Frank Church - River or No Return
Wilderness Area Hikes

Bear Point, Sheep Hill, and Rattlesnake Lake
Distance: 21 miles roundtrip (Bear Point)
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderately difficult
Usage: moderate (light usage last half of trek)
Location: From Grangeville, drive 9 miles west on State Highway 13 and merge onto State Highway 14. Continue on Highway 14, and just before reaching Elk City, bear right onto Forest Road (FR) 222. Proceed 13.5 miles, passing the Red River Ranger Station, and turn left onto FR 468 (Montana Road). Continue 27.5 miles, passing Mountain Meadows, Bargamin Creek, Granite Springs, and Poet Creek Campground to reach Trail 575 at the Dry Saddle Trailhead.

A continuous up and down hike along a wildflower painted ridge offers hikers continual views of the Frank Church-River of No Return and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness areas as well as access to fourteen alpine lakes providing great fishing opportunities. As Trail 575 begins, hikers will climb past Trilby Lakes, Spread Point Lake, and Lake Creek Lakes. Lake Creek Lakes is very popular for its renowned fishing, so if you plan to hike down a side trail to the lakes, expect company. After passing by Lake Creek Lakes, climb to a low saddle that separates Lake Creek and Rattlesnake Creek and locate a three-way junction. Taking the left trail, proceed to Bear Point. This area provides an outstanding vista of the Salmon River flowing 5,300 feet below and it is common to see bears here as well. To access Sheep Hill, proceed on the right fork at the junction. This trail climbs to the 8,000-foot Deadman’s Saddle, then climbs another 400 feet in less than a mile to Sheep Hill Lookout. Bighorn sheep often frequent the area, and Sheep Hill provides access to the four lakes enclosing Sheep Hill. Proceeding on the middle fork, hikers will drop into Rattlesnake Lake along a very faint, unmaintained trail. Best months for hiking are late July to mid-September.

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