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North Diamond Peak

For the 4th of July this year we did the same hike that we did last year: Montgomery Pass. Having been in absolute awe of all the flowers at Montgomery Pass in 2022 we wanted to do it again in the same season. The cool thing about this area is that at Montgomery Pass you can head North or South and continue along the ridge as far as you want and every step has amazing panoramic views. We decided to go South toward North Diamond Peak - the tallest south-most peak in that range.

The wildflowers became even more incredible after climbing up from Montgomery Pass. We spent so much time taking photos of wildflowers because there was an unbelievable amount of them. Rolling mountains of wildflowers as far as you could see. The number of wildflowers wasn't too different from last year, but we didn't see the variety last year that we saw this year.

There were thunderstorms forecasted in the Cameron's Pass area, mostly after about 2 pm. We got to the trailhead just before 9 and started our hike, thinking we would be below treeline before 1 pm - giving us plenty of buffer before the storms. We aren't too worried about getting wet, just concerned about lightning above treeline. That went to plan - we were back in the cover of the trees around 1, with sunny blue skies. What we didn't expect were the 3 quick storms that rolled over us while we were exposed above the treeline. The first one just barely hit us with a little more than some sprinkles of rain. There was a 30-minute intermission of sunny blue skies before we got hit with the second storm. The second storm was a lot worse and we were directly in its path. Being on an exposed ridgeline we headed off the ridgeline to at least get out of some of the wind where we stood waiting for the storm to pass. After about 5 minutes of downpouring sideways rain, we were able to continue on our hike in again,m sunny blue skies. The third storm barely produced any rain and happened on the summit of North Diamond Peak. We waited for this storm to roll over to get different lighting conditions before heading back down.

During the entire hike exposed above treeline we were looking for lightning and thunder. We did hear some thunder, but only from storms that had already passed us and were picking up steam heading East. As each storm approached we made a plan and watched the storm clouds for any chance of danger. Luckily, we didn't encounter anything too dangerous.

The summit of North Diamond Peak had a geological survey marker in very poor condition. Marker LL1389. It looked like it had been melted over the rock it was affixed to which made me wonder if maybe it had been struck with lightning. This marker was placed in 1937 by the Forest Service and was last reported in good condition in 1959. What's cool is that anyone can submit a report that they found one of these, so I reported it as found in poor condition. Katie and I have been starting to research these markers and report them as we find them. The markers have their own reports to them, which has a really funny passage for how to find it from when it was set in 1937:

Turn right on a graveled road, State Highway 14, and follow it for 21.0 miles to the Gould post office.

What's funny about this is that state Highway 14 is no longer a gravel road and hasn't been for quite some time. These reports have some interesting tidbits of history embedded in them that make them somewhat fascinating to read. The report for this marker can be found here. Soon this report will read that it was found in poor condition on July 4, 2023 (by me).

Trailhead Location
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7.58 mi 4.9 hrs 11,798 ft 2,352 ft
View Graph
Out of the Snow
Field of Flowers
Yellow Paintbrush
Montgomery Pass
Rainbow in the Valley
Ready For the Storm
Alpine Forget-Me-Nots
Nokhu Crags
Looking North
Pygmy Bitterroot
In the Mountains
Crazy Hair
Wandering Around the Summit
At the Summit
Storm over Clark Peak