29 Photos - Aug 14, 2015
Photo: The trail follows Straight Creek, crosses it, and then switch-backs up through Honeymoon Basin to a ridge that leads to the top. I highly recommend this one. Many of the hikes I've done in the Augusta area were off-trail and had "sketchy" parts, but this one is great trail all the way (VERY steep for the last 2 miles).Photo: On Benchmark Road west of Augusta - butt to butt traffic. As far as gravel roads go, this one is pretty good.Photo: Here is a zoom shot of the Patrol Mountain Lookout (photo taken near the trailhead).Photo: Mardi and Missy are crossing Straight Creek - about an hour into the hike.Photo: Switch-backs above Honeymoon BasinPhoto: Mardi on the trail below the cliffs above Honeymoon Basin - see next photo for zoom shot.Photo: Closer look at previous photoPhoto: Missy was admiring the geology from the ridge just below the lookoutPhoto: There it is - The Patrol Mountain Lookout! (elevation of the lookout is 8,015 ft).Photo: The trail switch-backs up Honeymoon Basin (on left) and then follows this ridge to the lookout.Photo: Advance to see the next image.Photo: Missy with Sugarloaf Mountain on the horizonPhoto: Mardi along the final approach to the lookout - almost there!Photo: This has been Sam (Samsara) Chapman Duffey's summer home/work for over 20 years in a row.Photo: View of the trailhead from the lookout. Skies were a little smokey when we did this hike in August of 2015.Photo: Sam is a very friendly host.Photo: Mardi is relaxing at the Patrol Mountain Lookout.Photo: Meanwhile . . . HELP!Photo: Photo: Starting back down - smokey skies to the south.Photo: Mardi is on the trail near the center of the photo. Notice the interesting break in vegetation.Photo: The ridge is the eastern boundary of the Scapegoat Wilderness. Everything to the left of the ridge is wilderness.Photo: Photo: View from below the lookout - looking down at the South Fork of the Sun River. The CDT is down there too.Photo: Smokey skiesPhoto: Last look at the lookout.Photo: Mardi is on the trail below, heading back down into Honeymoon Basin.Photo: Taking a break during the stream crossing (Straight Creek). 

To read about this and other adventures (and see photos), go to bigskywalker.com.Photo: It's 80 miles from Helena to Augusta (paved), and then another 30 miles of gravel from Augusta to the trailhead at the Benchmark Campground.