Montana Outdoors

October 16, 2011

Autumn Contrast

Filed under: Autumn — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:42 pm

Snowy day on the trail

Baldy Mountain trail

Fall at Munson Creek

Munson Creek trail

(These photos were taken 20 miles and 25 hours apart.)

July 4, 2011

Road 5587 (1)

In western Montana there are many miles of Forest Service roads that are no longer in normal service. Most of them began their lives for logging use many years ago and they have been kept in reasonably usable condition for emergencies and access for Forest Service projects but they have been closed to public motorized use. Some have many usable miles for hiking, mountain bike or horse access, as does Road 5587 which runs for about nine miles along the eastern border of the TeePee – Spring Creek Roadless area and KooKooSint Ridge.

My birthday present this year was a mountain bike. Its purpose is to expand my hiking capability by allowing me to use some of these old roads as access to back country areas far beyond the gates. After a little over a hundred miles of conditioning and familiarity runs during the last several weeks, today I gave it (and me) the first real test, riding eight miles out on road 5587 and hiking the remaining mile to its end. With the elevation of the road varying from 5000 feet to 5600 feet, the 18 miles included about 3000 feet of vertical climb. I’m glad I did some training before the trip!

Diamondback "Response"

Diamondback ~ Response

Getting into Montana’s back country is a pleasure that not everyone has a chance to experience and therefore I will post a series of photos that I took along the way, in three separate posts, hoping to show the scenery as it appeared to me today.

KooKooSint Ridge

Clark Fork Valley

Looking out over the Clark Fork Valley.

KooKooSint Ridge

Still a little snow on the lee side of the ridge.

KooKooSint Ridge

The Coeur d’Alene Mountains in the background are still snow-capped.

Spring Creek headwaters

The headwaters of Spring Creek.

KooKooSint Ridge

Wildflowers in abundance on the ridges. These species have long finished blooming at the valley level.

September 12, 2010

South of Big Hole, west of Spring Creek

Scenery along an old logging road, now gated and closed off to motor vehicles. This photo was taken about six miles from the gate. A very pleasant place to go for a long hike. The road is on the eastern border of the TeePee – Spring Creek roadless area. The roadless area is to the right in the photo and the Spring Creek canyon is to the left.

South of Big Hole Lookout

April 11, 2010

A trillium surprise

Hiking into the back country is usually accompanied by surprises but today when I began a hike on the Munson Creek trail I found that, at the lower elevations, the trilliums are beginning to bloom about a week earlier than usual. What a pleasant surprise!

Western Trillium

Western Trillium

Western Trillium

Western Trillium

Pacific Trillium, Western Trillium, Wakerobin, Birthroot, Trillium Ovatum

(324)

April 10, 2010

Spring Creek, cold creek…

Spring Creek

(Photo lovingly shot with very cold fingers.)

(319)

February 24, 2009

Munson Creek in winter (5)

Munson Creek ice

Munson Creek is a small mountain stream that flows for only about 6 miles from the high country beneath Big Hole Peak and the Koo Koo Sint Ridge in the Cabinet Mountains, through the TeePee – Spring Creek Roadless Area to the Clark Fork river. There’s a great little Forest Service trail ( #372) which follows the route of the creek that will take the hiker about seven miles from the river, which is at an elevation of about 2,400 feet to the peak which is at 7,000 feet, and from the higher parts of it the peaks of the Cherry Peak Roadless Area in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains can be seen to the south across the Clark Fork Valley.

I dearly love that little trail for many reasons; in order of importance to me: it runs through some beautiful and wild country full of wildlife and wildflowers, it has very few human visitors, and the trail head is quite close to my home. I’ve tried to get lots of photos of the creek in its winter dress this year while I can: who knows what the next year will bring?

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