Montana Outdoors

October 21, 2012

East of Sundance

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 12:27 am

In the Beatrice Creek Drainage

Western Larch

Photos taken from the Beatrice Creek drainage east of Sundance Ridge, overlooking Fishtrap Creek.


  1. Stunning photos yet again, and I love the colours. I also love the place names!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — October 21, 2012 @ 1:00 am

    • I enjoy the place names around here too. I don’t know all of the stories, but there are reasons for many of the names that go back into the 1800’s, and others are descriptions that often fit the area quite well. I have a fascination with Sundance Ridge. It is about 15 miles long and I have been on it at both ends. My plan to hike the whole thing this past summer had to be abandoned, but I am planning it next summer. Yesterday I found an old forest road that will take me to within a cople miles (and about 3000 feet) from the mid point of it. THere is snow there now.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

      • That sounds really exciting! I can’t believe there is already snow there – but I will look forward to hearing about your trek whenever you can get up there.


        Comment by Jo Woolf — October 22, 2012 @ 12:32 am

  2. The larches are really taking on some color! They haven’t even started here yet.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — October 21, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    • They have just turned this past week, a little early, and they turned very quickly.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

  3. Love the view, the scenes, & all the names… they’re all so fun! =)


    Comment by Tricia — October 21, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    • It’s a very wonderful place in which to roam around if you are prepared for it.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  4. What a beautiful view. Love the way the sun highlights the tree in the 2nd picture.


    Comment by bearyweather — October 21, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    • This is in the middle of the Cabinet Mountains and we encountered just about every type of weather that day, including a little bit of sun on the larch and the ridge top.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  5. So gorgeous. As always……


    Comment by Roberta — October 21, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    • Thanks Roberta. Yes, it is a beautiful part of the country.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

  6. I wondered if that was a larch tree, and it seems it is. I’ve never seen a closeup of one, only their beautiful color in the distance or as a backdrop, so I especially appreciate this. It’s just a gorgeous photo.


    Comment by shoreacres — October 21, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    • The larch is one of my favorite trees. The one in the photo is about medium size and is probably no more than 100 years old. They can get to 200 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter and live over 800 years. Their age especially fascinates me and I often sit next to one of the really old ones and consider what events that have occurred during its life time.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

  7. Many of your photos are breathtaking and these ones are no exception !


    Comment by Inspired and pretty — October 21, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    • Thank you! These mountains are very beautiful, especially as you get into them away from the valleys and development and get to see the forest as it has always been.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  8. Your deciduous western larch looks much like our eastern larch. I’ll have to investigate what the differences are. Sure is God’s country there!


    Comment by Wil_Bill — October 21, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    • I am not at all familiar with the Eastern larch or true tamaracks. We also have a species called Alpine Larch here too. It is considerably smaller and grows at higher elevations than the Western Larch. Yes, it’s a marvelous part of the country, especially for those who love the outdoors and wild places.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  9. What gorgeous scenes and photos! I really like the top photo in the play of colors and light & dark.


    Comment by Anna Surface — October 21, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    • These were taken yesterday, and while out there we had about every kind of weather, from a heavy snow storm when we got over 5000 feet to a little sun on this lower ridge. 20 Miles to the north we were rained on, followed by grapple and then sleet. That kind of weather provides all kinds of photography potential!


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

  10. What a beautiful country!


    Comment by Bo Mackison — October 21, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    • I think it is too Bo. I am so much in love with this part of the country that I could not consider living anywhere else now.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

  11. Love the lighting!


    Comment by Anonymous — October 21, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    • When the sun came out then it was only briefly, and when that happens it seems to do wonderful things to the scenery!


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  12. I love seeing the larch every year on your blog…especially since I had never heard of it before I saw it here.


    Comment by Candace — October 21, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    • They are magnificent trees. In a few more weeks one can drive some of the old roads and hike on the trails and they will be covered with golden larch needles as they shed them. On a windy day one can walk through a big stand of larch and encounter a constant rain storm of their needles.


