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Trilobite Range Lollipop Loop

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


51.2 mile 82.4 kilometer point to point
87% Runnable


Ascent: 8,600' 2,621 m
Descent: -8,600' -2,621 m
High: 7,795' 2,376 m
Low: 4,796' 1,462 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by DAVID LOWE


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Backpack through thick pine forest, high passes, and alpine ridgeline views with river crossings and alpine lakes.


Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers


For backpackers who like remote backcountry the Bob Marshall is the area. The trailhead is difficult to get to because it is on the end of a 70+ gravel road. To get started, you need to pack in 9 miles to Pentagon Cabin. The Pentagon drainage is lush pine forest with a lot of undergrowth. The pass over to the Dolly Vardon drainage is a tough climb, but beautiful views are the reward. Elevation around 7,150 feet.

The Dolly Vardon drainage is another thick pine forest with great views of the creek and surrounding mountains. The outfitters camp is great camp location with several swimming holes. The pack up trail 241 to Chair Mountain is difficult, but the views on top are awesome. Elevation around 7,000 feet.

Trail 241 follows below the ridgeline of Chair Mountain and Gable Peaks. Great alpine views up and down the Dolly Vardon valley and Argosy Mountain. Beautiful alpine meadows with wildflowers. The Trilobite Lakes are awesome alpine lakes great for swimming.

The pack to Dean Lake is a high alpine trail too, with beautiful views. Pentagon Peak looms overhead. The trail from Dean Lake to Switchback Pass is more alpine views. The trail down Trail 177 meets back up with Trail 173, completing the loop.

Need to Know

The Silvertip Trailhead is a long drive of approximately 60 miles or more on gravel roads. Road 38 out of Hungry Horse, Montana.

Runner Notes

This is not for trail runners. Backpack or outfitters only.


Start at the Silvertip Trailhead in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. Use the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, North Half map. First day 9 miles in, following the Spotted Bear River #83 to Pentagon Cabin. Day two, north on trail Dolly Vardon Pentagon #173 following Pentagon Creek drainage, over an alpine pass down to the Dolly Varden Creek drainage about 8-9 miles to a meadow camp close to the creek, before the cutoff trail 686.

Day three, continue on Dolly Vardon Pentagon #173 for about 5 miles to an outfitter's camp on the west side of the Dolly Varden Creek. Couple of great swimming holes in the area. Layover day with an option to run to Schafer Airstrip. Day 5, go southeast on Chair Mountain Trilobites #241, a 2,000+-foot climb. Once up, alpine views everywhere, open meadows with wildflowers.

Follow trail 686 to junction with trail 241 and follow trail 241 to Trilobite Lakes. Trilobite Lakes are beautiful alpine lakes. Day 6, follow trail 241 to Dean Lake. Another alpine lake, great for a swim. Great view of Pentagon Mountain. Day 7, follow trail 241 to Switchback Pass and take trail 177 back down to trail 173 to complete the loop, and back to Pentagon Cabin. The trail from cresting out on Chair Mountain to Switchback Pass is all at or above treeline, displaying beautiful alpine views.

Flora & Fauna

This is grizzly bear country. Take bear spray and bear canisters. Pine forest and alpine views, and there were beautiful high alpine meadows with fields of wildflowers.

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in Montana


20 Views Last Month
119 Since Aug 24, 2019



Dolly Varden Creek
Aug 31, 2019 near Summit, MT
Trail 686 Meadows wildflowers
Aug 31, 2019 near Summit, MT
Trail 686 View across Dolly Varden valley
Aug 31, 2019 near Summit, MT
Trail 173 looking down Dolly Varden drainage
Aug 31, 2019 near Summit, MT
Trail 241 Trilobite Peak
Sep 2, 2019 near Summit, MT
Switchback pass
Sep 2, 2019 near Summit, MT


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