Montana Outdoors

January 26, 2011

Mount Headley

From Mount Headley

This photo was taken from the top of Mount Headley in the Cube Iron – Silcox roadless area in the Cabinet Mountains on July 12, 2010 after hiking there on USFS trail 528 from Vermillion Pass.


  1. I love seeing these photos! They’re getting me even more anxious to explore that area further this summer!



    Comment by columbiahighlands — January 26, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

    • I have more exploring to do in that area too. Can hardly wait to get started!


      Comment by montucky — January 26, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  2. Looks like you can see “forever” up there… beautiful!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — January 26, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

  3. GREEN!!! i almost forgot what it looked like =o)


    Comment by Sandy — January 26, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    • I know. I saved some photos from last summer to remind us.


      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2011 @ 12:18 am

  4. How is it we forget how immense and captivating our world really is? This is a stunning view.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — January 27, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    • that’s one of the many things I like about mountains. From their tops one gets a new feel for the world in which we all live.


      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  5. Well, that does look like July weather.


    Comment by Tammy McLeod — January 27, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    • It does. It’s possibly the best month for visiting the mountains here.


      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  6. That is fantastic!


    Comment by Val Erde — January 27, 2011 @ 8:38 am

  7. Hi Montucky, You certainly took nice pictures and had a super time on your hike. Have a really terrific day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 27, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    • From that hike I brought back 111 photos. It was a long day!


      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  8. Some of your pictures make me feel like I am on top of the world..Nice!


    Comment by mitambien — January 27, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    • This was the tallest peak around and so the view encompasses a lot of area.


      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  9. Have you been to the top of most of those mountains? Maybe they don’t even all have maintained trails. I see that July snow!


    Comment by sandy — January 27, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    • Most of the taller ones. After the huge forest fires of 1910 the Forest Service began a big program to build fire lookouts all over the west, especially during the 1930’s when there was readily available labor in the CCC program. Six hundred and thirty nine mountains in Montana became adorned with fire lookout cabins, and many if not most of pack trails that were used to bring supplies to them are still usable and most are maintained to some extent for hiking and horse traffic.


      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  10. Wow. When looking at Your photo, I got the feeling being at the top on the world.

    That’s a great shot and I love it.


    Comment by sartenada — January 27, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    • That mountain top is 7,437 feet which puts it above all of the other mountains within 30 or 40 miles and so you get a pretty good view of all of them. I have a deep love for such places.


      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2011 @ 12:46 am

  11. Such a vast, far-reaching and deep view. Beautifully outstanding! On top of the world indeed!


    Comment by Anna — January 28, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    • I’ve always like that deep view too Anna, ever since childhood.


      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  12. Fantabulous… One question though – When you go out hiking & you get to the top or your destination & take these pics, how long do you stay there & just relish the views??? That’s what my problem would be… I would NOT want to leave!!! =)


    Comment by Tricia — January 28, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    • I never want to go back down, Tricia, and I stay as long as I can which depends on the weather, the trail condition and the distance back to the trail head. Sometimes I will stay for a night or so.


      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

      • You really stay overnight… up there… in the woods? That really does sound like a wonderful experience, but I’d be scared of the critters! YiKeS! =)


        Comment by Tricia — January 31, 2011 @ 9:18 am

        • The really wild critters in places like that almost always give a person a very wide berth, Tricia. I would be more nervous about the critters were I to stay in a hotel room in a large city.


          Comment by montucky — January 31, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  13. Another beautiful photograph, but one that gives me that anxiety that I tend to have with heights! Pretty to look at, but I could not stand there. darnit.


    Comment by kcjewel — January 28, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    • There are many places in the mountains that would bother someone who doesn’t like heights. Although that has never bothered me in particular, I have found that the more often that I’m there the more comfortable it feels.


      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  14. I like that looking-over-the-edge view. Funny to think of snow still being around in July.


    Comment by Candace — January 28, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    • Last winter didn’t leave much snow either. Next July those snow banks will be twice that size. We did have to climb over a few on the trail too.


      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  15. Heaven on earth. No doubt about it. Wow, wow!!!


