Montana Outdoors

October 24, 2015

A visit to Mount Headley

Every year of so I hike up the trail to Mount Headley because of the beauty of the mountain and the surrounding country. It was the site of one of the first fire lookouts in Montana and sits at 7400 feet where it looks over many miles of forest in all directions. The four mile trail is rather gentle and it spreads the climb of 1400 feet evenly over its entire length. As a bonus, a short side trail at about the first mile point lets the hiker stand on a sheer, rocky cliff about 500 feet over the south end of a small cirque lake called Image Lake. I will never forget one morning a few years ago when I stood there watching the sun rise and listening to a wolf pack howling on the trail above me and down beside the lake. Mount Headley is an old friend.(The following photos were taken on October 15, 2015)

Mt Headley

Image Lake

Image Lake

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

Mt Headley

Mt Headley

From Mt Headley

Mt Headley trail

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36 Comments »

  1. Plenty to see. Well worth the walk. That would certainly torment my knees and/or get them into better shape.

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    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — October 24, 2015 @ 10:19 am

    • Yes it’s certainly worth the walk, especially on a clear day. The trail is good, but it would be asking a lot of your knees if they are not in condition for it. I have to continuously train to be able to make the hikes that I want, but it’s worth all of the effort, especially when I can do it in the places where I do. As someone commented one time, “I feel sorry for the guys who are stuck in traffic on their way to the gym to ride on a stationary bike”.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 10:49 am

      • I’d rather be walking than riding a stationary bike. Need to walk more and see what these knees are capable of.

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        Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — October 24, 2015 @ 1:19 pm

        • That’s exactly what I would do. My total knee replacement has been a huge success for me too, despite the work it has been to do the rehab. Well worth it!

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          Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

  2. Beautiful area!

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    Comment by centralohionature — October 24, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

    • Yes. It’s tall enough to provide some long views of the surrounding back country and it’s a pleasant place to be.

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      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 12:52 pm

  3. Such blue!!

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    Comment by 2ndhalfolife — October 24, 2015 @ 3:29 pm

    • Clear skies sure make a difference! I was used to smoke all summer.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

  4. It’s easy to see why you’d want to make that climb! Your tall, narrow evergreens are so different than our wide ones. It’s a really different growth pattern.
    It looks like someone’s doing some tree cutting in that 8th photo. There looks to be a lot of timber in the lake but that must be from natural causes, I would think.
    You live in a very beautiful place. Heaven on earth!

    Like

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — October 24, 2015 @ 3:49 pm

    • Yes, there was some logging in that area many years ago. I’m happy to say that now all of their roads have been removed and nature is taking over again.
      Most of those tall slender trees are sub-alpine fir which do well in heavy show country.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

  5. such a gorgeous day you had for your adventure. thank you for bringing us these gorgeous images.

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    Comment by Tammie — October 24, 2015 @ 4:39 pm

    • It was a very nice day, clear but not hot. I sure do enjoy days like that, especially after the long, hot summer.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 5:06 pm

  6. What fabulous views, and what a blessing that it’s a relatively gentle trail. I always enjoy seeing the cairns along the trails, too. I like the thought of others passing along the same path.

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    Comment by shoreacres — October 24, 2015 @ 4:39 pm

    • The views and the remoteness keep me going back and make it a favorite place. It is wild country! There are some who might not think it was a gentle trail by the time they get back to the trail head.
      I don’t especially mind the cairns since there was not a trace of trash anywhere there. It’s good to see that folks respect the place.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 5:10 pm

  7. What spectacular views. Now that hike would be really worth morning knee/calf exercises 3 times a day at my age & health level.
    Gosh you can see a long distance from that height. No wonder you love it so much.

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    Comment by Vicki — October 24, 2015 @ 8:15 pm

    • Vicki, I wish just once you could go on that hike with me. There is so much of the experience that the photos just cannot capture.

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      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

      • I bought a couple of pieces of pilates equipment today to get those knee, inner & outer thigh muscles working better. I’ve been doing some extra core strengthening exercises too. Better watch out Terry, I might appear on the Montana horizon with the camera & backpack strapped on 😀
        I was thinking the same as you the other night. Photos just didn’t capture the magic of the moment on my piece of river. Maybe I’ll have to learn how the video works on the Sony ‘mirrorless’ when it comes back from the repair shop.

        Like

        Comment by Vicki — October 27, 2015 @ 6:53 am

        • Well, Vicki, you would certainly be welcome! I’m glad that you will be working on your legs. I am a big advocate of exercise: it has done so much for me over the years. I could never hike the trails that I do without the conditioning.

          It will be interesting to see what your videos will be like. I’m now using a mirrorless camera too and it is supposed to be very good for taking video. I haven’t done anything with that though.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — October 27, 2015 @ 8:11 am

  8. Hi Montucky, Thanks for the virtual tour of the beautiful mountains. I do miss seeing mountains as Florida has only a few tiny hills. Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — October 24, 2015 @ 9:14 pm

    • I’m glad that you enjoy seeing the Montana mountains. They are indeed beautiful! Have a great day today!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 25, 2015 @ 6:34 am

  9. I can see why Mount Headley is like an old friend, Terry. Feels like I am on top of the world when I look at these beautiful shots. I would love to experience this hike!

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    Comment by Jane — October 24, 2015 @ 11:22 pm

    • I love those mountains, and this trail gets high enough to provide views all around. It also provides the solitude that I enjoy because it is not heavily traveled and in very wild country.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — October 25, 2015 @ 6:37 am

  10. Oh, my goodness! I can see why Mount Headley is like an old friend. I can only imagine what it felt like to stand there and listen to the wolves. And the colours are just glorious.

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — October 25, 2015 @ 8:51 am

    • I love the beauty of the place and I find it comforting to know that such a place still exists.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — October 25, 2015 @ 9:30 am

  11. I am speechless when seeing Your stunning photos. I love them very much.

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    Comment by Sartenada — October 26, 2015 @ 1:26 am

    • That is a special place for me and I keep returning to it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 26, 2015 @ 7:19 am

  12. What a beautiful post … sounds like an almost primordial moment.

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — October 26, 2015 @ 7:53 am

    • There is that kind of appeal to wild places, where those of our species are only respectful visitors.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 26, 2015 @ 8:04 am

  13. No wonder Mt. Headley is an old friend, beautiful. And that little lake is so pure looking.

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    Comment by Candace — October 27, 2015 @ 10:06 am

    • Yes, the trail to Mount Headley is consistently a beautiful hike. There are views all around and the trail itself has a huge amount of diversity.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 27, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

  14. That would have been kind of “cool” to hear the wolf pack howling. Coyotes are commonly heard, but not so much the wolves. I wouldn’t want to be a deer and hear that.

    Like

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 27, 2015 @ 2:31 pm

    • I loved being where I was when the wolves began to howl. I almost felt as though I was somehow a part of the pack.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — October 27, 2015 @ 3:20 pm

      • All you have to do is start howling and they’d probably come find you to make you part of the family. Maybe the lunch part. 😉

        Like

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 27, 2015 @ 3:26 pm

        • The wolves are the least to be worried about out there, but I’m afraid they would laugh at my howls.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — October 27, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

          • We heard a lot of reports of bear incidents as we passed through western Montana in early October.

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            Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 27, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

            • Yes and we have one who comes through here every 2 – 3 nights but he hasn’t done any harm.

              Like

              Comment by montucky — October 27, 2015 @ 9:42 pm


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