Montana Outdoors

August 4, 2012

Pear Lake, Blossom Lakes ~ Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area (5)

Filed under: Evans Gulch roadless area — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:17 pm

In northwest Montana, tucked in right next to the Idaho border, there is a small roadless area of only 8,059 acres called the Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area and in the northwest part of it there are three lakes fairly close together and connected by one trail; Blossom Lake, Upper Blossom Lake and Pear Lake (which, by the way, is shaped exactly like a pear).

The trail head for these lakes is located at Thompson Pass which is right on the Montana – Idaho border on Highway 471 (also called Forest Road 7 by the Forest Service) about 20 miles west of the small town of Thompson Falls. Thompson Falls is 100 miles northwest of Missoula on State Highway 200.

Of the three, Blossom Lake is the largest and the closest to the trail head. It gets quite a few visitors who are usually quite tired by the time they hike the approximately three miles to it (the trail has a lot of “up” to it) and so the other lakes farther up the trail get very few.

Following are a few photos of Blossom Lake taken on July 23, 2012.

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

(A small stand of bear grass in bloom on the far slope just above the lake)

Blossom Lake

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38 Comments »

  1. Spectacular! Such beautiful scenery, and I love the feeling of remoteness.

    Like

    Comment by Jo Woolf — August 5, 2012 @ 2:48 am

    • Both are reasons why I love the roadless areas so much. I spent last Thursday night at a trail head and reflected on the thought that there was not another human within 30 miles that night. I slept well!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  2. If that lake were here it would have a two lane blacktop to it and be surrounded by cottages. It’s a beautiful spot. That bear grass must get quite big to be seen from such a distance.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — August 5, 2012 @ 6:55 am

    • All of the lakes at lower elevation have just that, and therefore I never go there any more. These high lakes are protected mostly by very steep, rough country that would be extremely difficult for road builders. Bear grass flowers will get up to five feet tall and can be seen from long distances.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

  3. Beautiful, it reminds me of some of the lakes in what’s known as the Lakes District of the Sierra. Some of those do have a road and cabins but many don’t and are only visited by those willing to climb their way to enjoy their beauty.

    Like

    Comment by anniespickns — August 5, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    • I had a friend who spent a lot of time in the Sierras and he loved them. I have never been there although I would like to.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  4. These lakes truly are jewels set into the mountains. Just beautiful – I’d love to be able to breathe some of that air. I’ve had it with heat and humidity. That’s a lovely stand of bear grass, too. I’m suddenly wondering – do bears like to eat it? or did it get its name just for its appearance? Have you ever seen baskets woven from it?

    Like

    Comment by shoreacres — August 5, 2012 @ 7:22 am

    • I’ve read that the bear grass flowers are poisonous but that bears do eat the fleshy leaf bases in the spring and that it how it got it’s name. I didn’t believe that for years until one spring in the Blossom Lake area I found a whole lot of the bear grass clumps that had been uprooted and chewed and the only critter who would do or be able to do that would be the bear. I have not seen baskets made from the leaves, but in British Columbia one of the alternate common names for bear grass is ‘Indian basket-grass’.

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      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  5. Completely divine… I’m so jealous of your “up” hiking, heh! We have a lot of sand-hiking, which can be tiring on the legs, after the nth mile — but it’s been awhile since I’ve hiked inclines. This is just magnificent.

    Like

    Comment by FeyGirl — August 5, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    • I don’t know which is more strenuous, walking in sand or up a mountain, although on the return trip from a mountain you do get to go down hill!

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      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

      • Good point… VERY good point! And the sand’s always there, heehehh!

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        Comment by FeyGirl — August 6, 2012 @ 8:05 am

  6. I bet the fishing is great there, but it would be quite a grunt to get a boat in there, even one of those little float tubes.

    Like

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 5, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    • I have not fished the high mountain lakes. I’ve heard that there are trout in the deeper lakes, but they are usually small. The shallower lake freeze solid in winter, so they don’t have trout.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  7. So nice not to see people! I just went to Flickr to see if I could tell if the mountain in that first shot was made up of rock. I really couldn’t tell. You know it looks a lot like lichen, but I have never seen that much.