    Comment by Bill — January 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    • It sure is for me Bill. Sometime next summer I plan to hike from there across a long high ridge called “Sundance Ridge”, a 13 mile hike with a lot of altitude changes, but it stays high with views like that for at least 8 miles before it starts a descent into the valley. I’m just itching to go! It will be two, perhaps three days.


      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  16. Such a glorious view.Love the varying shades of blue and green. It almost looks like one is looking out over an ocean.


    Comment by kateri — January 29, 2011 @ 6:02 am

    • It’s a three hour hike to get to there, but well worth it.


      Comment by montucky — January 29, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  17. I came across an article, but have not read it yet about why western landscapes in America resonate so profoundly with people. I see in your photographs that quality. I’ll get the article and comment further, Montucky.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — January 30, 2011 @ 9:34 am

  18. The article, “Depth Afield,” is in the High Country News. Link is on my blog under High Country News. The article is okay, but I think it needs to be taken further. Anyway, there’s the citation, Montucky.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — January 30, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    • Thanks for the link to that article, Jack! It has given my much to think about. It is very interesting and I saved it for further consideration. Two concepts especially struck me:

      “a place where only the future mattered” ~ “There’s this intense desire to imagine the West as our last great hope.” (In my mind I would consider these two statements as two parts of one single concept, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find that I probably think much that way and it shows up in my photography. My photos are actually a side result of my desire to simply “be” in the wild country, as often as I possibly can, realizing that because I’m now in my 70th year on this planet, it may not be possible to be out there all that much longer, making each experience more poignant and precious. Perhaps that motivates me to select mostly scenes of untouched beauty to photograph.) Interesting reflection.
      The other concept that struck home was alluded to in the article; the ability to “recognize the beauty that is in front of me”… as through a child’s eyes, I think. I do truly desire to have that ability, for it would mean having the gift of being able to recognize pure beauty, unimpeded by past experience or other bias.


      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  19. Great view. Nice place for a cabin, though probably a bit windy a lot of the time.



    Comment by knightofswords — January 30, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    • Yes, if there is a breeze anywhere, it is felt on the high peaks, and the day we we there it was a cold breeze. It felt good to find a sheltered cove just below the ridge to sit and have lunch where, by the way a small cabin would fit nicely.


      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  20. WOW! So refreshing to be reminded of summer greenery. WOW!


    Comment by Marcie — January 30, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    • Yes, it is quite a contrast to a day like today has been, all pure white!


      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  21. Thanks for another reminder that summer will come! In some areas is the snow too deep for snow shoes?


    Comment by farmhouse stories — January 30, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    • I haven’t yet been able to get high enough to have enough snow for snow shoeing. I sure hope to though. Before winter is over I would like to make a snow shoe trip into one of the lakes in Glacier Park.


      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  22. The depth is incredible in this shot and the colors are great! I can see “where it begins” but there is no end.


    Comment by Staffan H — February 3, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    • That has become one of my favorite places. It is at the north end of one large roadless area and at the east end of another. When there I find it very difficult to leave.


      Comment by montucky — February 3, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

  23. I just wanted to say, thank you for uploading this photo.

    I actually went to the top of Mount Headley some 11-12 years ago when I was a teenager, during one of those “wilderness exploration” programs that unruly teenagers went to (it was stationed in Idaho, but the two-week hiking trips every group went through always happened in Montana).

    Back when I went, I was surprised to see snow in July, of all times, at the top of it. My group even spent some time playing on top of it with the snow and sliding down it (carefully, of course!).

    It’s really amazing to see it again. I have one picture of it myself with my group, so to see it after so much time is just something amazing. If I didn’t live entirely across the country, I’d go there again.

    Thanks again!


    Comment by Mike — February 8, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    • Thank you for commenting, Mike. Earlier this year I wrote five posts about the hike to Mt Headley and included a bunch of photographs. They start with Mt Headley (1) if you are interested in seeing them. (The easiest way to find all 5 is to click on “July 2010” in the Archives on the right sidebar.)


      Comment by montucky — February 8, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

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