Tuchuck Mountain

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

This hike is a medium to difficult hike mainly because of the length and change of elevation. The total distance is about 13 miles round trip and the approximate time it takes to hike is 7-8 hours. The summit elevation at 7,383 ft is one of the highest for this area and the total ascent of 4,383 ft is a lot of going up and down.

Tuchuck Map

The hike to Tuchuck in the Whitefish Range of the Flathead National Forest is epic. We’ve taken this hike several times and all agree that it’s the toughest and most satisfying of all the hikes we know in the Flathead.

View from the trail

What makes this hike so perfect? First, it is in the Flathead National Forest which means that it is much less crowded than hiking just across the North Fork of the Flathead River in Glacier National Park.  Next, you can bring your dog along and it’s perfectly legal (although you’ll need to bring water too because there are no creeks on this trail).  In season, you can carry along your weapon of choice and do a bit of hunting along the way.  A portion of the trail moves along a ridge where you have beautiful views of mountains and lakes on both sides of the trail.  Finally, at the top of Tuchuck you have an unparalleled view into the Canadian Rockies. Beautiful.

You’ll want to make this one of your last hikes of the year, though. September or October are best. Otherwise you are likely to find snow on the trail.

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 road called Frozen Lake Road.  Park anywhere in the area. You’ll see signs for several different hikes, so be sure and pay attention.

More trail views

The trail starts out going up hill and never really quits until you get to the top of the ridge. Then you have the joy of walking along the ridge top looking at views from both sides.

Tuchuck with its switchbacks

At a point about halfway through the ascent you go through the ridge pass and see Tuchuck in front of you.

Signs of bears digging in the rocks

You then follow along a series of switch backs, thinking all the time you’re going the wrong way. Keep an eye out for evidence that the grizzly bears have been digging on the trail.

The start of the switchbacks

Until you come out to a flat area and start the switch back climb up Tuchuck itself.

View from the top of Tuchuck

And then, you’re at the top where you’ll find the remains of an old fire lookout and some stunning views.

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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