Driving the loneliest highway to Skalkaho Pass in MT

Skalkaho Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.212m (7,258ft) above the sea level located on the boundary between Granite and Ravalli counties in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Montana.

Skalkaho pass

Set high in the Sapphire Mountains of southwest Montana, the primitive seasonal road to the summit is mostly unpaved but navigable by all passenger vehicles in dry conditions. It’s called Skalkaho Highway (Montana Highway 38) and runs from Hamilton in the Bitterroot Valley and Philipsburg in Flint Creek Valley.

Located within Bitterroot National Forest, the route is closed during winter due to heavy snowfalls. The summit offers no views as the pass is flat and heavily wooded. Trailers are not recommended as there are narrow curves with limited pull-outs. It makes necessary to drive carefully and slow down whenever approaching an oncoming car. Originally an Indian route, the road was built in 1924 to link mountainous mining areas with the agricultural settlements in the valleys. Skalkaho Falls is near the top of the pass.