Montana Outdoors

August 5, 2016

Stony Lake Montana ~ 2016

Filed under: Stony Lake — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 8:43 pm

Wednesday was the coolest day here in a couple weeks and a friend and I finally made a quad ride up to Stony Lake that we had been planning for some time. This small cirque lake (located at an elevation of about 6000 feet) sits above the west fork of Fishtrap Creek and is the only one of the cirque lakes in this region (that I know of) that has a road up to it. Warm jackets and rain gear were in order.

To access the lake, turn north from Montana Highway 200 about four miles east of Thompson Falls onto the Thompson River Road (USFS road 56) and follow it about fifteen miles to the Fishtrap road (USFS road 516) on the left, take it nine or ten miles to the West Fork of Fishtrap road (it is plainly marked) turn left on it and follow it about four miles to USFS road 7675 which forks to the right. Follow it up to its end at the lake. It is a good rock and gravel road although rather steep in places and can be very hazardous when snow covered or icy. (I always recommend when traveling in the back country in this area to take a copy of the Lolo National Forest Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger district map along.)

I first saw the lake while elk hunting last fall when it was quite cold, the lake was nearly frozen over, and there was a little snow on the ground. (The last photo in this series, taken on November 5, 2015, will give you an idea of what it was like then.) Ever since that first trip I have been looking forward to seeing it in summer time and I was not disappointed. Following are a few photos of it now in its “green” season.

Stony Lake Montana

Stony Lake Montana

Stony Lake Montana

Stony Lake Montana

Stony Lake Montana

Stony Lake Montana

Stony Lake Montana

Pearly Everlasting

Stony Lake Montana

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45 Comments »

  1. Wonderful place to get away from it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — August 5, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

  2. Outstanding photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mother Hen — August 5, 2016 @ 11:13 pm

    • It’s very refreshing to see that place while the valleys below are dry and brown!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 8:08 am

  3. Beautiful Montana!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 5, 2016 @ 11:43 pm

    • Thank Goodness for the high mountains and the summer they have up there.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 8:09 am

      • I think Montana is one of the most scenic states, with several types of landscape. The only thing missing is the ocean, but there are a lot of beautiful rivers.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 6, 2016 @ 8:55 am

        • Those rivers can be very handy too. The Clark Fork runs just below the Copper King fire and the helicopters are dipping from it to drop on the fire. A Chinook helicopter with a 2500 gallon water bucket capacity will arrive to work on the fire today.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 3:56 pm

          • That’s a dangerous job! Good thing we have people and machines to do it though. (And the available rivers!)

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 7, 2016 @ 12:25 am

            • There’s a great video of planes picking up water from Austin’s Lake Travis during the Bastrop fire, back in 2011. You can see it here. There’s a little light “language” in it, but it’s only people being amazed at what they’re witnessing. Watching it again, I felt the same way. The skill is nearly unbelievable.

              Liked by 2 people

              Comment by shoreacres — August 7, 2016 @ 10:16 am

              • Those pilots have to be very skilled to do that water pickup. You can tell that they have quite a heavy load as they try to get airborne again. Thanks for the link.

                Like

                Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 7, 2016 @ 10:21 am

  4. There’s something so uplifting about your mountains! I can almost smell the pure air from your photos. Wonderful. First berries ripening here now, and nights are beginning to get chilly.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — August 6, 2016 @ 3:29 am

    • We have been having an alternating cycle here in the valley of very hot and cool. We’re now going into a period of scattered thundershowers which hole the promise of some rain but also lightning which we sure don’t need with the dry conditions. The berries are ripe up near the lake.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 8:10 am

  5. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by centralohionature — August 6, 2016 @ 4:29 am

  6. There’s something primordial about being in these places …. not hard to imagine the world as a very different place, the sense of isolation and peace. Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — August 6, 2016 @ 5:11 am

    • You are so right Teresa. I’m very glad that such places exist and can be visited by a little effort. It changes one’s perspective in a world with so little good news.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 8:12 am

  7. Outstanding pictures! I’d love to visit someday.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by heartandsoul974 — August 6, 2016 @ 5:58 am

    • That’s one of many such lakes, but the only one that has road access clear up to the lake. Unfortunately, most visitors to the region see the state only from the valleys or the parks.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 8:15 am

