Hiking to Canyon Lake – Revisiting a Challenge

Canyon Lake, a trail that seemed to almost kill us the last time we hike it. The last mile to the lake had my knees sounding like rusty hinges and my legs shaking. I still remember the sore legs for several days after that hike. So, why do it again and see what happens. To be honest perfectly honest the hike is quite enjoyable this even with the steep pitch. Canyon Lake has been drawn down to a rather level with this year’s drought. In fact, the entire drainage seemed arid, especially compared to the last time we were here, and water was everywhere. With the conditions, we move swiftly over the trail and by not taking any real breaks, we covered the ~11 miles about an hour and forty minutes faster than previously.

Total distance: 11.31 mi
Max elevation: 7408 ft
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Canyon Lake to the left and Blodgett Canyon Overlook to the right

Canyon Lake to the left and Blodgett Canyon Overlook to the right

Canyon Creek trail in late August

Canyon Creek trail in late August

Steep, the last mile is STEEP

Steep, the last mile is STEEP

Canyon Creek Falls is merely a trickle

Canyon Creek Falls is merely a trickle

Pinnacle near the high point of this hike

Pinnacle near the high point of this hike

Cairn on the trail to Canyon Lake, Bitterroot Mountains, Montana - this time it is an actual trail marker across slabs of granite

Cairn on the trail to Canyon Lake, Bitterroot Mountains, Montana – this time it is an actual trail marker across slabs of granite

Canyon Lake was drawn down considerably

Canyon Lake was drawn down considerably

Vida taking advantage of the warm rock

Vida taking advantage of the warm rock

Sunset over a gigantic boulder

Sunset over a gigantic boulder

Vida moving fast - she might lose the title "Slow Walker"

Vida moving fast – she might lose the title “Slow Walker”

Sunset down into Blodgett Canyon last night with smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire

Sunset down into Blodgett Canyon last night with smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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