Montana Outdoors

December 12, 2017

Islands in a sea of clouds ~ Another visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 11:36 pm

Today a friend and I visited the Corona Divide one last time before the weather conditions that create these scenes subsides and found that today there were islands in the sea of clouds.

Corona Divide


Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Wolf track in the snow

Ice crystals formed in the track of a wolf.

Corona Divide

December 10, 2017

A visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:38 pm

High pressure has been in place over western Montana for what has seemed like an eternity, trapping low stratus clouds and freezing fog over the Clark Fork River. Viewed from the valley, the clouds dim the light and obscure the mountain tops (and sometimes the mountains themselves) that surround it. Sometimes however, that can bring an opportunity for seeing some very pretty scenery if you can get above the clouds. On a hunch today I took a forest road for fifteen miles to the Corona Divide about three thousand feet above the valley and it turned out to be just above the low dense clouds. The following are some of the ninety photos I brought back from the Divide today.

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

June 2, 2017

East of Big Hole

Today a friend and I hiked several miles on an old road on the east slope of Big Hole looking for a trail that has been decommissioned by the Forest Service and abandoned for many years. We found it in pretty bad shape with a large number of trees down over it. It would be nice if we could convince the Forest Service to revive it because it would complete a nice loop that would be good for horse people as well as an occasional hiker.

I’ve included a few photos showing what the old road looks like, followed by some of the things that are in bloom at 5.600 feet. The road was cleaned up last year to allow some heavy equipment to get up to work on the Copper King fire so it will be in good shape for a few years before the Alders again close in over it.

Road 7578

SE slope Big Hole

Road 7578

These tiny flowers (about 1/8 inch across) caught my eye but I can’t positively identify them. I think they may be Western Wood Anemones (Anemone oregana) but I’m not positive.

Western Wood Anemone

Western Wood Anemone

Sitka Alder

Sitka Alder ~ Alnus viridis

Utah honeysuckle

Utah Honeysuckle ~ Lonicera utahensis


Huckleberry ~ Vaccinium membranaceum

Northern Black Currant

Northern Black Currant ~ Ribes hudsonianum

December 13, 2016

Mount Baldy on a cold, clear day

Mount Baldy

We are having an influx of cold Arctic air which brings very cold but very clear air into western Montana.

November 27, 2016

The headwaters of Hinchwood Creek.

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:46 am

Head waters of Clark/Hinchwood

Photo was taken at an elevation of about 5,000 feet from the ridge east of the Hinchwood Creek drainage facing the east slope of Baldy Mountain.

November 5, 2016

Cabin Lake

Yesterday a friend and I hiked to Cabin Lake, one of the many cirque lakes in the Cube Iron/Silcox roadless area in the Plains/Thompson Falls District of the Lolo National Forest here in western Montana. Following are photos of the trail and, of course, the lake itself which sits at about 6,000 feet.

Cabin Lake 1

The destination, Cabin Lake

Road to the trail head 2

In several places along the road to the trail head, which follows the west fork of Thompson River, it was necessary to build retaining walls to keep the rock slides from covering the road.

Cabin Lake trail 3

At the trail head, this bridge for foot and horse traffic spans the stream that issues from the lake. It is very welcome because the stream would be very difficult to ford.

Cabin Lake trail4 4

Along the bottom part of the trail it is covered by the golden leaves of Black cottonwoods; the “Yellow brick road”.

Cabin Lake trail 5

Cabin Lake trail 6

Cabin Lake trail 7

A smaller stream which is fortunately fordable without going over the top of hiking boots crosses the trail.

Cabin Lake trail 8

The lake sits in a glacier-formed recession just above and to the right of the cliffs in the background.

Cabin Lake trail 9

Cabin Lake trail 10

Cabin Lake trail 11

Cabin Lake trail 12

From the middle part of the trail you can see the mountainside that slopes down to the trail head.

Cabin Lake trail 13

The trail tops out in a saddle, then descends down to the lake which sits just below the peak in the distance.

Cabin Lake 14

This and the remaining photos are of the lake itself.

Cabin Lake 15

Cabin Lake 16

Cabin Lake

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Create a free website or blog at