|Looking back down Canyon Peak's narrow North ridge.|
I started the day at Blodgett and biked the 1.5 mile road back out to the Canyon Creek road junction. From there, I jogged the road to the trailhead, cutting switchbacks of course, then jogged and walked to a highpoint about a mile below Canyon lake. I still contest this is one of the longest 5-mile sections of trail anywhere. I roughly followed the route suggested by Michael Hoyt in his excellent Bitterroot hiking guidebook (much of his information is also on summitpost), climbing off trail up slabs and open forest to gain access to the headwaters of the basin. I'm not sure it was much faster than just taking the trail to Canyon lake, but it wasn't much slower.
|Looking back down at golden larch and Canyon creek from the base of Canyon Peak.|
|Canyon peak. The North ridge is on the right skyline. It is not as steep as it looks.|
|Golden larch and clean granite on the North ridge.|
|On the summit. The cord hanging out of the pack is tat that I found and hauled off the mountain.|
|Cruising around High lake.|
|What passes for a trail in Montana. Don't worry, there are two visible cairns.|
|Blodgett spires looking attractive during the run out.|
Canyon peak North ridge route: The route is intuitive. Follow the path of least resistance, either on or just east of the crest.
Canyon peak descent: The easiest and safest descent is to bring a single rope and rappel straight south from one of several established rappel stations. From the base of the rappel, one should be able to scramble either over to High lake, or more commonly, back east to the normal return to Canyon creek (there is a notch/ramp way east of the peak). If you are not rappelling, descend the crest of the southwest ridge about 100 feet from the summit until it narrows to a point. Downclimb on the crest, using big lichen covered foot holds and two slopers on the crest. The moves are easy, but it is exposed. From the bottom of the step, downclimb a steep but easy chimney to the east. You should now be below the steep summit cliff band. From here, proceed with your descent route of choice, downclimbing easy 4th class steps as required.