      • We have a niece in Arlee, Montana and plan to visit in a year or two, we are very excited to see Montana!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by heartandsoul974 — August 6, 2016 @ 12:34 pm

        • Arlee is about 50 miles south of where I live. It’s in a pretty area and you will see some nice scenery coming and going from it. If you can, try to plan your visit in June or early July before the summer heat hits and the valley grasses turn brown.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

  8. Beautiful, particularly all the greenery and the water (is it as clear as it looks?)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Val — August 6, 2016 @ 10:12 am

    • Yes, the water is crystal clear. At the right times of the day it reflects the green of the surrpouding trees and brush.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 3:57 pm

  9. Gosh what a beautiful place. Like a slice of heaven on earth, and quiet too, I’d bet.
    Are those beaver stumps I see? Do beavers get up that high?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — August 6, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

    • Yes, it’s quite peaceful. It gets a few visitors but not a lot. The two times I was there I saw no one else around. I haven’t seen any sign of beaver activity. The dead trees and stumps appear to be just part of the normal forest cycle. I think there is some beaver activity on the main Fishtrap Creek, but it’s several thousand feet lower in elevation. I don’t recall any beaver activity in the high elevation lakes.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 4:04 pm

      • I didn’t think I’d ever heard of beavers that high up but I wasn’t sure. I think they must be more of a lowland creature.

        Like

        Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — August 6, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

        • Perhaps the early freezing of the lakes and the late thawing has something to do with it, and maybe the extremely cold temperatures that often freeze small bodies of water all of the way to the bottom, which would make their lodges useless.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — August 6, 2016 @ 4:23 pm

  10. The grandeur is undeniable, but I’m so glad you added the Pearly Everlasting, too. I remember those flower, and how they reminded me of the straw flowers of my childhood. It’s wonderful to see how everything fits together, from the mountains, to the trees, to the flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — August 7, 2016 @ 10:18 am

    • In have visited over 20 of the high, back country lakes and it would be very difficult to pick the favorite. Each is beautiful and unique and all have a different assortment of wildflowers. This is an amazing place!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2016 @ 9:05 pm

  11. Very beautiful in both seasons….

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by seekraz — August 7, 2016 @ 2:35 pm

    • They all are, but I’ve seen only a few in winter. I wish I was about 20 years younger…

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2016 @ 9:07 pm

  12. Looks like it’s beautiful at any time of the year. The whole area looks so pristine and wild.
    Reminds me of so many nature documentaries (at various locations) in which you see bears on the lake banks. Is Stony Lake that kind of place?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — August 8, 2016 @ 1:58 am

    • Yes, Stony is home to most of the big animals although I haven’t seen any in my two trips there. It is on the edge of griz country, so they may visit there too.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2016 @ 9:09 pm

  13. I think you’ve mentioned cirque lakes before…very interesting and pretty. So there wouldn’t be any fish in that lake?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — August 8, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

    • I don’t know if there are fish in Stony, but I would think there would be cutthroat as there is in Terrace which is only a few miles away but a little lower. I was told that someone caught an 18 inch cutthroat in Terrace last summer, so I’m interested!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2016 @ 9:11 pm

  14. Sounds and looks so refreshing! My daughter-in-law’s sister is traveling to Montana this week. I told her to be prepared for the most gorgeous sights based on what I’ve seen from your many photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — August 9, 2016 @ 9:19 am

    • There is a mix of weather going on, with some very valuable rain and later in the week lots of sun although a little warm by our standards. I hope she enjoys her stay!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 10, 2016 @ 6:48 pm

  15. Beautiful, wonderful place. A perfect place to reflect on life, if you know what I mean. As always great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by WildBill — August 10, 2016 @ 8:51 am

    • It’s a beautiful area and doesn’t get a lot of visitors. I prefer the ones though to which one has to hike and there is an abundance of them in the region too.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 10, 2016 @ 6:49 pm

  16. Beautiful and wild – real primeval forest.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — August 15, 2016 @ 4:13 am

    • Yes, the forest around and behind the lake has never been exploited. It’s wonderful to visit places like that.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2016 @ 11:00 am

  17. Nice post! Love the multi-season photo perspective. Thanks for bringing us along. Happy Trails!

    Like

    Comment by Mountain Goat — October 5, 2016 @ 6:00 am

    • Thanks for stopping by! I love those high cirque lakes!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 5, 2016 @ 9:19 am


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