Montana Outdoors

July 30, 2013

St Paul Lake: Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

St Paul Lake

The best definition of wilderness that I have seen is, “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain…” It clearly applies to this area.


  1. Wow! That is a beautiful picture..


    Comment by Roberta — July 30, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  2. I expect to see a black bear walk out of the woods to have a drink of water or to catch a few warming rays of sunshine.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 30, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    • I saw no sign of bear activity in that particular area. The Cabinet/Yak region, which includes the CMW is thought to contain 30 to 40 Grizzlies as well as black bears. It is currently part of a rather extensive bear study using DNA samples to help determine the number and habit patterns of the bears.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:43 am

      • I’ll be beary careful if I’m ever in that neck of the woods.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 31, 2013 @ 9:31 am

        • Yes, do. There have been several problems this summer with bears, but not in that area.


          Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

  3. I am glad there are a few places left untrammeled by man.


    Comment by twoscamps — July 30, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    • I’m glad too. Ironically, I am coming to the understanding that some of the more remote inventoried roadless areas have less human impact than the more popular wildernesses. The western side of the CMW gets much less traffic and I will focus more on that area, perhaps venturing into the eastern side early in the season before the summer traffic arrives.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:45 am

  4. Beautiful scene!
    How did it get the name “Cabinet” Mountains?
    Just curious.


    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — July 30, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

    • From “The Cabinets derived their name from early French explorers who noted that the rock formations along the Clark Fork River resembled a series of boxes or cabinets.” Personally I don’t see it, but the name stuck.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  5. Wow! Montana has some Beautiful, Pristine, wilderness! Fantastic Photograph!


    Comment by cliff445 — July 30, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    • Yes, thankfully there is some left! Gorgeous, wild country!


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:49 am

      • we have that in common I live in British Columbia. Up North is a veritable smorgasbord of untouched wilderness!


        Comment by cliff445 — July 31, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

  6. I totally agree about the definition of wilderness ! What a beautiful landscape, i´m so glad that i´ve found your blog! // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — July 31, 2013 @ 2:41 am

    • I will post many more photos of this particular area and hope to be able to visit many more before the snow flies again.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:51 am

  7. This is beautiful. I’d love to go for a quick swim in that lake. It looks like it might be a little cool though with snow still on the ground.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — July 31, 2013 @ 4:29 am

    • I filled one of my water bottles from the lake after I ate lunch beside it, and the water is ice cold. I think it would be a very quick swim! It was interesting to watch the trout rise to feed at the surface. They appeared to be quite small though.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:52 am

  8. It is a marvelous spot in so many ways.

    Seems that definition is from the Wilderness Act. Pretty literary for a Congresscritter.


    Comment by Dave at collinda — July 31, 2013 @ 6:52 am

    • I would like to know who actually wrote the phrase. It’s a very clear thought so I think we can be assured it wasn’t written by a Congressman.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:34 am

  9. That is beautiful, Terry…. What a reward at the end of a hike…or the middle anyway, as you have to hike back to the jeep…. 🙂 And I like that definition, too…especially the part where “man is a visitor.” If only everyone would understand it that way.


    Comment by seekraz — July 31, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    • The scenery at the lake is indeed a reward. The last mile of the trail up to the lake gains nearly a thousand feet in elevation so it is rather aggressive but the sight of the lake makes the whole climb so worth while!


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 8:56 am

  10. So magnificent. It almost boggles the mind to see such exquisite scenery left untouched by humans. Let’s just hope and pray it stays that way.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — July 31, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    • I hope it does too. I wish everyone could enjoy it as much as I do! This is an amazing planet! I even found two species of flowers that I’ve never seen before. It makes me wonder how many I missed by not being there in the spring.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

  11. The things you’ve seen, amazing! It’s so nice that you have been so many places virtually unknown to modern humans.


    Comment by Candace — July 31, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

    • The really wild country is truly amazing, Candace. Some of the trails into the CMW are quite well used, but I tend to shy away from those places because I prefer to be completely alone in a wilderness area whenever possible. There is no feeling like it.


      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

  12. That’s a fabulous picture Terry, of a spectacular part of the world! I hope it remains as wilderness in perpetuity.

    The definition of wilderness is apt, wherever humans go they seem to have an insatiable need to trammel. If we stopped to think a little more often may be we would realise the untrammeled way of nature is best for everyone.


    Comment by Finn — August 1, 2013 @ 1:20 am

    • Yes, I hope it will always be wilderness but at the same time I wonder what that word really means. The western side of the CMW doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but there are several trails on the northeast area that are very busy. It is all foot and horse traffic, but still, a lot of people coming and going. If they all behave…


      Comment by montucky — August 1, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  13. Wow. Your photos always leave me speechless! That is a very true description of wilderness, I think.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — August 1, 2013 @ 6:45 am

    • Yes, I like that way of thinking of it. The rules that pertain to our wilderness areas do keep the areas in their natural state. Interestingly too, those who are willing to exert themselves are hardly ever the ones who abuse the natural world.


      Comment by montucky — August 2, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

  14. So beautiful. There is so much to see in this photo that man cannot bypass it at a glance. I just wonder if also birds admire the beauty of the nature.


    Comment by Sartenada — August 1, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    • I wonder that too. I am convinced that mule deer do because they choose to live in the most beautiful places!


      Comment by montucky — August 2, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

  15. Interesting, that word “untrammeled”. It means ” not limited or restricted”, and in the sentence above it clearly applies to nature herself. As I read the sentence, it clearly suggests that humanity shouldn’t impose their own limits and restrictions on nature – but it certainly doesn’t imply that people and the wilderness never should meet. I found this fascinating history of the word trammel – it began life as a description of a certain kind of fishtrap!


    Comment by shoreacres — August 2, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

    • That is a fascinating origin for the word!
      I strongly believe that there must always be wilderness places, places where mankind has not tampered with things as we have such a tendency to do. Our species however also shares the earth and we should have access to those wild places as long as we can do it respectfully. That really isn’t a burden, in fact encountering Nature on Her terms is one of the most satisfying experiences I know of!


      Comment by montucky — August 2, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

  16. Wonderful photos. A good sense of traveling with you in this pristine area. Thanks for sharing……..


    Comment by Grampy — August 4, 2013 @ 3:21 am

    • Thank you! Places like this can best be described photographically, I think.


      Comment by montucky — August 4, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

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