Montana Outdoors

October 3, 2008

Trail of the big pines

During the summer I heard of a new trail being created to connect to USFS trail 385 to Sacajawea Peak. Because the weather forecast for tomorrow is for a 100% chance of rain, I decided to try the new trail today and found it to be a beautiful trail, although quite aggressive. Today’s hike took me from the trail head at 3450 feet to 5252 feet at the three mile point which looks to be about three miles and 1500 feet below the peak. The folks from the Ranger District have done a fantastic job building this trail! What an amazing amount of work they have done!

While it’s always exhilarating to be on a high country trail, this one is especially thrilling because of the quantity of very large Ponderosa pines spread all along it. Fifty years ago it was fairly common to see pines this size but today they are very rare. It’s hard to express how wonderful it was to see them today!

Here are a few photos. I measured one of the largest (it’s in the next to last photo) at 143 inches in circumference (3 feet 9 1/2 inches in diameter).

Large pines

Large pines

Large pines

Large pines

Large pines

Large pines

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