Mount Sentinel via Pengelly Ridge

Normally, I think of Mount Sentinel has the M with its constant flow of folks making their way to the whitewashed concrete letter, but Mount Sentinel is a large area with an extensive network of trails. On a sunny day, Vida and I decided to tackle the slope from Pengelly Ridge to the top, and we… Read more »

Friday Pass – Hike into the Elk Summit Country

Friday Pass is a low pass between the KoosKoosia Meadows area and the Wind Lakes in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area in Idaho. The hike to Friday Pass is a relatively manageable uphill until Swamp Lake (guess why it is called that?) when the trail goes steeply to the pass. Once reaching Friday Pass, you can… Read more »

Schley Mountain Hike – Great Views of the Great Burn Roadless Area

At the peak of Schley Mountain, you have awesome 360-degree views of the Great Burn Roadless Area. This hike is 3 miles point-to-point, with mild 500’ in elevation gain. Good views from the site of the former Schley Mountain lookout.

Trapper Peak – Highest Summit in the Bitterroot Mountains

Trapper Peak, sitting at 10,157 feet, is the highest of the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. This summit is probably the most well-known mountain in the Bitterroot Mountains, if for no other reason, simply because it has the highest summit. Dominating Darby, Montana, Trapper Peak is accessed via the West Fork of Bitterroot River, and, in… Read more »

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… Read more »

West Fork Fish Creek to the Cathedral of Cedars

Looking for a cool hike on a hot summer day? The West Fork Fish Creek starts out hot as we hiked through the blackened spires from the 2015 burn. But eventually, we reach the Cathedral of Cedars where towering western red cedars shade the cool waters of Fish Creek. This is a relatively flat trail that follows along… Read more »

Fish Lake – Another hike in the Lost Horse Country

From the Bear Creek Pass Trailhead, several great hikes spread into the Lost Horse Country, and the trail to Fish Lake is exceptional. Starting out, we hiked through a mixture of forest and boulder fields until we reached a junction in the path. By this time we were solidly within the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area. Continuing… Read more »

Hiking to Little Rock Creek Lake

The best hikes, like this one to Little Rock Creek Lake, are always those spur of the moment, look at the map, and go. “Let’s go for a hike.” “Never done Little Rock Creek Lake.” “Let’s do it!” And with that, we were off to the Little Rock Creek trailhead, located above Lake Como to the… Read more »

Bear Creek Falls (low-flow version)

It has been awhile since we have been to Bear Creek Falls, so why not a quick hike to the cascade and see how it looks without any rain in a month and a half. Arriving at the falls in less than an hour, the chasm contained only a trickle of water compared to the raging… Read more »

Day Hike to Coquina Lake in the Lost Horse Country

Nestled in a tight basin, Coquina Lake is a true gem of a day hike in the Lost Horse country of the Bitterroot Mountains. I have fallen in love with the Lost Horse country, which I have not hiked until this summer (next hike will be the Spruce Lake). From the Bear Creek Pass trailhead,… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    1st Day of Winter at Glade Creek, Lolo Pass

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    The first day of winter and the sunset suggests a slightly longer day than the one before. I flew the DJI Phantom 4 over Glade Creek at Lolo Pass to capture the Seussian play of pillows of deep powder snow and low angle light. Grab the image below to view a 360-degree immersive images. [vrview… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Wallman Trail – Rattlesnake Recreation Area

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    Winter hiking offers the bundled hiker the opportunity for solitude and challenge. The solitude comes from the lack of other intrepid souls and the snow dampening any ambient sound. The depth of the snow and unsure footing creates a scenario that can be challenging, especially when breaking trail on a steep slope. So, we took… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    The Waterfalls of Blodgett Canyon

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    The last time I hiked through the deep Blodgett Canyon, it was nearly 90 degrees and the sun was brutal. This time, winter was starting to creep into this ancient glacially-carved drainage. Blodgett Canyon is home to towering granite cliffs, gigantic moraine boulders, and 2 dramatic waterfalls. The falls are relatively close to one another and they… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Sawmill Trail 24.1 – Rattlesnake National Recreation Area

