Montana Outdoors

July 28, 2010

Mt Headley (3)

The last mile or so of trail 528 to the top of Mt Headley is a little steeper than the rest and there were still patches of snow across it, but the anticipation of breaking out on top made that part of the hike quite easy.

The “water” referenced by this sign may be only a mile away, but at the rate at which the trail to it descended suggests a very tough hike back up!

Trail 528 to Mt Headley

When a trail looks this way, you realize that the top is not all that far away.

Trail 528 to Mt Headley

The snowbanks were not very deep, but the breeze blowing across them was very refreshing in mid-July!

Trail 528 to Mt Headley

Finally, from a saddle .3 miles below, the first glimpse of the top of the mountain.

Mt Headley Peak

From the saddle the cliffs to the northeast are in full view and worth a couple of shots.

Cliffs to the NE of Mt Headley

Cliffs to the NE of Mt Headley

This signage is at the saddle, which is also the junction with trail 433 which winds down 1,200 feet below the cliffs, then back up to Marmot Peak and from there on down Sundance Ridge to Priscilla Peak and then on down to Thompson River. That entire trail will be a two or three day trip we plan on taking next year but the first part, to Marmot Peak, is still in my plans for later this summer.

Trail 528 to Mt Headley

Next post will include some of the views from the top.


  1. Beautiful captures and so neat to see snow! I bet it was refreshing! Deep, rugged trails. Did you hike or ride by horseback?


    Comment by Anna — July 29, 2010 @ 7:45 am

    • The snow was nice to see and feel. At the top the wind was strong and cold. For lunch we sheltered just off the ridge to get out of it.

      While I’m still able, I travel the trails on foot. Perhaps in another ten years I’ll be forced to do it on horseback. Either way I’ll be there!


      Comment by montucky — July 29, 2010 @ 8:29 am

  2. The trails look like they are easy to follow and well maintained. Signs helpful too. Nice pictures of your adventure. They show the sights and your narrative is good. Interesting post. Glad you enjoyed the trip! Thanks for sharing!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — July 29, 2010 @ 8:03 am

    • Most of the trails are pretty well maintained. A week ago I hiked one that was heavily damaged during a huge fire and parts of it are a little more challenging. Trail markings where they meet roads have all been destroyed by vandals, but far from the roads the signage is still in very good condition. I always carry a USFS map of the forest and in the more remote or difficult areas, a USGS large scale topographical map.


      Comment by montucky — July 29, 2010 @ 8:35 am

  3. By the looks of that trail, there must be lots of traffic up there. I have really enjoyed this hiking series, Terry.

    How soon until the fall soon starts?


    Comment by sandy — July 29, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    • I have no idea how many visit this trail in a summer, but probably just a hand full, some on foot, others on horseback. Lots of wildlife use the trails too. It was cleared earlier this summer by either a trail crew or a fire crew which was working on trails while awaiting the fire season. I know four or five crews were set down by helicopter along this trail system about a month ago and they cleared separate trails on their way down to the valleys, about 50 miles of trail in that week, I think it was.

      August is our hottest month and in September we usually have our first snow, so fall begins somewhere in there for the high country. Most years we have a beautiful “Indian Summer” for a month or so after the first snow. It’s wonderful in the high country during that although you really have to be prepared at all times for severe weather conditions.


      Comment by montucky — July 29, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

  4. Do you ride a horse on most of your trails? I don’t know, but I would have a hard time on some of these trails you take photos of. You certainly have lots of energy. By the way, all your photos are so enjoyable to see. Of course you can use a Kodak Instamatic in Montana and come out with good shots.


    Comment by Preston Surface — July 29, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    • So far, Preston, my high country trips have been all on foot. I prefer it that way, but at some point I realize that I will no longer be able to hike it and then perhaps I can afford a horse or a good riding mule. For the past three years I have trained regularly by hiking every day to have the endurance to hike the high trails. I have been hiking about 1,300 miles each year to stay in condition. The Montana mountains are beautiful to look at, but I think they are even better when one is on top of them and the experience can’t be beat!


      Comment by montucky — July 29, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

      • Everybody knows eating right and exercising is the key to good conditioning, however if the secret of hiking the beautiful trails of Montana ever got out for the exercise part, Montana would become over-populated. 1300 miles…. WOW!!!


        Comment by Preston — July 31, 2010 @ 3:58 am

        • THe really hard part is getting the miles during the winter when there’s a lot of ice on the roads and the high trails are inaccessible. Just being on the mountains trails is so rewarding that the hiking is easy.


          Comment by montucky — July 31, 2010 @ 7:45 am

  5. Snowbanks, haha, what’s that?


    Comment by Candace — July 29, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    • I bet one of those snow banks would go over quite well right now in Phoenix, wouldn’t it! And the cold breeze to go with it.


      Comment by montucky — July 29, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

  6. The view is well worth the walk.


    Comment by knightofswords — July 29, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  7. Snowbanks in mid-July. Wow. I cannot imagine how much snow there must be during winter.


    Comment by sartenada — July 30, 2010 @ 12:16 am

    • The snow is piled deep in some places in winter by the wind, then shaded by the trees into late summer when the temperatures finally melt it.


      Comment by montucky — July 30, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  8. De biens belles photos et de biens beaux paysages!!
    Amitiés de France:CLAIRE


    Comment by BOCCONE CLAIRE — July 31, 2010 @ 1:30 am

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