Montana Outdoors

September 5, 2011

View from Mount Headley

Mount Headley

Mount Headley stands at an elevation of 7,429 feet in the Cube Iron/Silcox roadless area in the Lolo National Forest of western Montana. It has become one of my favorite places to visit.



  1. Gorgeous! We hiked partway to Headley when we backpacked the Four Lakes Basin in August, but then we doubled back to Winniemuck Lake. One of these days we’ll get to Headley though (and I’d love to bushwack southwest from there to Lawn Lake…).


    Comment by Aaron — September 5, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    • I had hoped to hike from Headley on down through the whole roadless area to Thompson Falls, but haven’t had the time this year. Maybe next!


      Comment by montucky — September 5, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  2. What a view! It’s no wonder that its a favorite. Beautiful, beautiful!


    Comment by Wild_Bill — September 6, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    • This peak has a 360° view, Bill. The mountains in the background of this photo are to the northwest and are in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness. Looking the other way you can see some of the Bitterroots. It’s a wonderful place to be!


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  3. I like the lone tree slinging onto the rock in the foreground.


    Comment by knightofswords — September 6, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    • That tree is actually below the level of the top of the peak and from the top it is really not noticeable. I ventured down there because of some flowers in bloom and saw the scene.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

  4. That pair of yellow flowers is great. They certainly evoke the old “bloom where you are planted” saying.


    Comment by shoreacres — September 6, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    • This time of year wildflowers flourish on the open peaks. I counted ten species still in bloom on that peak, several of which finished blooming at lower elevations in May.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  5. Wow! What a gorgeous vista view. I love those tough, rugged boulders and rocks. My goodness, I’d love to sit in that spot for awhile and meditate with nature and sky.


    Comment by Anna — September 6, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    • I love the view too and spend as much time as I can there and in similar places. It produces a unique perspective on our world.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

  6. That is some view!


    Comment by Roberta — September 6, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    • It is. And there are similar views from each of the other tall mountains, many of which were sites of fire lookouts, as was this one in the 1930’s.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  7. Absolutely breathtaking! I’ve never been to Montana, but one of my good friends is from Bozeman and tells me how beautiful her state is. I would love to see it for myself one day, but I’m all the way over here on the East Coast.


    Comment by comingeast — September 6, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    • The east coast is a long way from here, isn’t it! I spent three years on the coast of North Carolina and well remember the drive!


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  8. Holy breathtaking batman.


    Comment by westwood — September 6, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  9. Up high and away..beautiful!


    Comment by Roberta — September 6, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    • Yes, those high mountains are wonderful places to go to get away!


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  10. I bet the air feels real good in the lungs. Looks a little hazy.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — September 6, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    • The air was cool and the forest smelled great! The haze is from smoke from the dozens of small fires that are burning nearly everywhere in the northwest now. Last week it was very bad.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  11. Wow! A stunning view! I wish there was something like that around here.


    Comment by Barbara — September 6, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    • I wish you could visit some of the places like this, Barbara! It is a uniqe feeling.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  12. This is one of many roadless areas that would be opened to mining and drilling activities if bills currently being promoted in congress get through. With folks distracted by concerns about the price of gasoline, we might lose these priceless, irreplaceable places.


    Comment by Kim — September 6, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    • Yes Kim, they are very much in danger. A lot of us fight for them, but will we be enough? One of the points that I always hope to make is that nearly everything in that photo is in a National Forest and belongs equally to all of the country’s citizens, not only those who live in Montana.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  13. I sure hope it stays the way it is. We need that kind of wilderness. It is beautiful!


    Comment by sandy — September 6, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    • I fervently hope it stays the way it is too Sandy! But as of now there are no guarantees.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  14. That is one heck of a view. Wow.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — September 6, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    • It’s one of my favorites. And other trails that call to me from there too.


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  15. Very beautiful, but YIKES!! Heights and snakes… enter anxiety. Love the touches of yellow!


    Comment by kcjewel — September 6, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    • Heights yes, but no snakes up there, Jewel! The trail was good, the weather was great… you would have liked it!


      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  16. I can sure see why it’s one of your faves.


    Comment by Candace — September 6, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

  17. Wow! Now THAT would be a perfect spot for a house!


    Comment by thedailyclick — September 7, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

    • Well, there was one built there in 1914, an 11’X11′ frame and metal lookout cabin that was replaced in 1928 by a cupola cabin which was destroyed in 1965. Some of the remnants of it are still there. That it requires an 8 mile hike and a 20 mile drive just to get your mail takes it out of the subdivision category though. Your closest water would be about a thousand feet below in a small lake which freezes solid in winter.

      With its 360° view, I’ve always wanted to be there in a thunderstorm!


      Comment by montucky — September 7, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  18. Great spot, as always well planned foreground elements. Hope you are enjoying early fall with family in areas like this one!


    Comment by daveabirding — September 8, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    • Thanks Dave! I greatly enjoyed a number of outings with my daughter the last couple of weeks. Now back to work on the house.


      Comment by montucky — September 9, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  19. Lovely. That is a place where I would visit with great pleasure. Those “blue mountains” have so deep blue color. Blue is my favorite color as You when seeing my blue car.


    Comment by sartenada — September 8, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

    • The blue in the distance comes partly from smoke in the air. There are many small fires in western Montana and smoke has also been drifting in from Idaho. A week ago it was so hazy and smoky that visibility was greatly reduced.


      Comment by montucky — September 9, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  20. I just love this photo, what an incredible place this must be.


    Comment by farmhouse stories — September 9, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    • It is indeed an incredibly place. I will post more photos from there soon. It’s well worth the hike up to the peak! I had planned to go another dozen miles past there this summer along the crest of a ridge called “Sundance” but it didn’t work out this summer. Next year for sure.


      Comment by montucky — September 9, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

  21. Wow, just breath taking! Hard to believe there was once a cabin there. Though it would make a very good spot to vacation for a week or two, if the cabin was still there.


    Comment by kateri — September 9, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

    • I would love to have been there to see that old lookout in 1930! From the peak another lookout cabin is visible about ten miles away. That cabin is still intact. In the opposite direction is another peak not visible from Mt Headly and on it is a lookout cabin that is available for rent from the Forest Service. These were some of the 639 lookouts that were built in Montana.


      Comment by montucky — September 9, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  22. gorgeous. I can see why it’s becoming your favorite place


    Comment by silken — September 11, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    • I’ve also gotten familiar enough with the trail that now it fells like it will be a good launching place for exploring more of the area. It just feels comfortable there.


      Comment by montucky — September 11, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  23. Get a load of those mountain peeks! AWESOME! =)


    Comment by Tricia — September 15, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    • Those are the peaks in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness. They do seem to go on forever, don’t they!


      Comment by montucky — September 15, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

  24. Amazing spot… I can see why you like it so well.


    Comment by Victoria — September 16, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    • It has gotten on my list of places that I want to visit every summer. Next year I will spend a night there and then go on to two more peaks; just didn’t get the chance to do that this year.


      Comment by montucky — September 17, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  25. I can see why this is one of your places to visit. I’ve been wanting to revisit Montana, and your blog just ads to the pull.


    Comment by Galen Leeds Photography — September 17, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    • Thanks for visiting, Galen! Fortunately there is still a lot of unspoiled country here in western Montana and trails without a lot of traffic.


      Comment by montucky — September 17, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

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