Montana Outdoors

January 1, 2008

Along the cutoff

For most of its journey, the Clark Fork of the Columbia River flows toward the west or northwest, but for one stretch of about twenty miles it turns and flows east as it cuts through the Coeur d’Alene mountain range before it makes another sharp bend and again flows northwest. Locally we refer to that stretch as “the cutoff”. Along part of the cutoff the river is flanked on one side by the Patrick’s Knob/North Cutoff roadless area and on the other by the South Siegel/South Cutoff roadless area.

This photo was taken from a cliff five hundred feet above the river inside the South Siegel area looking down the river. The mountainside to the immediate left is part of the Patrick’s Knob area. I plan to spend much more time here after the snow leaves. It’s a beautiful, peaceful wild area.



  1. Gorgeous! Just incredibly gorgeous. I love the sunlight in the distance, balanced with shadows from clouds on some of the mountains. Very pretty shot.


    Comment by winterwoman — January 1, 2008 @ 8:05 am

  2. I can see why you’d want to spend more time there, snow or not.

    You’ve captured the scene, magnificently!


    Comment by Pinhole — January 1, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  3. Thanks, winterwoman. The sun came out very briefly that day and I was lucky to be at a spot on the trail where there was a view when it did. What adds to my pleasure in the scene is knowing that behind and above me was many miles of completely wild country with no roads and abundant wildlife living about as they have for thousands of years. For me that makes it complete.


    Comment by montucky — January 1, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  4. Yes, Pinhole, it’s one of those places from which it’s hard to return. I had not been on that particular trail before and the weather that day didn’t warrant spending much more time on it. I’ve already started getting a few things ready to put into my overnight pack for a trip up there early in the spring. The map tells me that in another four miles it would top out at over 6,000 feet (3,000 feet higher) and I’m already anticipating the views from there!


    Comment by montucky — January 1, 2008 @ 10:10 am

  5. absolutely gorgeous!

    looks like you are already underway on a new trekking goal…I would love to hike this, but as for spending the night out there….BBBRRRRRR!!!


    Comment by silken — January 1, 2008 @ 11:18 am

  6. You wouldn’t have liked it this morning. It was 8º. Coldest night of the year! I know you would enjoy the hike in the spring though.


    Comment by montucky — January 1, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  7. You are just the most fortunate of people. What magesty.


    Comment by nouveaufauves — January 1, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  8. You are so right, nouveaufauves! I never forget that. There are folks who would travel a long way to see what I can see every day. This particular shot was only 20 miles from my home and I can visit there often.


    Comment by montucky — January 2, 2008 @ 12:06 am

  9. Wonderful image and scene Terry, the temp hit 7 degrees yesterday morning, but I didn’t have that view 🙂


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — January 4, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  10. I’ve seen your temps lately, Bernie. I think we’ve now warmer than you are. Yes, that is a really pretty place to be, isn’t it?


    Comment by montucky — January 4, 2008 @ 7:51 pm

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