Montana Outdoors

December 8, 2013

Cherry Peak

Cherry Peak Roadless Area

Cherry Peak and the other peaks in the Cherry Peak Roadless Area photographed from atop Penrose peak on July 7, 2008. The photo shows the northern part of the 57 square mile roadless area.

And along the trail just below the peak, beside a snowbank, Woodland Penstemons (Nothochelone nemorosa) in bloom.

Woodland Penstemon


  1. Far away and close up – both sharp and clear, beautiful shots.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 9, 2013 @ 12:21 am

    • That was one of my favorite trips. About 7 miles to the peak with a 3000 foot vertical and the views were spectacular.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 12:27 am

  2. Those flowers are simply gorgeous!! What an amazing colour. Stunning views too.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 9, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    • Those are larger than most of our wildflowers and like to grow on the highest peaks in the area. They also have a fairly long blooming season.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  3. Beautiful, great to see that thanks


    Comment by Mike Howe — December 9, 2013 @ 2:21 am

    • Those peaks can be seen for many miles. Not too many folks have seen them from the top though. They are just across the river from my home and I am privileged to see them every day.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 8:51 am

  4. The line between bare and forested is amazingly clear. Was it fire that cleaned the side of that mountain, or loggers?


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — December 9, 2013 @ 5:23 am

    • Neither. The large bare areas are sheer cliffs or solid rock. There was a big fire on the south side of that area in the 90’s though that burned about 20 square miles of beetle-killed trees, a good thing. It is re-foresting itself now.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 8:58 am

  5. Your photo reminded my of how much I love hiking in the mountains!


    Comment by centralohionature — December 9, 2013 @ 7:14 am

    • It’s my passion too and fortunately there is a wealth of opportunity for it here.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 8:59 am

  6. A geologists’s paradise with those clearly demarcated fault lines. This has to be one of the best photos of clean air I have ever seen. People in Shanghai would be so envious.


    Comment by Sue — December 9, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    • Yes, the geology of the area is fascinating, and the air is still very clear. The furthest mountains at the skyline are about 80 miles away.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  7. I know embarassingly little about geology. But… if I tilt my head sideways, the mountain seems to contain the same layers of rock we see in our canyons. I presume that’s a result of the tectonic forces “buckling” the land and forming the mountain, revealing the layers. Is that roughly how it happened?


    Comment by shoreacres — December 9, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    • Yes, I think that’s how most of these mountains happened. They were pushed up, tilting the layers. This is a very visible display of it.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 9:05 am

  8. In the photo of Cherry Peak
    Surely no cherries are in sight
    But to geologists who seek,
    The rock strata are a delight.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — December 9, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  9. Hi Montucky, Beautiful flowers along the trail. I sure do like seeing wild flowers. Have a really pleasant day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — December 9, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

    • Thanks! I love them too and am looking forward to their spring arrival, though that will be awhile!


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

  10. Your photos always transport me back to Lewis & Clark. I always imagine them finally summiting a ridge only to see more peaks 80 miles away. But they must have enjoyed it. John Colter did enough to go back and stay (and discover Yellowstone).


    Comment by jomegat — December 9, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

    • In only my best moments I begin to understand what it must have been like to see this country back then. But it was a new land only to the european mind; to the Indian it was ancestral home. Those are the ones with whom I would love to talk.

      I often think of those early travelers looking at the terrain in the direction they chose to go. Daunting at the very least.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

  11. That’s quite a view…and wonderful detail in that Penstemon, too.


    Comment by seekraz — December 11, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    • It was a long hike getting there but well worth it!


      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2013 @ 9:26 am

      • I like them like that!


        Comment by seekraz — December 11, 2013 @ 11:08 am

        • Me too! I spent one night on the trail. The next day I hiked to the peak and back to the Jeep, which was 9 miles. There’s another trail up there that I intended to take but didn’t get around to it his summer. It’s shorter, but has a 4000 foot vertical to it.


          Comment by montucky — December 11, 2013 @ 11:11 am

  12. That penstemon is so pretty with the detail.


    Comment by Candace — December 11, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

    • They are beautiful flowers and have the endearing quality of blooming near the top of the peaks. They must be incredibly hardy!


      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

  13. Sigh, sigh, and sigh. I would like to be there! Gorgeous photos.


    Comment by Sartenada — December 13, 2013 @ 12:16 am

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