Intermountain Region Viewing Area
LOCATION and PHOTOS
Forest: Salmon-Challis National Forest
District: Leadore Ranger District
Description: A panoramic view of Central Idaho and Western Montana is the backdrop for this alpine meadow. A carpet of sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum), scarlet gilia (Gilia aggregata), larkspur (Delphinium nelsoni), lupine (Lupinus parviflorus), sulpherflower (Eriogonum flavum), sky pilot (Polemonium viscosum), cutleaf daisy (Erigeron compositus), heartleaf arnica (Arnica cordifolia pumila) and springbeauty (Claytonia lanceolata) wildflowers rewards hikers along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. With an elevation greater than 10,000 feet, Elk Mountain is the highest point on the Trail in Montana or Idaho. Wildflower displays are often best around July 4th, but are quite good through the month of July.
Safety First:Weather in these mountains can change rapidly and can go from a reasonably warm summer day to winter-like conditions in a matter of hours. Bring appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry in this ever-changing environment. Hiking during thunderstorms is not recommended due to the possibility of lightening strikes. Always pack plenty of water when hiking.
Directions: Go 46 miles southeast of Salmon, Idaho on Highway 28. At the town of Leadore, go 13 miles east and north on state highway 29 to Bannock Pass. Turn east onto a four-wheel-drive road for six miles until you come to signs indicating a CDT non-motorized hiking tread. Hike 4 miles southeasterly on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail to Elk Mountain. Detailed maps are available at the Leadore Ranger District office in Leadore, Idaho.
Ownership and Management: USDA Forest Service, Salmon-Challis National Forest, Leadore Ranger District, 208-768-2500
Closest Town: Leadore, Idaho.
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