Hike to Glen Lake (with extension to No Name Lake)

Through a forest of gray spires, the hike to Glen Lake offered us the immense vistas of the Bitterroot Mountains. I have also enjoyed the Glen Lake hike as it is relatively easy and a cruise. The biggest plus is the short additional hike to No Name Lake, a small, shallow pond that sits in… Read more »

Evening hike along Bass Creek

O! Bass Creek, how I love thee? Is that flowery¬†enough? But seriously, I love hiking the Bass Creek drainage with its proximity to my home and the vistas that abound on this trail. On this evening, I was joined by my two favorite hiking partners, Vida and Jeff. They are my favorites because they graciously… Read more »

Hopping along Big Creek, Bitterroot Mountains

Feeling a little tired and sick, but needing some¬†outside time, Jeff and me decided to hike to pleasantly inclined Big Creek trail. Following the, well, big creek, the sweeps under and through western red cedar, western larch, and ponderosa pine as the stream creates a din of white noise that is occasionally broken by the… Read more »

Scooting up Skookum Butte

It has been 2 years since I have made the short hike to the historic lookout atop Skookum Butte. This time, Vida joined me, well, she rather tolerated me as my hiking speed was limited to a crawl due to a cause of bronchitis and asthma (together in some kind of oxygen-deprived stew of disease)…. Read more »

Camas Lake in the Bitterroots

Hiking into Camas Lake is one of the most enjoyable hikes in the Bitterroot Mountains. The nearly 3 miles to the first lake features some great stream crossings under a dense canopy. The trail switchbacks up a slope that has massive slabs of granite. Reaching the lake, we immediately noticed numerous trout jumping at a… Read more »

Cruising through the Ninemile Valley

Vida and I decided to take a quick cruise through the Ninemile Valley (located west of Missoula) to hike the Grand Menard Discovery Trail (actually more of a stroll) and fly the DJI Phantom 4 over a few of the picturesque meadows of the valley. The meadows were covered with common camas, meadow buttercup, and… Read more »

Chaffin Butte – Is It a Summit???

Chaffin Butte or the “C” Hill stands above Corvallis and is accessed via an easement through private property. The flanks of the hill are covered with big sagebrush and scattered stunted ponderosa pine. The soils are rocky and dry, and the plant life can be likened to those communities found in the Big Hole Valley… Read more »

Awesome Spring Hike – Bear Creek Falls

Taking full advantage of the terrific spring weather on Saturday, we hiked to and beyond Bear Creek Falls on the Bitterroots. Only a short and relatively easy 1.5 miles from the trailhead, Bear Creek Falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. I have made the trip to this… Read more »

Spring Arrives in the Rockies

This past weekend was definitely the start of the Montana spring with sun, rain, and snow…you know, spring in the Bitterroot. The Lee Metcalf NWR was alive with Great Horned Owls hooting and Red-winged Blackbirds carrying on.

First Wildflower of 2017 – Sagebrush Buttercup

Woke up this morning with a vision of a buttercup in the snow. I rushed out to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, and intensely survey the areas under ponderosa pine. And what did I find? That’s right a Sagebrush Buttercup, and as one of our earliest bloomers, it is generally my first wildflower of the… 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  

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Kootenai Creek on a cool morning

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    Kootenai Creek is probably the most used trail in the northern portion of the Bitterroot Range, but if you wake up 0 dark thirty, you can beat the crowd (okay, crowd is an over-statement, 12 people). This morning I had the place to myself, save for Olivia at my heels. Ground is covered quickly on… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Blue Mountain Lookout above Missoula

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    Clouds rolled overhead while they release precious few drops of rain. Strengthening light reveal Ruffed Grouse and Snowshoe Hares foraging on the slopes of Blue Mountain, which stands over Missoula. This is my first time hiking the final portion of the Blue Mountain National Recreation Trail (or Trail 3.01 for the locals). The trail switchbacks… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Sweathouse Creek

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    Sweathouse Creek is one of the less visited and most picturesque drainages along the east side of the Bitterroot Range. The trail becomes strewn with boulders and downed timber on the upper reaches of the route. These difficulties pale in comparison to the views of both of the Sweathouse Creek waterfalls. The Lower Sweathouse Falls… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Lolo Trail at Howard Creek

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    I had past by this trailhead a hundred times, and for no good reason. This morning I was feeling historical, and hiking this trail as it sidehills above Lolo Creek brings to mind the Corps of Discovery, the Nez Perce, and LouLou Rence. Now, they probably didn’t use this trail, but it is fulfilling to… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Glen Lake Hike or the 5.4 Mile Hurdles

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    The trail that leads to Glen Lake weaves mostly through the remains of the Gash Creek Fire, which fiercely burned through the lodgepole pines. The fire left almost every tree standing as a ghostly spire, and many of those have started to fall. The fallen timber is turning the trail into a 5.4 mile series… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Hiking along Saint Mary Peak

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    On Saturday morning, I went for a quick hike on the Saint Mary Peak Lookout trail. I left the house relatively earlier in the AM, and had the trail to myself the whole morning. I truly enjoy the solitude, save for the company of Hermit Thrushes.

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking, Mushrooming

    Morel Picking along Big Spruce Creek

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    Out of wildfire comes a delicacy, the famed morel. Notice, I called it a morel, not a morel mushroom. Morels are fungi, but not a mushroom, technically. Anywho, the short hike up Big Spruce Creek goes through a burn that left the charred earth ideal for the growth of morels. We joined the Lulack clan… Read more »

  • Birding, Butterflies, Herping

    Birding Loop with Tom

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    This past Monday, Tom Forwood and I took a birding loop that took us up Lolo Creek to the Fish Creek Road, and then, up the Clark Fork River. Even though it was a birding trip, I managed no bird keeper photographs, but I did have several first-of-year species. Among these were Hammond’s and Dusky… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Blue Mountain Trail 6.01 to Hayes Point

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    Another short mid-day hike on Blue Mountain that was quite enjoyable with a few singing Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers. This time I hiked along Trail 6.01, which is multi-use route and shows the effects of ORV traffic. Fortunately, not one noisy, smelly hunk of metal screamed past me, and the scene was largely silent except… Read more »

  • Featured

    Sunday Funday at Lochsa Lodge and Devoto Grove

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    It’s Sunday Funday! Today’s target location is the Lochsa Lodge for lunch and a peaceful stroll underneath the giant western red cedars of Devoto Grove.

  • Mountian Biking

    Crazy Canyon to Mount Sentinel

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    Sometimes I can over-estimate my energy/abilities, so riding from the Crazy Canyon parking lot to the top of Mount Sentinel seemed like a great idea. The trail on the way up is a steady incline, until the last 1/2 mile to the top where it gets ridiculously steep and with loose rock. Once on top,… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Through the post-fire forest of Blue Mountain

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    The Blue Mountain fire raged along the steep slopes a few years ago, and that apparent destruction has turned into a flourish of life. Mountain and Western Bluebirds patrol the naked spires of Douglas-fir and Ponderosa pine as Orange-crowned Warblers and Dark-eyed Juncos haunt the lower reaches. A warm May hike through this area is… Read more »