High Points: Granite Peak, Montana
The toughest high point in the lower 48
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The last of the 50 high points to be scaled and the only one requiring you to climb multiple pitches of vertical rock, this remote Beartooths giant is the toughest in the Lower 48. Whether you decide to endure 26 hellacious switchbacks and make a bid from the exposed boulder fields of Froze-to-Death Plateau or pick the more treacherous rock-hopping on the Silver Lake/Huckleberry Creek route, start pre-dawn to avoid afternoon electricity. By first light, you should have reached an A-frame-steep snowbridge. The rest is on granite. The hardest climbing is rated 5.6, but you’ll be in big boots and a pack, in the cold, with gloves, above 12,000 feet. A guide is recommended.
Elevation: 12,799 feet
Contact: Beartooth Ranger District, Custer National Forest, (406) 446-2103
USGS Topos: Granite Peak; Alpine
Eat: Bridge Creek Backcountry Kitchen and Wine Bar, Red Lodge, (406) 446-9900
Sleep: Emerald Lake Campground, Beartooth Ranger District, (406) 446-2103