The Red Conglomerate Peaks

By Rick and Susie Graetz | Office of Research and Creative Scholarship and The O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West | University of Montana
Red Conglomerate Peaks, Sawmill Creek Road | Rick and Susie Graetz

West of Lima, Montana and straddling the Continental Divide, this gathering of uplifts made up of four summits, rise in a little-known area of southwest Montana. And although three of the pinnacles are in Idaho, just south of the Montana-Idaho border, they are “Montana’s mountains.” The best approach via Sawmill Creek Road is all in Montana as are the choice camping and hiking locations.

Montana claims the 10,106’ North summit and is the only point to carry the Divide. USGS maps mark it as Benchmark. South summit, the highest of the group at 10,250’ in elevation is in Idaho. The two other mountains are Cobble, 9,996’ and Knob 9,762 are also “south of the border.”

A complex geologic mix, the massif is a blend of reddish conglomerate, volcanic rocks, and granite.

From the end of the Sawmill Creek Road, it is easy to trek to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, climb to the heights of the Conglomerates or access passages to the Lima Peaks touching, the Red Conglomerates on the north.

Red Conglomerate Peaks | Rick and Susie Graetz