Montana Outdoors

October 2, 2008

The Dry Creek/Wilkes Divide trail 578 (2)

Yesterday I hiked part of 578 again, this time during clear weather and was struck by its beauty. It’s rather aggressive, climbing from 2900 feet at the trail head to 4900 feet at around the three mile point, but on a trail like this the climb is a pleasant one.

Dry Creek trail 578

Beside the trail within the first mile was this surprise:

Wild strawberry

who would expect a wild strawberry blossom this time of year in an area that has already had a couple light snowfalls!

Just below a ridge top, this Cinquefoil is also defying the season,


and seeing this high ridge dressed in Fall colors was worth all the effort!

Ridge top in Fall colors.

It’s a great time of year to be outdoors!

(Trail 578 is in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana.)


  1. Beautiful images Terry, I love the vivid colors in the underbrush, really nice work !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — October 2, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  2. Love the flowers! The yellow hues are so lovely. Your weather looks beautiful. Here it has been rain rain rain rain rain…so gray 😦 The ridge is simply wonderful! I agree with Bernie above. I wish I could be there in the sunshine to smell the freshness of the wilderness.


    Comment by Tabbie — October 2, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  3. Makes me wonder why, in the name of heaven, I’m sitting here at this computer.

    Excellent work, as always.


    Comment by Pinhole — October 2, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  4. Bernie,

    It’s strange to see all of the color coming from the low growth. Those tall trees on the ridge are Larch: in another month, the ground will be all brown and the trees, all yellow.


    Comment by montucky — October 2, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

  5. Tabbie,

    A week ago when I visited that same trail it was in the rain and the clouds were down low over the high ridges. That has its own beauty, but it was nice to have the sun for this hike, even though it was a little warm. The smells are indeed fresh, and the breeze drifting up the hillsides in the afternoon is quite refreshing as well. I’ve been soaking it all up!


    Comment by montucky — October 2, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  6. I know exactly what you mean, Pinhole! That thought visited me for many years! Now that I’m able to get out there I don’t want to waste a single day.


    Comment by montucky — October 2, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

  7. Oh that shot of the trail ahead,… so inviting, and so very peaceful. It sets an amazing mood!


    Comment by Cedar — October 2, 2008 @ 5:15 pm

  8. These high country trails are inviting indeed, Cedar! I tend to gravitate to the ones that are hardly ever used, and the peace and solitude there are incredible. A long walk on one can change an attitude or an outlook and will always provide perspective.


    Comment by montucky — October 2, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

  9. Looks like a wonderful early-autumn day! I wish it was like that over here, but I have seen nothing but rain and cloudy skies.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — October 3, 2008 @ 8:25 am

  10. We’ve in for some rain too, starting today, with snow above 6000 feet. If the rain isn’t too heavy I might try to get into the snow. When the weather’s really nasty, you gotta go play in it!


    Comment by montucky — October 3, 2008 @ 8:49 am

  11. Oh, oh wow!! That’s just gorgeous! What a heavenly trail. I love the first picture–that trail is just so inviting! And 2000 feet of up in three miles isn’t worse than 1500 in two, right?

    And the fall colors on the ridge are *gorgeous*!!

    That poor little confused strawberry kind of tickles me.


    Comment by Sara — October 3, 2008 @ 10:34 am

  12. Oh, wow!! That’s just gorgeous! The trail in that first picture is so incredibly *inviting*. And then the colors!! ::swoons:: (And that poor confused little strawberry just tickles me pink.)

    2000 feet of up in 3 miles isn’t worse than 1500 feet in two miles is it?

    I really *need* to get out this weekend–I’ve been cooped up in the house working all week and have barely had a minute to myself. I was hoping for more of the gorgeous weather we’ve had all week, but that’s not to be apparently.


    Comment by Sara — October 3, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  13. Sara,

    It’s a great trail but a tough one and just doesn’t have the views that the Baldy trail has. The last mile actually drops a few hundred feet and then climbs back up again so it gives a total vertical of about 2400 feet.

    I hiked a new trail today, half expecting rain, but knowing that there’s a 90% chance of rain for tomorrow I took the chance. It turned out dry. Another 1800 foot vertical on a rather pleasant trail but again not a lot of great views. This one meets another higher trail that goes up to Sacajawea Peak and there is some great scenery from there, but that’s several more miles and another 1500 feet up. Almost too much for a one-day jaunt.


    Comment by montucky — October 3, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  14. That would be a long one day trip, yes. But it sounds lovely.


    Comment by Sara — October 5, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  15. this trail looks really pretty. I’d love to try out this kind of hiking, though I am not sure how steep it really is. wild strawberry, wow!!


    Comment by silken — October 5, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  16. Sara,

    You might like the new trail. It’s a beauty! Now I have to figure out if I can intercept it at the high end before if joins the old Sacajawea trail. If so, it would be a great hike from there to the peak on a clear day.


    Comment by montucky — October 5, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  17. Silken,

    I’d bet that after your first hike on one of these trails, you would be hooked!

    Steep? Stand about 3 miles from the JPMorgan Chase Tower, imagine if it were a little over twice as high, and then think about climbing directly to the top on a pretty trail winding through tall pines.


    Comment by montucky — October 5, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

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