Thoma Lookout

Address: Off of Trail Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork MT 59802— Get directions
Rostra rating: 4

This hike is of medium to hard difficulty because it’s long and very steep in places. The total distance is about 7.5 miles round trip and the approximate time it takes to hike is 4-5 hours. The highest elevation at 7,207 ft is pretty moderate for this area, but the total ascent is 2,445 ft which means you’re walking up hill a lot.

Thoma Lookout Map

It never fails that we make this hike more than once each summer. It’s one of our favorites for many reasons. First, it’s a good hike for out of town guests who are in pretty good shape. There is always a wonderful little stream called Colt Creek to follow for most of the hike, making it perfect for taking a dog along. Finally, during July and August, you’re almost sure to get to visit with Leif Haugen, Thoma’s famous fire watcher.

And take a picnic with you. This is one of the only hikes we know where there’s a picnic table at the top, unless the bears have torn it apart.

Leif Haugen is looking out for us

To get to the trailhead, drive up the North Fork Road, turn left onto Trail Creek Road, and then drive approximately 5 1/2 miles along scenic Trail Creek.  You’ll eventually see a sign for 114A on the right. Take this road for a very long six miles and you’ll eventually hit a kelly hump in the road blocking an old logging skid trail called Frozen Lake Road.  Park anywhere in the area. You’ll see signs for several different hikes, so be sure and pay attention.

The trail up to Thoma Lookout

You start out on Frozen Lake Road and after about 1/2 mile you’ll see a cairne and gap in the brush on the right side of the road. Take this and start down a series of switchbacks that get you to the little stream that you’re going to follow for the next hour.

After climbing again and leaving the stream behind, you’ll eventually get to a “Y” in the trail. The left fork takes you to Mount Hefty. You want to take the right fork towards Thoma Lookout.

Views from the top

Climbing some more, you eventually get to some beautiful views of the North Fork valley, then the trail levels off for a while as you go over the top of the mountain to the lookout.

Inside Thoma Lookout

Once there, say hi to Leif. If you have a chance, take some fresh fruit, veggies, or salad greens up to Leif. They’re always appreciated!

Cyclone Lookout
The hike to Cyclone Lookout is always one of the first we take each year. It's easy, the trail is well maintained, and the snow goes away sometime in June.
Address: Off Hay Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork MT 59802— Get directions
Rostra rating: 3.5
Home Ranch Bottoms Saloon
HOME RANCH BOTTOMS HAS SOLD as of June 30, 2017. We've not yet had a chance to review the new place, so stay tuned!
Address: 8950 North Fork Road, Polebridge MT 59928— Get directions
Website: www.homeranchbottoms.com
Telephone: 406-888-5572
Email: hrbottoms@hotmail.com
Rostra rating: 3
Hornet Lookout
We consider a hike to Hornet Lookout as one of our beginning of the season warm ups. It's beautiful, it's fairly easy, and at a low enough elevation that you can probably hike it towards the end of June because the snow will be mostly gone.
Address: Off Whale Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork Montana 59928— Get directions
Rostra rating: 3.5
Mount Thompson-Seton
Despite its difficulty (or perhaps because of it) we look forward to the hike to Mount Thompson-Seton every year, though. We train all through June and early July, taking hikes to Cyclone and even Tuchuck in preparation. Then in late July and August, we get an early start on the day and make our way to the summit of Thompson-Seton.
Address: Off Whale Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork MT 59802— Get directions
Rostra rating: 4.5
Nasukoin Mountain
The hike to Nasukoin is without a doubt one of our favorites in the Whitefish Range of the Flathead National Forest.  It is in fact not one but three hikes where the first stop is Link Lake, next on up to Lake Mountain, and finally all the way up to the top of Nasukoin, the highest point in the Glacier View Ranger district.<br /> <br />
Address: Off Whale Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork MT 59802— Get directions
Rostra rating: 4.5
Northern Lights Saloon
The bottom line is that without real professionals in the kitchen or the front of the house, the Saloon is well on its way to losing the vast majority of its local trade to Home Ranch Bottoms.
Address: 255 Polebridge Loop, Polebridge MT 59928— Get directions
Telephone: (406) 888-9963
Rostra rating: 2
Polebridge Mercantile and Bakery
Check your e-mail, drink Coffee Trader's Polebridge Blend, and buy souvenirs made by local artists at the Merc. But buy your bread and pastries from Uptown Hearth on the way out of Columbia Falls and eat at at Home Ranch Bottoms.
Address: 265 Polebridge Loop, Polebridge MT 59928— Get directions
Website: polebridgemerc.com
Telephone: (406) 888-5105
Rostra rating: 2
Thoma Lookout
This is a great hike with guests or alone. And the best part is that during July and August, you're almost sure to get to visit with Leif Haugen, Thoma's famous fire watcher.
Address: Off of Trail Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork MT 59802— Get directions
Rostra rating: 4
Tuchuck Mountain
The hike to Tuchuck Mountain is long, hard, and hot, but the views make all that hard work worthwhile.
Address: Off Trail Creek Road in the Flathead NF, North Fork MT 59802— Get directions
Rostra rating: 4

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