Montana Outdoors

August 28, 2007

Trail 345W, the trail itself

Trail 345W is a U.S. Forest Service primitive foot trail which runs from the point where U.S.F.S. road 887 crosses the Weeksville Divide, follows up the divide itself to just below the old lookout atop Bighole Peak, a distance of four to five miles with an increase in altitude of about two thousand feet. It is within the TeePee-Spring Creek roadless area in western Montana’s Cabinet Mountains.

It’s a beautiful route for someone experienced in the back country, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a novice because there are several places where it would be very easy to lose the trail. Most of the route is well blazed (though some of the blazes are very old and difficult to see), but there are gaps that I don’t understand. At one place it took me about twenty minutes to figure out where the real trail was.

Here’s what a new blaze looks like:

Blaze marks

An older blaze (several years):

Blaze marks, old

And a very old blaze (maybe 50 years):

Blaze marks, very old

The trail looks quite flat on a map and fairly flat in these photos, but has a tendency to stand right up on end in several sections.

Along Trail 345W

Along Trail 345W

Along Trail 345W

At a later time I’ll post some photos of the views from the higher reaches of T345W.

Let the colors begin

The colors of fall are just beginning to show now in Montana’s high country. Reds are getting an early start.

Fall colors

(Photo taken along F.S. Trail 345 near the top of Bighole Peak in the Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana. Mount Baldy in the background.)



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