Hike to Kenelty Mountain Lookout

Rate this Adventure Montana Kenelty Trailhead

Added by Gavin Pirrie

This moderately difficult hike to an old, abandoned fire lookout in the Salish Mountains is secluded in NW Montana.

Starting from Kalispell, take Hwy 2 west towards Libby. Follow the highway for 62.5 miles until mile marker 57 and turn right in 0.3 miles on to a cut across road for 0.3 miles. Take a left on to Road 763 and follow this road for 3.4 miles and take a right on to an unnamed road for 1.8 miles and take a right for 0.2 miles to the trailhead. 

From the trailhead, the road continues for about a mile and a half until a clearing is reached. In this clearing, there will be a chute of trees that are cleared. This is marked and this is where the true trail begins. From this point, the trial is well defined. The trail ascends to the ridge in a short while with a decent amount of vertical gained. From the ridge, Kenelty Mountain is a decent 3 miles. When at the lookout, be cautious of the stability of the lookout. I would not recommend going in the lookout as the floor does not look stable in the least. The views all around are spectacular, although the trees have started to shield the view a slight amount due to the lookout being decommissioned. The return route is the same as the ascent. 

*Bonus*

Rumor has it that there are caves near the lookout. While we were unable to locate these caves, there is evidence of the caves existence and there is a geocache located in one of them. Happy hunting!

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Bear spray
  • Water
  • Day pack
  • Snacks
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10.1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3502 Feet

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by Gavin Pirrie

Born and raised in Kalispell, MT. Adventuring in Bozeman, MT. When I'm not climbing peaks, I spend my free time hunting, fishing and occasionally studying to become a doctor.

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