Montana Outdoors

May 27, 2008

Finally, Cherry Peak

Yesterday a short drive in the Jeep enabled me to find out that the road to one of my favorite trailheads is now passable, and so today I had to see how far up the trail itself I could go before being stopped by the snow. As it turned out, about 3 miles, but far enough to be able to see into the Cherry Peak roadless area, one of my all-time favorite places.

I’m tired right now, partly because of the hike and partly because of a 4 AM wake-up call with Rural Fire, and so I’ll post only a couple of photos from today and post more later (I brought back 88 photos: thank Goodness for digital).

The trail was open for the most part, but there was about a half mile of this (the snow depth here varied from 1 to 4 feet but it was frozen just enough to make it possible to stay on top):

Trail to Cherry Peak

This photo was taken at the point where I finally had to stop but it was actually where I wanted to be anyway for today. Later in the summer I plan to spend a night or two about 5 miles further up. The trail from which it was taken is in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains: the peaks in the distance are to the north across the Clark Fork River valley and they are part of the Cabinet Mountains. Can you imagine what the snow looked like here in mid-winter?

Near Cherry Peak

And this is what I wanted to see, some of the peaks in the Cherry Peak roadless area. This is part of Montana’s wild country!

Cherry Peak roadless area

For anyone interested in seeing a variety of maps of the area, there’s a terrific website called that displays them free. Once on their site, go to the right side-bar, click on Lolo then scroll down to and click on Cherry Peak.


  1. WOOW!!! That is amazing. What lovely photos. I see there are some places still where the cold has not released its icy grip, but that does not hinder the beauty of the scene.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — May 28, 2008 @ 8:56 am

  2. I was very anxious to be able to get up there and see the snow one more time before it melts. In places I was walking on over 10 feet of it. It’s a beautiful thing to see the streams of pure water coming right out from under those snow banks too.


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  3. I honestly can’t imagine that there is still snow! I know it’s high up, but so hard for me to imagine! 🙂


    Comment by silken — May 28, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  4. Now is a great time to see it, if you can make it up to one of these high places because now it’s quite warm up there (in the high 30’s anyway on a cloudy day). This area supplies the water for the Columbia River basin and some of it will eventually reach the Pacific at Astoria Oregon.


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  5. So the snow must totally cover the trees in winter … yes, that is a lot of snow. Gorgeous country.


    Comment by Bo — May 28, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  6. Yes, it covers the shorter ones. I know a couple of areas reported over 35 feet last winter, and this area was probably at least that. As you look at the higher peaks and ridges in winter, you can see the trees disappear and total blankets of white appear.


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  7. Great pix as usual. Your our eyes and ears in the back country.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 28, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

  8. Thanks Malcolm! You know the sounds are also something that I wish folks could experience. With all the snow melt that’s going on now, the canyons are alive with the sound of rushing and cascading water.


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

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