Montana Outdoors

August 8, 2011

Trail 528

Filed under: Cataract roadless area, Hiking — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:14 pm

Trail 528

USFS trail 528 as it passes just below Vermilion Peak

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32 Comments »

  1. Wow. That looks like one magnificent hike. Love that trail hugging the slope.

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — August 9, 2011 @ 5:58 am

    • It’s a wonderful place to hike, Teresa. The trail goes through a roadless area in an old-growth forest. It has very little traffic except for the wildlife who seem to use it a lot. It’s beautiful on sunny summer days and even more beautiful during stormy weather.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 9, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  2. And indeed very beautiful… and the trail, well…. one would have to know trails to know this is a trail… and know directions. How do you not get lost, Montucky?

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    Comment by Anna — August 9, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    • One gets used to the trails, their markings and their corridors. There are very good National Forest maps which show them and I always have one in my pack, usually along with a USGS topographical map of the area. After years of traveling through this area it becomes your home and from a mountain peak you can see all of the other peaks around as well as the canyons through which the streams flow and where the road access is. The trails, while not well marked with signs are marked quite well with blaze marks on the trees. Most of these trails were created for access by the Forest Service back in the 1930’s and many of the original blaze marks can still be seen.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 9, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  3. Wow… you are UP THERE… too high for me!! Nice photo though. 🙂

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    Comment by kcjewel — August 9, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    • You might be surprised Jewel! Those places can really get into your blood once you get used to them.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 9, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  4. It looks so pristine and peaceful.

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    Comment by kateri — August 9, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

    • It is both Kateri. Peaceful, and yet not always a gentle place to be which increases the intrigue and enjoyment of it.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 9, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  5. I see that trail and I want to follow it. That is what nature is all about to me.

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    Comment by Ratty — August 9, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

    • Exactly, Ratty. The trails always have that effect on me too and following them has never lead to disappointment.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 9, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  6. Looks like there’s a bit of beargrass in this high meadow.

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    Comment by knightofswords — August 10, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    • There is. At least in the places where I’ve been so far, this has not been the year for beargrass.The flower stalks have been rather puny and not very plentiful. Well, there’s still some summer left and some high places to visit so maybe I’ll encounter more.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 10, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  7. You are one of the lucky ones. Thanks so much for sharing your travels.
    It took me a minute to see the trail. Do you see much wildlife up that high?

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    Comment by sandy — August 10, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    • I usually don’t see much wildlife other than grouse, mostly because I am hiking during the day when they are all loafing and resting in their shady areas. I know that they are around in abundance though by their tracks on the trails and the scat they leave behind. There were some nice mule deer tracks on this trail as well as elk and moose, and I saw several places where a bear had torn up old stumps looking for grubs and had torn the bark off the bases of some dead trees. Elk, deer, moose and sheep spend most of their summer in the high country like this starting soon after most of the snow melts and they go back down to lower places when the snow starts to pile up in winter.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 10, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

  8. Hi Montucky, Looks like a great place to hike. I love how vividly blue that sky is in your picture! Have a most excellent afternoon, and evening!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — August 10, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    • It’s a wonderful place to hike, or just be. The air in places like that is still very pure and the sky appears very dark blue.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 10, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  9. Montucky: I would love to be on that trail right now, heading farther into the high country. Sigh.

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    Comment by Jack Matthews — August 10, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    • Yes, with a good trail horse and a pack mule! And come back down with the first snow!

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      Comment by Montucky — August 10, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  10. Unreal colors, such lush green and brilliant blue.

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    Comment by Candace — August 10, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    • The vivid colors are a hallmark of our high country. It’s relatively cool there and the vegetation stays well watered and healthy. The air is clear and pure and that makes the sky appear deep blue. I spend as much time as possible in places like that.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  11. It’s the vibrant colours that strike me, too. I think I can smell the clean mountain air. It looks very steep, it must be a real workout to hike this!

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    Comment by farmhouse stories — August 10, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    • This particular trail isn’t too bad, but many are very steep. In this part of Montana along the Clark Fork River, the valley elevation is just over 2,400 feet. The mountain tops along both sides are just over 7,000 feet. Getting up into the high country can be a challenge, yet it’s so beautiful and wild up there its’ worth the effort, at least for me. Toward the end of the month I plan to hike a trail that starts at 2100 feet and ends five miles later at a peak at 6,200 feet. I love the country so much that I spend two to three hours every day hiking or biking so I can be able to make those hikes. Carrying the weight of many years doesn’t make it any easier either, but perhaps I enjoy the wild country even more for it.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 10, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  12. Beautiful shots. Not sure what those plants are, but I have seen groups of them on my last walk around the edges of the Bitterroot Range.

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    Comment by Mike — August 11, 2011 @ 1:47 am

    • Er, my last comment was meant for your next post “Unidentified”. That’s what I get for commenting when I’m sleepy… 🙂

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      Comment by Mike — August 11, 2011 @ 1:49 am

    • The Bitterroots would have similar conditions. I’ll keep looking for their ID.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 11, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  13. […] Trail 528 « Montana Outdoors In this part of Montana along the Clark Fork River, the valley elevation is just over 2400 feet. The mountain tops along both sides are just over 7000 feet. Getting up into the high country can be a challenge, […]

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    Pingback by Montana Outdoors — August 11, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

  14. That’s quite a slope- much flatter in my neck of the woods 🙂

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    Comment by Watching Seasons — August 12, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    • Yes, it’s a bit steep toward the top of the peak. Vermilion Peak is the site of an old lookout from the 1930’s and has a commanding vies of the surrounding terrain, especially to the north.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 12, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  15. Lovely image… I’m counting the days until I’m out in Big Sky Country myself… due in Red Lodge for 11 days starting September 13. 🙂 I’ll be off on at least one wildflower hunt while there… and you can bet I’ll be checking your photos for ID!

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    Comment by Victoria — August 16, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    • I think your timing will be good for your visit. It should be a little cooler by then. There should still be wildflowers in bloom. I hope you have a great trip!

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      Comment by Montucky — August 16, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  16. I’d better get my eyes checked. I cannot find the trail in this photo. 😦
    But I feel like if I keep looking, I might discover a bear, bedded down for the day in the tall grass.

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    Comment by Kim — August 17, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    • The trail is at the lower right. It isn’t a well-used one. I haven’t seen a lot of bear sign in that vicinity; perhaps a little later as the berries up there ripen. I know they are around there.

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      Comment by Montucky — August 18, 2011 @ 9:09 pm


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