses around the E side of Morgan Mountain. When the road flattens out at 8,000′, leave the road and scramble W up through easy, open forest up onto the ill-defined S ridge [you could continue on FSR 078 to the point where it crosses the S ridge at 7,944′ but that adds needless mileage, elevation, and bushwhacking to the climb]. Bushwhack NNW up the S ridge to the forested, flat summit area. Continue climbing until the slope begins to drop noticeably to the NW. There is an ID/MT Boundary Post (w/2 large cairns) on the S ridge about 50 yards S of the true summit. There was no sign of previous ascent of the true summit, so I built a small cairn (with the few rocks that I could find) alongside the pine tree that serves as the high point.

No views from the top and not an impressive summit. However, it IS a ranked summit on the Continental Divide so if you’re into bagging peaks on the CD, it matters.

East Ridge Route–Descent, Class 2+

Date of Climb (7/26/16). This route is the first leg of a ridge traverse from Morgan Mountain to Peak 7911/Pioneer Creek Peak. It follows the CD then the CDT to reach Pass 7140, which is located due east of Morgan Mountain. From the ill-defined summit of Morgan Mountain, bushwhack E down through the thick forest to intersect FSR 078. If you wish to return to Big Hole Pass, head N on FSR 078 (see South Ridge Route). But we’re not headed to Big Hole Pass, not just yet. We want to endure more suffering. Cross FSR 078 and continue E then NE down a thick, forested slope with lots of blowdown to make this bushwhack rather miserable. There are no posts, markers, or cattle fencing on the CD to help guide you during this battle with Mother Nature. You’ll eventually intersect the the [blessed] CDT. At this point, you’ll be so grateful to be on a trail that you might even kneel down and kiss the ground. Hike S on the CDT for about 5 minutes, and you’ll arrive at Pass 7140.

USGS Big Hole Pass

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Beaverhead Range

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: East Ridge—Descent
  • Year: 2016
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  • Other First Ascent: South Ridge
  • Year: 2016
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -113.83479   Latitude: 45.52069

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