Perce Peak by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,300 ft
Prominence: 1,280

Find Nearby Peaks

Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 320 of the book. Please note that the book refers to the [lower] Perce Benchmark (8,266 feet). Updated November 2023

Perce Peak is located about six miles north of Big Hole Pass on the Continental Divide. Perce Benchmark is a short distance south of the true summit. USGS Big Hole Pass

Perce Peak as viewed from Peak 8066 to its southeast. Livingston Douglas Photo


From US-93 at Gibbonsville, turn right/east onto [signed] Gibbonsville Road/FSR-079 and drive 9.6 miles to Big Hole Pass (7,055 feet). You can climb Perce Peak from the CDT/FST-111 at Big Hole Pass or from FSR-079 about 0.6 miles north of Big Hole Pass for a shorter hike as I did. For the latter route, park along FSR-079 about 0.6 miles north of Big Hole Pass at the base of a clearing on the left/north edge of the pine forest at 6,830 feet. This clearing occurs just before the road bends hard left/northwest to descend to Gibbonsville. This is the first leg of a 2-peak adventure that includes Perce Peak and Peak 8066. It covers 11.0 miles with 2,725 feet of elevation gain round trip.

Map Errors

The USGS topo map shows the CDT climbing up over Peak 8066 when it, in fact, skirts the west side of that peak to reach the 7,462-foot saddle that connects Peak 8066 to Perce Peak (8,300 feet). The CDT has less ups and downs than the USGS topo map indicates as it skirts most of the ridge humps and/or skirts them at a lower level (e.g., for Point 7779).

Northeast Ridge, Class 2

The Climb

From FSR-079 at the base of a clearing, bushwhack east up 90 vertical feet in reasonable grass/scrub to intercept the CDT in an open meadow. Follow the CDT as it tracks the crest of the Continental Divide north, then northeast, then northwest to reach the 7,462-foot connecting saddle between Peak 8066 and Perce Peak. From the saddle, continue west then northwest then west up the CDT to an area just below the open summit ridge of Perce Peak where the trail crests in crossing a shoulder just east of the summit of Perce Peak.

Stay on the CDT a bit farther to where it skirts just below the high point of Perce Peak. Leave the CDT and scramble northwest directly up the face to reach the ridge crest and the fire ring atop the high point of Perce Peak. There was no summit cairn so I built one on the high point. Return to the CDT and follow it back to the 7,462-foot connecting saddle with Peak 8066. This concludes the first leg of today’s 2-peak adventure. Peak 8066 is up next.

Perce Peak as viewed from its connecting saddle with Peak 8066. Notice the CDT heading up the southeast ridge (center) in a burn area. Livingston Douglas Photo

The summit cairn and fire ring atop the true summit of Perce Peak, looking northeast along the Continental Divide. Livingston Douglas Photo

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Beaverhead Range

Year Climbed: 1994

Longitude: -113.8334   Latitude: 45.6105

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