The Mission Mountains

The Mission Mountains are perhaps the most amazing mountains that I have ever seen. They seem to magically appear from the valley floor, and I often find myself thinking that they are simply a collage of cardboard cutouts that someone has pasted against the eastern horizon.

The few trails within the Missions are very steep, poorly maintained and hard to find. Yet, if you can find any semblance of a trailhead and can get past some major league bushwhacking, the hikes in the Missions are well worth it.

A few hikes that I would highly recommend are: Moon, Long and Frog Lakes to Summit Lake and then to Mollman Lakes; Mount Harding; Ashley Lakes; McDonald Peak; Kakashe; Lucifer Lake; Upper and Lower Riddell Lakes; Lost Sheep Lake to Buck Lake to Whelp Lake and finally to Gray Wolf Lake.

Here are a few photos from some of my trips:

Mt Harding (9,061 feet).

Kakashe (8,575 feet), The Garden Wall and Snyelmn (9,125 feet).

East (9,425 feet) and West (9,372 feet) St. Mary’s Peaks.

Grey Wolf Peak (9,001 feet).

Beargrass and Grey Wolf.

St. Ignatius as seen from the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge.

The Missions as seen from near Dixon, MT.

Mission Dam with The Garden Wall, Elizabeth Falls and Snyelmn.

Nathan, Todd, Cort and I en route to Summit Lake.

Summit Lake (6,315 feet) with Mt. Harding.

Emily with dinner at Summit Lake.


Photos from the Ashley Lakes Fire of 2006.

Ashley Lakes in 2007 (after the fires).

McDonald Peak (9,820 feet).

McDonald Lake.



“The Cliff”, McDonald Lake.

Barefoot and carefree at Mollmon Lakes (6,865 feet).

First (unsuccessful) attempt to climb McDonald Peak, 1996.

Eric and I camped below McDonald Peak.

Grizzly bear tracks on McDonald Peak.

Sheep’s Head (West McDonald Peak, 9,417 feet)) after successfully climbing Kakashe, Flat Top and McDonald Peak with Eric.  More photos from another McDonald Peak trip can be seen here.

Josh amongst the glacier lilies en route to Mt. Harding (McDonald Peak in the background).

Mt. Harding.


Lost Sheep Lake (6,434 feet).

Eric and I, The North Fork of the Jocko River.

Lost Sheep Lost Sheep Lake.

Here are some photos that my sister took while flying over the Mission Valley in March 2009:

LuciferLucifer Lake with the Garden Wall

Mtn. HardingMtn. Harding

McDonald PeakMcDonald Peak

Finley PointFlathead Lake and Finley Point

Photos from a family hike to Ashley Lakes in July 2009:

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Ashley Lakes

Emily and Henry

Emily and Henry



Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly


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