Montana Outdoors

July 4, 2011

Road 5587 (1)

In western Montana there are many miles of Forest Service roads that are no longer in normal service. Most of them began their lives for logging use many years ago and they have been kept in reasonably usable condition for emergencies and access for Forest Service projects but they have been closed to public motorized use. Some have many usable miles for hiking, mountain bike or horse access, as does Road 5587 which runs for about nine miles along the eastern border of the TeePee – Spring Creek Roadless area and KooKooSint Ridge.

My birthday present this year was a mountain bike. Its purpose is to expand my hiking capability by allowing me to use some of these old roads as access to back country areas far beyond the gates. After a little over a hundred miles of conditioning and familiarity runs during the last several weeks, today I gave it (and me) the first real test, riding eight miles out on road 5587 and hiking the remaining mile to its end. With the elevation of the road varying from 5000 feet to 5600 feet, the 18 miles included about 3000 feet of vertical climb. I’m glad I did some training before the trip!

Diamondback "Response"

Diamondback ~ Response

Getting into Montana’s back country is a pleasure that not everyone has a chance to experience and therefore I will post a series of photos that I took along the way, in three separate posts, hoping to show the scenery as it appeared to me today.

KooKooSint Ridge

Clark Fork Valley

Looking out over the Clark Fork Valley.

KooKooSint Ridge

Still a little snow on the lee side of the ridge.

KooKooSint Ridge

The Coeur d’Alene Mountains in the background are still snow-capped.

Spring Creek headwaters

The headwaters of Spring Creek.

KooKooSint Ridge

Wildflowers in abundance on the ridges. These species have long finished blooming at the valley level.

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