Montana Outdoors

September 11, 2008

The Daisy Creek Trail

Yesterday we cleared the first three miles of the Daisy Creek Trail, F.S. trail 604. The first mile and a half of it is fairly flat as it follows an old road that lead to the Iron Daisy mine which operated intermittently from 1894 to 1936. From there the trail climbs somewhat steeply for another 4 miles or so into the Mount Bushnell roadless area where it meets the long CC Divide trail 404. Our three miles included a vertical climb of about 800 feet.

Some of the down trees were quite large, and it is much more difficult to cut out and remove those that came to rest fairly high above the trail. This was my third day of trail work and I could tell that the physical conditioning was starting to have an effect, at least to the extent that my exhaustion was not quite total at the end of the day. Although we didn’t see any or hear any bugle, this is prime elk country and I imagine there will be an elk hunter or two who will be pleased to use a clear trail on his hunt this fall.

Daisy Creek Trail 604

Daisy Creek Trail 604

Daisy Creek Trail 604

Daisy Creek Trail 604

Daisy Creek Trail 604

Daisy Creek Trail 604

(The Daisy Creek trail follows Daisy Creek which flows into Prospect Creek about 11 miles west of Thompson Falls, Montana. Because of the persistent vandalism that seems to be present at all trail heads reachable by motor vehicles, the signs marking the start of the trail have been torn down and destroyed: one must carefully look for it after studying the Lolo National Forest map. Once again I feel compelled to remark that the sign in the first photo is a mile or so up the trail itself where it has remained for 80 years, free from the criminal activity always associated with motor vehicle accessibility. The entire area is heavily wooded, with cedar, fir, pine, and some huge old larch which reach almost 200 feet into the sky.)


  1. Wonderful! I half expect to see Bigfoot! It looks so prehistoric. I love those old signs too!


    Comment by Tabbie — September 11, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  2. You know Tabbie, if Bigfoot’s around these parts, he has probably paid a visit to Daisy Creek. The winters are harsh there, but there’s plenty of shelter, and abundant food is available for an herbivore, carnivore or especially an omnivore.

    I love those old signs. We made one with our name and address for the entrance to our driveway the same way, but with the light yellow paint in the lettering like the Forest Service signs of the 40’s and 50’s had.


    Comment by montucky — September 11, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

  3. Vandalism is everywhere, and yes, usually where it’s “easy” to do. I never understand the why of it. Recently here in our small town a little park was vandalized in the middle of the village. Spray paint and all the usual methods of defacing the wall and benches. The park had been the project of a recent Eagle Boy Scout,… who had just left for college. Sad to see.


    Comment by Cedar — September 12, 2008 @ 5:10 am

  4. You’ve done a marvelous job. In clearing and recording. I haven’t had time to comment on all of the entries, but needless to say they are all up to your remarkable standards.


    Comment by Pinhole — September 12, 2008 @ 9:27 am

  5. Yes, Cedar, it is sad. Personally I view vandalism as a much more serious crime than theft because it’s pure maliciousness. At least a thief steals because he wants or needs something and has a purpose in doing it.

    It’s a little more insidious, but many of the off-road vehicle people conduct vandalism also in that they seem to take pride in defacing a meadow or a trail and intentionally create scars on the landscape just because they can.


    Comment by montucky — September 12, 2008 @ 9:43 am

  6. Thanks, Pinhole!

    It has been gratifying to see that folks are interested in the wild parts of our country. As I travel in it and relate to it I get a heightened sense of both our history and our future.

    When I see what the explorers and pioneers had to contend with and what they overcame I’ve gained more respect for the spirit and will of those who came before us.

    As I see more and more of the wild country I have a deeper understanding of exactly what goes on there and how fragile it all is. When I see the effects on nature caused by our incessant demand for energy, read of the water wars now being waged in the west and parts of the south and as I watch the daily train pass by here carrying coal from the rich coal fields in eastern Montana and Wyoming to the nearest seaport to be sent to Asia where it will end up in the world’s air supply, it becomes more and more plain to me that the remaining wild areas which contain our sources of clear, pure water and oxygen-rich air also contain the hope of our future; all of the hope that there is left.


    Comment by montucky — September 12, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  7. Do you live in the east end of Sanders County?


    Comment by the wayfaring wind — February 15, 2017 @ 1:36 pm

    • Kind of in the middle, between Plains and Thompson Falls.


      Comment by montucky — February 15, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

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