View Full Version : Monument Mnt. to Flag Rock

10-28-2008, 07:06 AM
I wanted to combine a trip up Squaw Peak with a trip across Monument Mnt. range to Flag Rock. Topo doesn't show a continuous trail connecting the two points, but a bushwhack on a nice autumn day seemed ideal.

After descending off of Squaw Peak, I headed down the Indian Monument Trail (easy) west. About 150 ft down from Inscription Rock, an old woods road turned off the trail and headed north, and I wanted to get to the 1730 ft hill on the north end of the range. The woods road continued in a northerly direction, but I wanted to go northeast toward the hill, so I headed along the top of the ridge. That ridge to the 1730 ft hill was a thick understory of mountain laurel, which made travel slow. I then descended 50 ft below the crest of the ridgeline, to get out of the laurel. There I ran into another woods road that I followed to the top of the 1730 ft hill. Nice views north into Stockbridge.

From there I followed the GPS to the waypoint for Flag Rock, which lies on a seperate ridge than the 1730 ft hill, and requires a very steep drop into a glen seperating the two. The hill down was very steep, and covered in laurel, but it turned out to be the best way down. The west side of Monument Mnt. is similar to the east side; i.e. cliffs, talus slopes. Once in the glen, there was another woods road that headed north, so i followed that hoping to gain the Flag Rock ridge. I did not want to head directly up the slope, as it was steep, rocky and many small cliffs. The woods road rose to meet a trail that I assume comes up from Housatonic, and followed the ridge to Flag Rock. Nice views west and south from there.

Not wanting to return the route I came, I followed the woods road south through the glen. There were many interesting rock formations to look at, including a couple of talus caves and many talus rock slopes. That trail descended to an intersection with the lower end of the trail that took me to the 1730 ft hill. I followed that trail northerly for a hundred yards, and then whacked easterly, toward the west face of Squaw Peak. I eventually came across the Indian Monument Trail, which I followed south around the southern end of Monument Mnt., and back to the parking lot.

Five and a half hours, and 7 miles of hiking through some great country. Just be prepared for the laurel stands. Some of it is easily stepped over, being only 2 feet high. But much of it is an inpenetrable thicket, over 8 feet tall. You can't beat the views from Squaw Peak and Flag Rock!