Hiking, camping, fishing, and beautiful scenery. Who says our area is flat? You have seen my posts from the Bears Paw mountains just to our northeast. And here are the Highwoods just to our southeast. Both make for a nice day drive. Be sure to take your lunch.
NOTE: All the photos included in this article were taken by me during some of our trips thru the Highwood Mountains and all D’fly Photoz copyrighted.
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The Highwood Mountains are an island range that is a sub-range of the Rockies. They cover about 1800 square miles and are completely surrounded by prairie. Highwood Baldy is the highest point in the mountains at about 7670 feet. The Highwoods span thru three counties and the sleepy little town of Highwood sits at the base.
I highly recommend NOT taking your car if you plan to go all the way thru the Highwoods. The entire trip is gravel and dirt roads but once you passed the Arrowpeak Lodge the road gets very rough and often has the creek going across the road half a dozen times. Thus, you have to drive thru it to continue on the road. We have run into some big campers on the road on occasion. Mostly out of staters who either didn’t know or didn’t listen.
A couple miles off the main road is the Thain Creek Campground. It has 16 campsites and a few picnic sites. You can fish for small trout in the creek or take a 6 mile loop hike up to Windy mountain and back. You can find out more about it at this LINK …
After you turn onto the road going to the campgrounds we come upon this little Forest Service cabin. It is no longer in use and more of a landmark. We often stop here and have lunch, stretch our legs and watch the dogs run around a bit.
There are some popular hiking trails up in the Highwoods such as the Highwood Baldy out and back. A 6.2 mile hike that is said to be fairly difficult. You can find out more about this and other hiking trails by visiting this LINK ….
The Arrowpeak Lodge is probably the most notable place in the Highwood Mountains. It sits on 144 acres and advertises numerous recreational opportunities. For a long time the facility was known as the Arrowpeak Camp and hosted youth camps in the summer. As of June of 2011 it was transformed into the Arrowpeak Lodge and is now available for weddings, receptions, family reunions, church functions, business meetings, corporate retreats and youth camps. It can host up to 100 guests. Find out all you want to know about Arrowpeak Lodge at this LINK.
If your a mountain biker you may enjoy the bike route that starts at the Thain creek campground. It’s a loop that is about 12 miles of various terrain. Find out more about it at this LINK ….
We always enjoy this drive as it makes a big loop from Fort Benton Montana to Highwood Montana, thru the mountains, down to Geraldine Montana and back to Fort Benton. We try to go in June to catch the wild rose bushes along with other wild flowers.
The drive is a never ending scenic. You might see cows and horses.
There are various ranches, cabins, and other older buildings dotted around the first half of the drive (going from the Highwood town end.)
And never ending views of the creek.
The climb is subtle with this part of the drive. A lot of open views with mountains in the background..
Once we are past the Thain creek campground turn off we start to climb. I can remember the days of cutting firewood along this upper area.. I don’t have any pictures as not much to see other than trees.
And then we are descending down and things open up again as we move lower back to the prairie setting. We see ranches and farmland and soon we spot the little town of Geraldine.
Soon enough we are back on the highway headed for Fort Benton and home.
Hope you enjoyed traveling with us thru the Highwood Mountains. I will leave you with a few more shots of the journey.