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Skalkaho - Gird Trail #86

Difficult

Trail

5.0 mile 8.1 kilometer point to point
76% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,702' 519 m
Descent: -1,023' -312 m
High: 8,337' 2,541 m
Low: 7,199' 2,194 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 54% (28°)

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Unknown
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Trail shared by Lance Pysher

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Backcountry adventure running that's equal parts fun and challenge.

Lance Pysher

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Description

This is another Bitterroot trail that's not for the faint of heart. There are hills to climb, steep sections to scramble down, sections of trail become faint or even disappear, trees need to be climbed over, and there's no easy way out if you get in over your head.

Start by running up the climb and maybe scrambling when you must to get up to the ridge over to Skalkaho Mountain. Head to the pinnacle for some great views, then drop back down to the saddle and try and find the entrance to the trail through the cliff bands. Run this trail until it disappears, and make your way down steep game trails until you might find the trail heading north (runner's left) towards the bottom of the basin.

For the next several miles, the trail does its Cheshire Cat disappearing act. In general, the trail sidehills along a northward trending ridge before dropping into a small pond. Skirt the Pond and climb into the trees and into a burn just before rendezvousing with Alternate Palisades Trail #44.

I suppose you could drive Butterfly Road #364 to the trail and do an out-and-back to the top of Skalkaho Mountain. It would be a fun descent on the way back, but it would also end up being a lot of road for not much trail.

If you've read the rest of the description and are intrigued, I would suggest starting at the bottom of Butterfly Road and climbing the road, running the trail, and then finishing a big all-day loop with Alternate Palisades Trail #44, Upper Palisades Trail #44 and Willow Creek.

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  3.0 from 1 vote

#21707

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Trail Rankings

#396

in Montana

#21,707

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178 Since Oct 6, 2017
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