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

    Blue Mountain National Recreation Area – Trails 3.06 & 3.03

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    Living near Missoula, Montana, we are fortunate have the Blue Mountain National Recreation Area just outside of the city limits. This 4,900-acre recreation area includes 41 miles of system trails, and on this day I hiked along trails 3.03 & 3.06 for a quick 3 miles. In the video, I rant against the militia currently occupying… Read more »

  • Birding, Hiking 2016

    Birding along the Kenai Trail – Lee Metcalf NWR

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    A place that I have visited many, many times, the Lee Metcalf National Refuge has always had a special draw on me. The series of ponds host a variety of waterfowl and other water throughout the year, and has one of the few extensive wetland areas in the Bitterroot Valley, it serves as an important… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Hiking to Bass Creek Falls in the Bitterroots

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    Happy New Year! And what better way to kickoff 2016, then with a winter hike into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and, specifically, Bass Creek Falls. The hike is relatively easy at a length of 3.25 miles to the Falls and an elevation gain of slightly more than 1000 feet. The views along the trail are outstanding… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

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    Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are located a tad over a mile from the Lochsa River in Idaho. The hike starts with a crossing of the Lochsa River, followed by a gentle hike along Warm Springs Creek. On this day, I had the entire place to myself from parking lot to the pools themselves. The sign… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Hiking to the Two Sisters

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    The Two Sisters are a pair of stone pillars that stand above the Bitterroot River near Lolo, Montana. It had planned almost 2 years since I had last hiked to them. You have a cross the Bitterroot River, which is low at this point in the year.

  • Hikes 2015

    Hike to Lolo Peak (via the Sawback)

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    Lolo Peak, or at least what appears to be Lolo Peak, towers over Missoula. But the actual summit is hidden behind a lower false summit. So the mystery of Lolo Peak grows. This hike to the summit was made more difficult by my awesome navigation skills, call me Magellan. I led us up the wrong… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Hike to Trapper Peak Summit

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    Trapper Peak dominates the skyline of the south portion of the Bitterroot Vally with its three jagged peaks. The tallest of these stands 10,157 feet above sea level, and ranks as the highest peak in the Bitterroot Range. This particular route is largely off-trail as it follows a ridge above Baker Lake to the summit.

  • Hikes 2015, Thoughts

    Hiking Lee Ridge near Lolo Pass

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    Hiking the little used Lee Ridge Trail 295 starting at Lolo Pass at Packer’s Meadows is faint and steep, and the views and huckleberries are sweet.

  • Hikes 2015

    Hiking to Carlton Ridge

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    The hike to Carlton Ridge usually leads to the summit of Lolo Peak, but alas, I didn’t have enough time for that today. So, I headed out with Olivia in tow and made Carlton Ridge with it’s rich views and subalpine larch. The hike is relatively steady with a moderate incline throughout the uphill. Once… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Skookum Butte Lookout

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    Skookum Butte sits on the Montana/Idaho border at 7215 feet. An ancient lookout sits atop of the knob of pillow granite. The Skookum Butte Lookout is one of only three remaining L-5 log/frame ground houses remaining. The wood has aged to barnwood gray, and the entire structure seems to be in danger of collapse at some… Read more »

  • Mountian Biking

    North Fork of Howard Creek, Montana

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    The trail along the North Fork of Howard Creek difficult with deep ruts and patches of loose gravel.  The downhill was bumpy and jerky…and fast!

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Summiting Saint Mary Peak

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    Saint Mary Peak is one of the 9,000 feet plus peaks in the Bitterroot Range. The is a well-worn trail to the summit gains nearly 2500 feet in 3.6 miles. Jeff and I attacked this trail for our Tuesday afternoon hike, and after much effort, we reached the summit where we were treated to views… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Ch-paa-qn Peak and the Full Moon

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    Tackled Ch-paa-qn Peak (pronounced “cha-pock-qwin”) near Missoula in the late afternoon, and man, what a hike! Formerly known as Squaw Peak, the summit takes a bit of effort but man is it worth it! The views of Mission and Bitterroot Ranges are outstanding, and you can even look down on the National Bison Range near Moiese…. Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Mill Creek Falls, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

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    Ah…Tuesday morning and time for hike with good buddy Jeff. Today’s target trail is the Mill Creek to a 60 foot waterfall with an excellent swimming hole at its base (no swimming today, weenie mode). This trail is an absolute gem with a continuous rock wall on the north side of the drainage, and open… Read more »

  • Travel

    Elk Meadows Sunday Drive

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    Vida and I took a spin to Elk Meadows, Packer Meadows, and, finally, Lolo Pass…a great Sunday drive. The Wildflowers