Montana Outdoors

June 28, 2017

Today’s favorite (June 28)

On today’s hike in the Patrick’s Knob roadless area the forest was so hot and dry there were very few flowers in bloom. These seemed to enjoy that condition.


Bluebell-of-Scotland ~ Campanula rotundifolia

March 14, 2010

A search for a trail, surprise #2

Friday’s search for the beginning of an old trail was successful, but equally satisfying was a surprise at the beginning of the descent, when we walked right into this herd of elk, who had been snoozing just over a rise from where we made our ascent. After all of the time spent last fall hunting for them…


(See if you can find all thirty in the following photo.)


I especially like the two last summer’s calves at the left side who seem to be discussing the situation.

March 13, 2010

A search for a trail, surprise #1

No trip into Montana’s outdoors ever takes place without surprises. The first surprise on this outing was actually two surprises, and pleasant ones, too;

Yellow Bell
Yellow Bell, Goldcup, Yellow Fritillaria, (Fritillaria pudica)

Alpine chickweed
Alpine Chickweed, Bering Chickweed, (Cerastium beeringianum)

both blooming about a month earlier than usual. (I was glad that I did stow the macro lens in my pack.)


February 28, 2009

In search of a trail (2)

Yesterday my son and I tried again to find the lower end of the Fourteen Mile trail (USFS trail 1714), this time in 4 inches of new snow, and tasted a little success with the discovery of some old blaze marks on a tree a few hundred feet above the river. We lost it soon after because of the snow but I’m sure now that with the appropriate topo maps I will be able to locate it, although not until most of the snow has melted.

The following photo illustrates why I want so much to find the trail. It was taken from about three miles from the Jeep and a thousand feet above the river, and the top of the trail is still several miles and 3,500 feet further up the mountain. I have to think the views from the upper reaches will be worth the climb.

Our companions at this point were five huge Big Horn rams who were also looking out over the river. The trail is in the Patrick’s Knob Roadless Area of western Montana’s Coeur d’Alene Mountains and the country across the river is in the South Siegel Roadless Area.

South Siegel Roadless Area

February 12, 2009

In search of a trail

Today I spent a few hours searching for the lower end of the Fourteen Mile trail (USFS trail 1714), with little luck except to find several great locations where it isn’t.

This icefall along the highway was rather pretty though


and I enjoyed seeing an eagle soaring above a sharp ridge in the Patrick’s Knob roadless area,


jumping a dozen head of elk on this rocky hillside above the river,

Rocky ridge

and admiring the winter-green water of the Clark Fork flowing between its ice-caked banks.

 Clark Fork River

I’ll find that trail yet before spring: it’s still going to be a long winter.

September 17, 2008

Fourteen mile trail

Trail clearing today covered about five miles total at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet in the Patrick’s Knob roadless area. What a gorgeous trail that is! The fall colors are getting a good start at that elevation, and I think these huckleberry bushes were kissed by Jack Frost during the last few nights.

Fourteen mile trail, USFS 1714

Fourteen mile trail, USFS 1714

Fourteen mile trail, USFS 1714

Fourteen mile trail, USFS 1714

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at