Montana Outdoors

October 17, 2012

Beyond the lookout

About a month ago I posted a few photos of the Cougar Peak Lookout. Following are a few photos taken that same day but from the USFS Trail 541 that goes beyond it. In all but the first photo, if you look very closely, you can see the lookout in the distance.

Trail head for USFS trail 541

Photo taken from USFS trail 541 in the Cataract roadless area

Photo taken from USFS trail 541 in the Cataract roadless area

Photo taken from USFS trail 541 in the Cataract roadless area

DSC_7Photo taken from USFS trail 541 in the Cataract roadless area018

Photo taken from USFS trail 541 in the Cataract roadless area

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40 Comments »

  1. So beautiful! What kind(s) of tree are those?

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    Comment by argylesock — October 17, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

    • The ones with the narrow pointed tops are subalpine fir, Abies lasiocarpa. They do well at that elevation, just under 7000 feet. There is also a mixture of mountain hemlock, and several other species of fir as well as several pine species. It is an old growth forest with a great deal of plant and wildlife diversity. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

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      Comment by montucky — October 17, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

  2. I think night fall would be the only reason I’d leave such a place and even then I’d probably just build a fire and stay.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — October 18, 2012 @ 4:17 am

    • It is always a little hard to go back down, but then very easy to start thinking about the next trip…

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  3. Boy, that was some hike. Let me catch my breath…you certainly have taken us on some fantastic scenic ventures. I wish I could go in person but I live on the wrong side of the country!

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    Comment by dhphotosite — October 18, 2012 @ 7:12 am

    • I wish you could see these trips for yourself. I already know how you would feel!

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  4. I still go back to those lookout photos and dream of spending time there. I even mentioned to a friend how wonderful it would be, sending a link to them, and he concurred, so you never know…. In the meantime, I’m grateful for these additional views. The title of your post, “Beyond the Lookout,” adds to the dream.

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — October 18, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    • There is really something about those places that makes them so memorable. A few days ago a man left a comment on story that I posted just a year ago about Mount Headley which was the site of the first of Montana’s lookouts. It was started in 1907, the first lookout cabin was built there in 1914 and replaced in 1928 and that one was destroyed in 1965. The man spent two months in the summer of 1951 on the Mount Headley Lookout and still remembers it. He was the first to man that lookout since 1937. (Mount Headley is actually only 6 air miles from Cougar Peak.)

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

      • I imagine he really enjoyed seeing your photos. How gratifying for you as well to be able to share them with him.

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        Comment by Teresa Evangeline — October 19, 2012 @ 6:08 am

  5. Hi Montucky, Thanks for the virtual hike in all that beauty! I sure love evergreen forests. Have a fine day today!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — October 18, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    • The natural forests are indeed very beautiful! I hope you day was a good one too.

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  6. As always, beautiful photos of a gorgeous area.

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    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 18, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  7. So much detail, so much to look at….so much to love about theses photos!!

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    Comment by zannyro — October 18, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    • That’s one of many reasons why I like to hike to see the back country. It gives you the time to see it and see it from many different angles. To smell it and feel it, and think about it. Our world is a wondrous place; I can’t understand why so many do not respect it.

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  8. Nice sequence of pictures; I wish I still had the energy to run up and down scree like I did years ago.

    Malcolm

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    Comment by knightofswords — October 18, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    • I know what you mean, Malcolm. The “running” is much slower these days. I’m very thankful that I can still go into these places.

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

  9. Stunning photos!

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    Comment by allbymyself09 — October 18, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    • Thanks Barbara! It is always difficult to choose the ones to post.

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

  10. Whenever I see scenes like this I think of Lewis and Clark, and how they must have felt when they got the their first peek over the Rockies. The Pacific Ocean is a long ways off, and there are some big mountains between us and it!

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    Comment by jomegat — October 18, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    • Well, they had indian guides who knew of trails and followed the river courses too. I often think about it though; from a vantage point like these it would be a very daunting to look toward the west and think about plotting a course.

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      Comment by montucky — October 18, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  11. That’s a nice-looking lookout. I like that 3rd photo with it centered. Such beautiful areas you are close to and I’m glad you share them with us.

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    Comment by Candace — October 18, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

    • I’m glad that you like to see these places that I think are so beautiful!

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      Comment by montucky — October 20, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  12. Every time when I look at Your gorgeous photos, I sigh. Thank You for presenting these enjoyable photos.

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    Comment by Sartenada — October 18, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  13. Love the portrait of the lookout in the 3rd photo. There aren’t many of them left, so thanks for sharing this one.

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    Comment by Kim — October 19, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    • It’s really sad that there are so few left. Today I was on a mountain a half dozen miles northeast of Priscilla Peak and although I could barely make it out, it was comforting to see the old cabin on the peak.

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      Comment by montucky — October 20, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

  14. Re: your comment about Lewis & Clark and the daunting nature of their journey… I understand that, of course. Taking a hike is one thing, breaking trail is another. Still, I can’t help but remember what it was like to leave for Texas’ coastal plain after a year in Salt Lake City. I was there long enough to become accustomed to – and comfortable with – the mountains. On my drive from El Paso to Houston, I felt an almost-vertigo. There was just too much sky, and too much unbroken horizon!

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    Comment by shoreacres — October 20, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    • I feel much the same way when I go to the eastern part of Montana where it is very flat and the sky goes on forever.

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      Comment by montucky — October 20, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  15. Beautiful skies and mountains, Terry….

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    Comment by seekraz — October 21, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    • The lookout and the trail are in the Cabinet Mountain range. Those in the distance are across the Clark Fork River valley and are in the Coeur d’Alene Mountain range.

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      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  16. Awesome views Terry. That lookout post is a really great place! Is all that wilderness protected against human intervention?

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    Comment by Finn Holding — November 24, 2012 @ 3:02 am

    • Unfortunately, it has only a very tenuous protection backed only by a Presidential Executive order. It is under constant attack by some of our corrupt elected officials who are catering to the money interests of those who want to exploit it. I really doubt that it will remain intact for the rest of this century.

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      Comment by montucky — November 24, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

      • That’s just depressing. Why do humans value trivial stuff more than something of such magnificent beauty as your wilderness?

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        Comment by Finn Holding — November 25, 2012 @ 2:18 am

        • I think the same thing that is driving society more and more: blind selfishness and greed. I fear that it will eventually damage our planet to the point that it will no longer support our species.

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          Comment by montucky — November 25, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  17. It looks like if I just follow Argyle sock around I find a plethora of amazing blogs! I don’t know how I am going to manage reading all of these amazing blog posts as I only have 24 hours in my day BUT who needs to go outdoors… 😉

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    Comment by narf77 — November 26, 2012 @ 1:14 pm


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