      Comment by montucky — October 21, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

  13. Hi Terry, Upon seeing these photos I realize how much I miss Larch trees (esp. in Fall!). I can almost smell the fresh air and feel the soft layer of needles underfoot…. Western Montana is such a special place. I miss it terribly sometimes.


    Comment by Maureen — October 22, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    • After a hot summer that set a new record for consecutive days without rain, now it is cold and wet. I am hoping for a little sun break to better enjoy the larch and the other colors (on the trees which still have leaves). Last evening we had a beautiful heavy snow and it was such a treat to sit by the wood stove and enjoy it!


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  14. Love that first photo especially…wonderful place to sit and have lunch…


    Comment by seekraz — October 22, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

    • This was a brief venture into a somewhat new area. The snow will have it closed now for this year, but it will be a place I will visit as soon as the roads clear in the summer. I’m already anxious!


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

      • Don’t know how far this would be from home, but given that the hike was into a somewhat new area, I’d imagine that it’s not too close…but do you use snow-shoes and still get out on the trails, or is it too difficult to access areas like this?


        Comment by seekraz — October 24, 2012 @ 6:42 am

        • This area would not be approachable for me in winter as are most of the high elevation trails. I often wish I had a snowmobile just to get to the trail heads where I could use the snow shoes. This winter I hope to snowshoe on one of the lower trails in Glacier Park.


          Comment by montucky — October 24, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

          • I was wondering if it might be too high to access in the deep snows. I imagine a snowmobile would help…see lots of them out here.

            I hope you’re able to get to Glacier Park, too…I’ll look for your photos. 🙂 My kids gave me a set of snowshoes for my birthday this year and I’m anxious to try them out…won’t be going anywhere near as exciting as Glacier Park, but they should help me get deeper into the mountains than I’ve been for the past two winters….


            Comment by seekraz — October 24, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

            • I’m sure you will love using the snowshoes once you find a good place that you can access as a starting point.


              Comment by montucky — October 24, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

              • I’m looking forward to it, Terry…many hikes ended last winter when I was way over my knees in the snow…rather, that was the turn-around point…with the hike cut short….


                Comment by seekraz — October 24, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

                • That kind of place will be perfect for the snow shoes! Last year I used mine only a couple of times but one of them was an extremely pleasant walk in to see a waterfall on the nearby Indian Reservation.


                  Comment by montucky — October 24, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

                • If we have even a moderate winter, there should be enough snow in the mountains to be able to use them…am looking forward to it. I would imagine that the waterfall in the winter would be a spectacular sight….


                  Comment by seekraz — October 25, 2012 @ 6:29 am

  15. Love, love, love larches. And tamaracks, which are also Larix sp. We just saw a bunch of them in Wisconsin, in bogs and along marshy lakeshores, totally different habitat from western larches.

    Is that a ski area in the distance, or perhaps avalanche paths?


    Comment by Kim — October 23, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    • I love the larch too. Across the river from our house there is a whole mountainside of them and I enjoy seeing them turn color. Later I will go up there and walk on the needles.

      The photo was taken in an area that’s new to me and I didn’t take the time to fully orient myself to the map, but I think that distant mountain is Cook Mountain, the site of the beginning of the Chippy Creek fire of 2007. Those are likely fire paths left when the fire swept up and over the mountain toward the northeast.


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  16. autumn beauty!!


    Comment by Tammie — October 23, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  17. I love the composition of your photos.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 25, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    • Thank you Anneli! I fully enjoy photographing the things and places of the back country. I really don’t think that I compose a photo, just try to capture what has already been put in place.


      Comment by montucky — October 25, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

  18. Beautiful photos, both of them. The western larch captured my eye for a long time. It was so different in these surroundings. In Finland we have few larches here and there. The Larix laricina (Tamarack Larch, or Tamarack, or Hackmatack, or American Larch) is most successful here.


    Comment by Sartenada — October 25, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    • I love trees, just about all trees, but larch is among my favorites.


      Comment by montucky — October 26, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

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