Cowen Cirque includes Mt Cowen (11,206) along with many other satellite peaks in the area including, Eenie, Minnie, Miney, Moe, Fire Spire (Black Spire), and The Thunder Dome. This is a popular area as it is the highest peak in the Absaroka Range. The rock in the area is granite/gneiss and is of very high quality. Many of the routes are long and exposed, so make sure you have a bail plan if an evening thunder storm rolls in.
Head south on highway 89 for Livingston. Take a left at Pray exit, crossing the Yellowstone river and East River Road. You are now are Mill Creek Road, which will turn to gravel after a few miles. Take a left at East Mill Creek Road and park at the Elbow Lake Trailhead. From here you will hike on a not so easy trail up 3,500 feet of elevation to Elbow Lake. The trail to the lake is 9 miles, so plan accordingly. 4-5 hours is usually required.
Browse More Classics in Cowen Cirque
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Cowen Cirque:
Montana Centennial Route 5.11a Trad, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1600 feet, Grade IV
Featured Route For Cowen Cirque
Montana Centennial Route 5.11a MT : Paradise Valley : Cowen Cirque
This is a must do route for anyone looking for a great alpine experience up some of the best rock in the state. Looking directly across Elbow Lake at Eenie, this route takes the longest line up the face. Upon reaching the base of the wall, there will be a cairn marking the start of the route. Pitch 1 starts off a corner system to a ledge, where it turns slightly right and follows a moderate crack (5.7) for 150' to a large grassy ledge. This pitch can feel more diffic...[more] Browse More Classics in MT