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    Once again, we headed into the Rattlesnake national Recreation Area for an 8-mile loop hike on the Sawmill Trail 24.1 and down Curry Gulch. The day was absolutely brilliant with warm temperatures and bright sunshine. The trail basically gains a ridge and follows that ridge all the way to Stuart Peak, but we turned off… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Rattlesnake Recreation Area: Curry Cabin and Sawmill Gulch

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    Even though the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area is immediately adjacent to Missoula, it is an area that I have explored very seldom. Curry Cabin is a place that I have read about in the guidebooks and blog posts, but it was unvisited…until now that is. Curry Cabin lies at the head of Curry Gulch (imagine… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Big Creek during the extended Autumn

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    As the snow falls heavily outside my office window, I was looking back on hikes from the tremendous autumn that we experienced in Montana. One of the best was a quick hike along the banks of Big Creek in the Bitterroot Mountains. This trail is a real cruiser with minimal elevation gain and a great… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Jerry Johnson Hot Springs – Over Loved and Under Appreciated

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    Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is gorgeous, accessible, and, often, over-loved. From Highway 12 about 10 miles from the thriving metropolis of Powell, Idaho, you cross the Lochsa River on a pack bridge and continue along the trail for almost a mile and a half. The trail parallels Warm Springs Creek (apropos name) under a canopy… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Lake Como – Circumambulation

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    Lake Como, not the Italian one either, is nestled in the Rock Creek drainage in the Bitterroot Mountains. While actually a reservoir, Lake Como is nonetheless stunning, and the fact that there is a trail that encircles the entirety of the shoreline and a massive cascade at the west end of the lake makes this… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Weir Hot Springs

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    Weir Hot Springs is the secret that is, well, not much of a secret with the locals folks and, increasingly, travelers. Located along Highway 12 in Idaho roughly 20 miles west of Lowell (known for the terrific Lochsa Lodge), the hot springs are roughly a mile hike along Weir Creek to several pools, although the… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Bear Creek Falls

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    Late autumn hikes afford you the opportunity to capture the timeless nature of things. This is Bear Creek Falls in the Bitterroot Mountains, one of my personal favorite spots that can be reached in an afternoon. The trail follows Bear Creek on the south side as it alternatively cascades over boulders and peaceful sections that… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Flying over Blodgett Canyon in the Bitterroot Mountains

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    Blodgett Canyon cuts deep through the granite of the Bitterroot Mountains in Montana. The walls are nearly vertical, which is why the area is known to climbers. The canyon was carved out by ice age glaciers, which left behind the U-shaped valley and steeply carved granite cliffs. The glacial valley is carved into granitic rocks… Read more »

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    Kayaking on the Bitterroot River

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    It was a hot day, and to escape the heat, we took the kayaks down to the Bitterroot River for a 8 mile float. I brought along the GoPro Hero4 for a little scene capture. The sun shined above us, and below many trouts, whitefish, and other fish scattered from the shadow of the boats.

  • Hiking 2016

    Getting out before the storm: Saint Mary Peak

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    Atop Saint Mary Peak is a fire lookout that has seen the Roaring Lion Fire and hundreds of lightning strikes in the past few weeks. The hike to the top of this peak starts at a lofty 6800 feet, and well-traveled trail gains another 2500 feet to the summit. From the peak, the Bitterroot Mountains… Read more »

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    One Weekend, One Montana

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    A weekend in Montana, is there anything better? We went birding, drank a great beer, took a road ride, rode the WaveRunners, and went for a hike…another great weekend in Montana

  • Hiking 2016

    Hiking along Cache Creek

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    We haven’t spent much time in the mountains to the west of Missoula. I have heard of Cache Creek for some time, so we decided to make the trip this past Sunday. The drive to the trailhead from Lolo is great as you travel west on Highway 12, take the Fish Creek Road from around… Read more »