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

    Circumambulation of Clearwater Lake

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    Buddy Jeff and I completed the short hike around Clearwater Lake at the foot of the Swan Range. While not challenging in the slightest, but enjoyable to the max. The total hike is around 3 miles and circles the lake. We heard and saw Common Loon, and many species of dragonfly were about the margin… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Canyon Creek & Lake in the Bitterroot Mountains

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    Difficult, but this hike offers great views of Canyon Falls before reaching Canyon Lake. We arrived late (just before noon), and the parking lot  was already filled. This lot serves both the Canyon Creek Trail and the Blodgett Canyon Overlook trailheads.   The trail starts off easy for the first 3 miles, although it is a rather rocky and… Read more »

  • Flowers

    Camas in Bloom at Packer Meadows

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    Every year during the first week in June, the camas blooms in the meadows of the Rocky Mountains. The dark blue flowers create a carpet that is best viewed from the air. How do we get in the air? Easy with the DJI Phantom.

  • Hiking 2016

    Glen Lake and No Name Lake – Journey through a ghost forest.

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    The trail was littered with downfall (thanks to last winter’s winds and the trail crews have not yet made it here), but the views – man, the views – were beyond worth a little more effort and a few scraps. Hiking partner Jeff set a brisk pace (okay, the bastard nearly killed me), but we crossed into the Selway-Bitterroot… Read more »

  • Hiking, Hiking 2016

    Camas Lake in the Bitterroots

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    One of the greatest aspects of hiking is the opportunity to explore new areas, even places near your home. Camas Lake is just one of those places…close to home and never explore. That was true until today when Vida and I made the hike to the lake and we were awarded with spectacular views and… Read more »

  • Hiking, Hiking 2016

    Blackfoot River Valley – Simply Amazing

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    Spent an awesome morning hiking and exploring on a private ranch in the Blackfoot River Valley. The landscape was an enticing mixture of rolling hills, ponderosa pine stands, and meadows. Cow elk were everywhere with calves dropping (we did see two little spotted guys). The most unique sight of the day was a western painted… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Morrell Falls – Crowded Beauty

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    Morrell Falls is a quite popular destination for hikers and families looking for an afternoon stroll to one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Montana. Swan Mountains dominate the skyline as you weave through a rather monotonous lodgepole forest for the first mile and half. These eventually gives way to a spruce-fir forest with Morrell Creek… Read more »

  • Flowers, Hiking 2016

    Chaffin Butte

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    Sometimes the most magical places are in the back yard and in plain sight. Chaffin Butte (the “C” hill above Corvallis) is just such a place. This short, steep trail leads through sagebrush to the top of Chaffin Butte with panoramic views of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains. The trail quickly drops down from the… Read more »

  • Birding

    Morning spent in the blind

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    Managed to get out to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge for a little birding and photography. Spending most of my time in one of two photo blinds where a number of waterfowl swam by at close range. Walking around the Wildlife Viewing Area, loads of California Quail scurried about and a broken top snag was… Read more »

  • Flowers, Hiking

    Calypso Rain

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    I’ve always love to walk to the rain. Everything becomes slow, and yet vibrant at the same time. Everything becomes a contradiction. There’s silence, yet sound surrounds. There are no people, but I’m not lonely.

  • Birding

    Birding – Easy Like Sunday Morning

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    Birding on a warm, lazy Sunday morning in April is like visiting with old friends. These friends are returning from journeys, both short and epic. The landscape of the Montana is being filled with color and sounds as the migrants return. The return coincides with a explosion of life that tracks with increases daylight and… Read more »

  • Mountian Biking

    Buttercup Loop on Blue Mountain

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    Made this great loop around the lower reaches of Blue Mountain for a great mountain bike ride that featured 2 climbs and a good portion of single track. A big plus was that hardly anyone else was out on the trails…I might be a bit greedy on that one.

  • Hiking 2016

    Mount Jumbo from Lincoln Hills

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    Vida and I shared on the best early season hikes around Missoula, the short, steep ascent to the top of Mount Jumbo. The temperature soared into the upper 60s as we departed from the Lincoln Hills trailhead, which sits below the Saddle. At the saddle, the wildflowers were just starting to pop with Sagebrush buttercup… Read more »

  • Mountian Biking

    Hidden Treasure/MoZ Downhill

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    Starting at the Crazy Canyon, I made it to the top of trail 301.2, and started a bomb downhill that ended in Missoula. The ride along the MoZ, which was constructed for mountain biking, is stunning with views of the entire valley and wide switchbacks for a little fun.

  • Running

    1st Hill Run of 2016 – Vista Point

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    1000 vertical feet, 2 bursting lungs, and 1 amazing view from Vista Point. I was more than a little nervous about running uphill, so far I have doing only relatively flat runs. So let’s do a REAL run, and go up to Vista Point in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area near Missoula. It was an… Read more »