Montana Outdoors

September 23, 2008

The Dry Creek/Wilkes Divide trail 578

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 10:31 am

Yesterday we covered the first three miles or so of this gorgeous trail. In its entirety it’s quite long, about eleven miles, starting at an elevation of about 2,600 feet where it leaves the Dry Creek road and ending at 6,000 feet at the CC Divide.

At about the three mile point the trail crosses a corner of an isolated section of State land which was logged quite some time ago, leaving a mostly bare ridge and a web of old logging roads (which provides what looks like great feeding grounds for elk).

Open ridge along trail 578

From the ridge looking north, the small town of Thompson Falls is visible beside the Clark Fork River.

Thompson Falls

At the skyline to the south the high ridge line of the CC Divide can be seen about eight miles away.

CC Divide from trail 578

The bad news is that trail 578 is now open to motor vehicles, in this case dirt bikes, and with the trail erosion already beginning to take place because of their careless use on the very steep sections of the trail, this trail will not exist for very long. Its upkeep and repair will be too expensive for the agency already facing budget deficits due to tremendously high fire fighting costs.

Trail 578


  1. Sad. … that trail being opened to motorized traffic. People cuss the Adirondack Park Agency regulations here,… but they do their job stopping these kind of bad decisions. You are right about the future accident and ensuing expensive lawsuit. Somebody will skid out and hit a tree or go over a bank and there it will be. A tragic injury and the lawsuit. A matter of time. Very bad decision.


    Comment by Cedar — September 23, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  2. The destruction of natural areas by mankind seems to never end, and when it is done for entirely stupid reasons, it’s even more maddening to those of us who care. I wonder if those who ride motor bikes on these trails have ever felt the exhilaration which comes naturally from hiking on foot.


    Comment by Tabbie — September 23, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

  3. Cedar,

    I will never understand why the Forest Service managers are so prone to giving in to those who don’t care if they destroy the forests. Their own employees worked very hard to establish and maintain these trails only to have them quickly destroyed by a few selfish and evil people.


    Comment by montucky — September 23, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  4. Tabbie,

    I think they would be afraid to visit the high trails on foot. They are basically cowards anyway who feel safe only on their machines.


    Comment by montucky — September 23, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

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