Montana Outdoors

February 24, 2016

Trial run

Filed under: Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:22 pm

Recently I acquired an ATV to allow access into the high country beyond where the Jeep can go during winter. It will never be ridden on the trails, but it will give me access to the trail heads at the higher elevations under just about all conditions. I took it out for the first run today on the access road to the Big Hole peak trail head and finally turned around about two miles beyond where the Jeep could have gone. Those last two miles I rode right on the top of a dense snow pack about two feet deep. Besides enjoying complete all-around visibility and the feel of the cold mountain air I was pleased to find out that it will indeed do what I wanted it to.

Big Hole Peak road

Big Hole Peak road



  1. Looks enjoyable to me and I’m sure it was for you. It looked like a bright blue Big Sky kind of day in the background.


    Comment by Ron Mangels — February 24, 2016 @ 9:46 pm

    • It’s kind of like getting a new lease on life. I’ve always wanted to be able to get to the high trails in the winter and now in most cases I will be able to. It will be interesting to see what the limits might be. I will be overjoyed if I can take it to the same places that I take the Jeep in summer!


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2016 @ 10:17 pm

    • Upon looking at your pictures again of the road and the ATV there doesn’t seem to be much snow for the elevation you are at.


      Comment by Ron Mangels — February 25, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

      • The snow pack in this region is about 85% of normal. It is very dense though.


        Comment by montucky — February 26, 2016 @ 10:23 am

  2. I wonder if you’ll see as much wildlife. More access to places, but more noise in getting there. A fine balance.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — February 24, 2016 @ 9:50 pm

  3. I love the sound of that feeling the ‘cold mountain air’. Half the joy of hiking in the hills/mountains is that fresh air feeling and the sounds of Nature.

    Hope the noise doesn’t scare any of the wildlife off, although, as you say, you won’t be using it on the trails.


    Comment by Vicki — February 24, 2016 @ 9:55 pm

    • Yes, the air felt wonderful; a little cold ( in the high 20’s (F). The ATV is barely more noisy than the Jeep, especially at very low speeds, not like the high-pitched screams of snowmobiles or many of the dirt bikes. I’ve encountered lots of deer while riding the back roads near my house and they show that they can hear me, but none have really gotten spooked.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2016 @ 10:01 pm

  4. Good for you! I think I remember you talking about this in the past: wanting one, or planning to get one, or thinking one would be quite handy for getting farther up the trails. I don’t know, but it seems that to more miles by ATV would be significant, allowing you to hike much farther than you otherwise could. I’m glad you’re pleased with it.


    Comment by shoreacres — February 24, 2016 @ 9:57 pm

    • Yes, this time of year the ATV will make the difference between being able to hike the trails and not being able to. I still have the stamina to walk several miles on snow shoes, but not an additional five or six miles just to get to the trail.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

  5. Now that looks like fun! 🙂 A great idea, and so good that you’ll be able to get back onto the high trails!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — February 25, 2016 @ 2:12 am

  6. That should save you a lot of snowshoeing! You might want to carry some with you though; ATVs can get stuck!


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — February 25, 2016 @ 4:32 am

    • Most of the winter I’ll probably have the snow shoes strapped to one of the gear racks.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

  7. Nothing like the back country in winter. Especially when you get where you want and turn the motor off.


    Comment by Pokey. — February 25, 2016 @ 7:39 am

  8. Aw look at you, free-wheeling in that crisp mountain air. Looks like so much fun! I know tons of folks here enjoy their ATVs and off-roading.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — February 25, 2016 @ 8:57 am

    • It will be interesting to go places in winter especially where I just couldn’t otherwise go.


      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

  9. Neato! As a fellow Jeep owner…they can take you most places…they rule! An ATV will just add to the immense joy of being in the mountains! Congrats to you!


    Comment by dhphotosite — February 25, 2016 @ 8:58 am

    • I’ve had a Jeep or the old style Toyota Land Cruisers ever since about 1970. Wouldn’t know what to do without one!


      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2016 @ 7:35 pm

  10. Cool ride! Now you can go where no one went before you. What finds you will discover for us to see! Alone with nature is the best!


    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — February 25, 2016 @ 10:06 am

    • It should be interesting, and a comfortable feeling that I won’t have to worry much about being stuck during weather that makes some roads extremely difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2016 @ 7:39 pm

  11. when you finally get up to Big Hole LO, let me know if the king’s throne is still there.


    Comment by Chad — February 25, 2016 @ 9:17 pm

    • I doubt that I will go up to the lookout this year; possibly to the peak.


      Comment by montucky — February 26, 2016 @ 10:21 am

  12. I’m so glad you’ll have more access to beautiful places. I’m looking forward to seeing the shots. I used to love riding the quad bikes (what we call ATVs here) on the farm. They could be a little dangerous on slopes though as they tend to roll. Have fun! 🙂


    Comment by Jane — February 25, 2016 @ 11:06 pm

    • I like the unlimited visibility and the ability to go under nearly every condition. It does take cold weather clothing this time of year though!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 26, 2016 @ 10:26 am

  13. Wow, that’s awesome! Always fun to get a new “toy,” especially one that will enhance what you love to do. Congrats.


    Comment by Candace — February 27, 2016 @ 7:26 pm

  14. Cool photos. I love the last photo, because I have not seen anything like it.


    Comment by Sartenada — March 2, 2016 @ 12:56 am

    • I think you’d like riding it. It will handle just about any terrain. I bought it to expand my range in winter, to go places where I can’t take my Jeep because of the snow.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — March 2, 2016 @ 10:06 am

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