Montana Outdoors

June 3, 2017

A little scenery for a change

For a change from all of the flower photos that I have posted lately, here are a few scenery shots taken on today’s hike into the Coeur d’Alene Mountains on the south side of the Clark Fork River. The taller peaks are all over 7,000 feet in elevation and are inside the 57 square mile Cherry Peak Roadless Area, one of my favorite places. Access to the edge of the roadless area is a Forest Service road that can be driven for about 10 miles at which point the remainder is closed by a gate for wildlife protection but open to foot or horse traffic. These photos were taken from that road as I hiked about 4 miles up it to get a good open look at the peaks from an elevation of about 5,500 feet: the valley below is at an elevation of about 2,400 feet. This is very wild country and so you are never sure of just what you might meet or see.

Clark Fork Valley

Coeur d'Alene Mountains

Eddy Creek Canyon meeting the Clark FOrk Valley

USFS Rd 7581

Coeur d'Alene Mountains

Coeur d'Alene Mountains

USFS Rd 7581

USFS Rd 7581

Penrose Peak

Cherry Peak

Clark Fork Valley

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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

November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Among many other things, I’m thankful for mountain peaks that are still pristine,

(Cherry Peak in the Cherry Peak roadless area)

Cherry Peak

places with southern exposures that look like this,

(the Bitterroot Mountains in the distance viewed from Penrose Peak)

From Penrose Peak

northern slopes still loaded with snow in July,

(The Northern slope of Penrose Peak on July 7th)

North side of Penrose Peak in July

and little critters that still live in these beautiful places as they have for thousands of years.

(Columbian Ground Squirrel in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains)

Columbian Ground Squirrel

Most of all I’m thankful that there are still folks around who also love places like these!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

July 18, 2008

Penrose Peak, Part 9

As you look toward the northwest from Penrose, in the first photo, and a little more to the north in the second, you are looking out over nearly all of the 59 square miles of the Cherry Peak roadless area. It has long been managed as a roadless, non-motorized use area, home to abundant wildlife of many different species including the big game species of grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, bobcats, wolves, deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep, (and very likely Canadian Lynx) and a wealth of smaller species including ptarmigan which is not endangered, but pretty darn scarce these days.

It’s an area of very secluded retreat for the occasional traveler on foot or horseback where the natural world can be viewed and enjoyed in approximately the condition it has been in for thousands of years.

In the proposed Lolo National Forest plan, it will all be opened for winter motorized use (snowmobiles), and the upper slopes of Cameron and Lynx Creeks (visible in the canyon area in the left center of the first photo) will be opened to regularly scheduled timber production (which would include road building and the further use of those roads for wheeled motorized travel). I have asked before and now ask again in concert with a large number of conservation groups… “why in the world would we want to do that“?

Cherry Peak roadless area

Cherry Peak

(These are my favorite two photos and they have made the whole trip well worthwhile for me. I will cherish them for a long, long time.)

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