I went along with the Wolstein Family, as they were doing the hike as part of their 2016 family reunion.
The Sleeping Giant is on private land so you can’t hike up there by yourself, or at least without permission.
It’s Synness family land and has been for 131 years. Ole Synness bought a 160-acre homestead there in 1885.
At that time the Sleeping Giant was known as the Beartooth and it was quite the remote place, being 20 miles north of Helena and all.
Ole Synness was from Norway and brought his wife over in 1897. In 1909 Ole died in Wolf Creek Canyon after being dragged by a wagon.
His wife Maggie was left to care for five children all by herself, as well as two nephews from the Wolstein family.
“Her only income was what she could earn milking cows and selling butter and eggs,” we’re told on Helena History.
Prior to 1878 the Sleeping Giant was called the Beartooth or the Bear Teeth.
In 1878 there was an earthquake and landslides altered the beartooth outcroppings and formed the current look of the mountain.
It wasn’t until the 1890s, when a German immigrant in Helena mentioned the formation looked just like a sleeping burgomeister (mayor), that the name Sleeping Giant was first used.
I was looking forward to what the top of that mountain looked like and had a beautiful day for it in late-June.
Well, it was quite the hike. All of us were pretty worn-out afterward. It was fun, though, and I’m very thankful that I got to hike to the top of a mountain I’ve been looking at my whole life.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what it looks like as well.