    Like

    Comment by sandy — August 5, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    • The whole slope of the mountain is loose rock, slide rock. The green coverage is all plants. The fourth photo is a telephoto shot of the lake edge and you can see the vegetation in it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  8. Beautiful scenery – so peaceful and serene!

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    Comment by allbymyself09 — August 5, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    • It really is. I spend enough time in such places that I’ve gotten accustomed to it and wouldn’t trade it for the world. When I go into a city any more, I’m as spooky as a wild horse!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

  9. So beautiful and pristine …. thanks for hiking the tiring 3 miles of “up” for us.

    Like

    Comment by bearyweather — August 5, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    • I do get tired these days, but it’s a good tired, and well worth it. That day, a mile up the trail past the next lake up, I did sit down and take a short nap.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  10. Gorgeous…I would love to be there right now. Fantastic photos!!!

    Like

    Comment by dhphotosite — August 5, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    • I wouldn’t mind being there right now either! This is the time of year to gather in as much of that scenery as I can before winter closes the roads and trails again.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  11. It’s so hot and muggy here and the air is so dreadful, that just looking at your photos helps me to breathe easier…. A wonderful image to hold in my mind through the next few nights … Many thanks.

    Like

    Comment by Merrill Gonzales — August 5, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    • It’s very hot here in the valley now too. I try to get into the higher places every few days when I can. I wish you could see these places in person!

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      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  12. I found the lakes on Google Maps. 🙂 Maybe one of these days…

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    Comment by jomegat — August 5, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    • Well, I know a guide who works pretty cheap, and I’ll even drive!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 5, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  13. If only they’d stick w/ it & hike farther up, cuz it looks well worth it! Like I say all the time, gorgeous country up there in Montana! =)

    Like

    Comment by Tricia — August 6, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    • Yes, I found it well worth the effort to hike past the first lake, but that’s about as far as most folks want to go. The trail for some reason seems to climb more than it really does.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  14. All nice, but the last one really captures the essence of a mountain lake for me.

    Like

    Comment by Kim — August 6, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    • It is a classic kind of high mountain lake for sure. Tonight I will post a few trail pictures and the tomorrow, a photo of Pear Lake which I think is one of the prettiest there is.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  15. That would be great to take a nap up there like you did. Do you ever just get in those nice cool lakes? Seems like that would be a good reward for a hard hike.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — August 7, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    • I did once in awhile way back when but not lately. They are pretty cold!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

  16. Love those alpine lakes…visited some myself this past weekend. Beautiful shots, Terry.

    Like

    Comment by seekraz — August 9, 2012 @ 7:43 am

    • I love them too. I hope that their being located in rugged surroundings will keep them safe from exploitation!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 9, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

      • My thoughts, too…. The ones I visited this weekend are rather close to civilization…between two and three hours hiking UP into the canyon…more people were there than I cared to have present, but the place was still very clean…no trash or anything…all protected by Nat’l Forest status….

        Like

        Comment by seekraz — August 9, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

        • I’m sure the trails in your area get more traffic because of the population in the Salt Lake area. THere are more people in the Salt Lake metro area than in the whole state of Montana. That there is no trash is extremely good news and speaks well for the people there!

          Like

          Comment by montucky — August 9, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

          • Wow…that sounds inviting, Terry!! And yes, that is good news and speaks well for those who frequent the canyon and mountain trails….

            Like

            Comment by seekraz — August 9, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  17. Fresh air and pure nature. Your photos are so great that it awakes in me a “lust” to go the nature immediately. What kind of stone it is in the second last photo?

    Like

    Comment by Sartenada — August 9, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

    • I am not a very good geologist, Matti, but nearly all of the rock in these mountains is sedimentary. Here is an article describing it much better than I can.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 10, 2012 @ 9:15 pm


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