Montana Outdoors

January 16, 2011

Winter trail

Filed under: Munson Creek, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 12:39 am

Three days ago our night time temperature was -3°F and we had about a foot of snow. Today we hit 47° and the nearly all of the snow is gone (at valley level). Quite frankly, this time of year I much prefer the snow. Over night temperatures in the 40’s are very common here in the summer.  

Here are a few trail photos that were taken on January 4th when we did have snow.

Munson Creek trail in winter


Munson Creek trail in winter

Munson Creek trail in winter

Munson Creek trail in winter


(That’s a very nice foot bridge in the approximate center of the photo. It was made many years ago by someone in the Forest Service who sawed through a log lengthwise and laid the two pieces side by side over the creek, flat sides up.)

January 5, 2011

Winter and spring

Yesterday I walked a mile or so of the Munson Creek trail on a fresh blanket of pure white powder. I walked in a winter world.

Munson Creek trail in winter

Munson Creek trail

The day was pleasant, with a little snow in the crisp cool air, yet I couldn’t stop thinking about hiking that trail soon in the spring world of mid-April when in the high country, some two miles from the trail head, the Trilliums will be in bloom again.

Western white trillium

Pacific trillium, Western White Trillium, Trillium ovatum

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

April 18, 2008

Today’s surprise

The weather forecast for today called for rain and snow showers early and snow moving in after noon. Just the kind of day for a hike into Munson Creek in the eastern edge of the TeePee-Spring Creek roadless area!

At nine o’clock when I crossed footbridge over Munson Creek not far from the trailhead it started to sprinkle, then changed to light snow; maybe a little earlier than expected.

Munson Creek trail

A half mile up the trail and I just had to shoot one more buttercup. Actually I was thinking that farther on up the trail there would be no more flowers this early in the year.

Buttercup and Oregon grape leaves

Another mile and this yellowbell was growing along the trail. Those at the river level are past their prime now, their petals turning orange and falling off but this little guy is still green. What a difference altitude makes!

Yellowbell ready to bloom

The Munson Creek trail is quite aggressive during its first three miles and also during its last two. It starts at under 2,500 feet and ends at just under 7,000. The makers of my altimeter chose to display, just above the numbers, what they call a “graphic representation of altitude changes”. Here’s what it showed at mile three (a little over a thousand feet above the trailhead):


Between the third and fourth mile the trail rambles along through a beautiful grove of tall cedars, their leaves producing deep shade beneath. It’s good to know that in this roadless area they will be around for awhile!

Munson Creek cedars

Then, in this short section of trail where the canopy was missing overhead and the sun was able to penetrate

Munson Creek trail mile four

was today’s surprise: Trilliums! Out of three miles of trail, in this short 100 foot section only, several hundred were in full bloom! One more reminder that the only way to know what’s going on in the wild country is to get out there!


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