Little Tin Cup Peak Image

This craggy and interesting summit (9,617’) sits high above the western end of the Little Tin Cup headwaters, at the spot where the north rim of the Chaffin drainage meets the north rim of the Little Tin Cup drainage. Every winter wind-blown snow creates a gigantic deep snowfield on its east face which lasts well into summer and is easily visible from many places in the Bitterroot Valley.

The number of people who have reached this summit can likely be counted on two hands—no toes required.

From the Chaffin Creek Trailhead, head west through stately Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir along the well-used trail. The generally well-maintained trail stays just north of Chaffin Creek as it makes its way westward along the bottom of the drainage. About 4.3 miles from the trailhead (6,750’), leave the trail and climb up a grass-covered moraine to the base of a large gully. Bushwhack and scramble (Class 3 in places) to the saddle (8,540’) on the ridge.

The summit is directly west of the saddle. Paths to the apex range in difficulty from Class 2+ to Class 4. Take your pick.

Michael Hoyt

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