Montana Outdoors

July 26, 2010

Mt Headley (1)

Four miles just about due North of Cabin Lake, 1,500 feet higher and also in the Cube Iron-Silcox roadless area is a peak called Mt Headley, upon which, in 1928, the Forest Service built a cupola style lookout cabin. The peak can be accessed from Cabin lake by trail 450 or from another trail that starts at Vermillion Pass.

On Monday, July twelfth my friend and I hiked up to the peak of Mt Headly not on trail 450 from Cabin Lake, but on trail 528 from its trail head at Vermillion Pass near the head of Graves Creek. This trail climbs a little over 1,500 feet over its four miles, but unlike the Cabin Lake trail which had a bunch of switchbacks, trail 528 stays at a fairly steady incline all of the way to the top. I’m not sure which is better.

A note about roadless areas: Roadless areas are natural areas without roads, but the term is more specific than that. It refers to a group of National Forest lands that are technically called “Inventoried Roadless Areas”. These areas include approximately 60 million acres of land, most of which is in the western US, Puerto Rico and Alaska. Many of the roadless areas in the lower 48 states are plots of land that are immediately adjacent to wilderness areas, parks and other protected lands. There is an excellent website called that is full of information on all of the areas, including great maps of them. Because these areas are part of our National Forests, they are owned, not by the states in which they exist, but by all of the citizens of our country. They are under constant attack by people and companies who are not only willing, but eager to destroy their beauty to make a little money. It will take not just those of us who live near them, but folks from all over the country who want to retain natural wild areas like them to take the steps necessary to protect them. It’s a continual fight. I hope that when folks see these glimpses into those beautiful areas they will want to help preserve and protect them as much as possible.

Over a number of days I will post photos of the Mt Headley area and trail 528 much as I did with the trip to Cabin Lake.

Scene to the north of Vermilion PassScene to the north of Vermillion Pass

Scene to the north of Vermilion PassScene to the north of Vermillion Pass

Vermillion Peak from Vermillion PassVermillion Peak viewed from Vermillion Pass

A little past a mile up trail 528 there is a beautiful basin to the north which contains Image Lake and a few dozen yards off the trail is a wonderful cliff from which it can be viewed.

Basin containing Image Lake

Basin containing Image Lake

Image Lake scene

Image Lake scene

Image Lake scene

Image Lake scene

June 27, 2010

Catching up ~ from May 28

For one who loves the outdoors, summer time in Montana provides a full schedule; so much to do and see and so many remote places in which to just be. Somehow I’ve gotten far behind in posting stuff and now will try to play catch up, knowing that as I do, things will backlog even further. Oh well…

A month ago on a very cloudy day it seemed good to walk in the high country, in the clouds and the rain. Here are a few photos spread through that ten miles of outdoor bliss.

For those who are familiar with this area, the hike was along the old logging road (Forest Service Road 5587) after the gate at the trail head to Big Hole Lookout, to the intersection with the Spring Creek Trail (Trail # 370) then along it to it’s intersection with the Munson Creek trail (Trail # 372) and then back out. I have promised myself that sometime soon I will leave a car at the Munson Creek trail head and then complete the hike from Road 5587 all of the way down Munson Creek. It will be a full day.

Road 5587Soft on the eyes, quiet underfoot

Road 5587The mystery of the canyons below

Trail 372, Munson CreekThis trail sign is very old, but in pristine condition; no vandalism 5 miles from motorized access.

From Road 5587Flirting with the ridgetops

In the cloudsPeering through a window in the clouds

June 13, 2010

They get steeper every year…

This trail today seemed to go clear to the sky.

Baldy Mountain trail 340USFS trail 340T in the Baldy Mountain roadless area, Cabinet Mountains, Lolo National Forest, western Montana.

(Yes those are patches of snow. There are still snowbanks ten feet deep at the top of the mountain.)


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