Montana Outdoors

August 6, 2012

Pear Lake, Blossom Lakes ~ Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area (7)

Filed under: Evans Gulch roadless area — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:25 pm

There is another lake a mile beyond Upper Blossom Lake. I thought it would be interesting to show some of the trail to it as it climbs up and over a ridge which, at 6,500 feet, goes through a few remaining snowbanks before it drops down to Pear Lake.

Pear Lake trail

Pear Lake trail

Pear Lake trail

Pear Lake trail

Pear Lake trail

Pear Lake trail

Pear Lake trail

August 5, 2012

Pear Lake, Blossom Lakes ~ Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area (6)

Filed under: Evans Gulch roadless area — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:13 pm

Above Blossom Lake, up the trail nearly a mile, is Upper Blossom Lake. It is a smaller but quite similar lake at a bit higher elevation and it even had a small snow bank at the far side. The foliage up there is lush and beautiful and it gets far fewer visitors.

Upper Blossom Lake

Trail to Upper Blossom Lake

Trail to Upper Blossom Lake

Untitled

Upper Blossom Lake

Upper Blossom Lake

Upper Blossom Lake

August 4, 2012

Pear Lake, Blossom Lakes ~ Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area (5)

Filed under: Evans Gulch roadless area — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:17 pm

In northwest Montana, tucked in right next to the Idaho border, there is a small roadless area of only 8,059 acres called the Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area and in the northwest part of it there are three lakes fairly close together and connected by one trail; Blossom Lake, Upper Blossom Lake and Pear Lake (which, by the way, is shaped exactly like a pear).

The trail head for these lakes is located at Thompson Pass which is right on the Montana – Idaho border on Highway 471 (also called Forest Road 7 by the Forest Service) about 20 miles west of the small town of Thompson Falls. Thompson Falls is 100 miles northwest of Missoula on State Highway 200.

Of the three, Blossom Lake is the largest and the closest to the trail head. It gets quite a few visitors who are usually quite tired by the time they hike the approximately three miles to it (the trail has a lot of “up” to it) and so the other lakes farther up the trail get very few.

Following are a few photos of Blossom Lake taken on July 23, 2012.

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

(A small stand of bear grass in bloom on the far slope just above the lake)

Blossom Lake

July 23, 2012

Pear Lake, Blossom Lakes ~ Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area (1)

For many years I have found it to be true that one of the best parts of an outdoor experience is the night before it starts, and last night’s stay at the Blossom Lakes trail head before today’s hike to Blossom Lakes and Pear Lake in the Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area was not an exception.

Sunset

Sunset from the Montana/Idaho line

Today’s trip was one of those “150 photo” trips and this is the first of a series of posts about the trip and that area of western Montana.

September 1, 2011

Blossom Lake

Filed under: Evans Gulch roadless area — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:17 pm

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake sits in a basin in the Evans Gulch Roadless area just on the Montana side of the Idaho/Montana border at an elevation of 5668 feet. It can be accessed by a hike of about 3 miles (with a bit of “up” to it) on U.S.F.S. Trail 522 from the trail head at Thompson Pass, about 22 miles west of Thompson Falls Montana on highway Mt-471.

Map

July 19, 2009

Evans Gulch roadless area; the flowers.

Perhaps these Subalpine Spirea which grow along its shore right up to the water had something to do with giving Blossom Lake its name.

Subalpine spirea, Rose meadowsweet

Subalpine Spirea, Rose Meadowsweet
Spiraea splendens

Two inches above the sand and about the same distance from the water, these tiny white violets were in full bloom.

Small white violet

Small White Violet
Viola macloskeyi

Along the trail, not far from the trail head, these Pink Wintergreens were blooming in large numbers.

Pink Wintergreen

Pink Wintergreen,
Pyrola asarifolia

Although they finished blooming at lower elevations over a month ago, the Springbeauties were in bloom along the trail.

Alpine Springbeauty

Alpine Springbeauty
Claytonia megarhiza

Another pretty flower, the Jacob’s Ladder, concluded its blooming season two months ago in the valleys, but was flowering in abundance along the trail near the lake.

Showy Jacob's Ladder

Showy Jacob’s Ladder,
Polemonium pulcherrimum

The tiny (1/8 inch) blossoms of the Foamflower which are suspended in big groups on its 6-inch stalks do present the look of ocean foam dancing on the sea of green in little patches of the hillside.

One-leaved foamflower

One-leaved foamflower

One-leaved foamflower,
Tiarella unifoliata

Come to think of it, maybe more than the Spirea had an influence on the naming of Blossom Lake.

(Evans Gulch roadless area is only about 8,000 acres and is located in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana.)

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