Rick Bass, the Pacific Northwest Trail, and His Yaak Delusion

In his recent opinion piece in the Missoula Independent, Rick Bass intentionally makes a series of errors, widespread smears, and outright untruths about the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) as it winds (yes, winds Rick, more on that later). Bass’s oppositional rhetoric to the PNT even disinters the ghost of famed grizzly bear researcher Chuck Jonkel… Read more »

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 »

  • 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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    [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” maptype=”TERRAIN” z=”15″ gpx=”http://radleyice.com/wp-content/uploads/Lolo Trail at Howard Creek.gpx”] 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… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Glen Lake Hike or the 5.4 Mile Hurdles

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    [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” maptype=”TERRAIN” z=”14″ gpx=”http://radleyice.com/wp-content/uploads/Glen Lake.gpx”] 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… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Hiking along Saint Mary Peak

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    [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” maptype=”TERRAIN” z=”15″ gpx=”http://radleyice.com/wp-content/uploads/Saint Mary Peak ridge.gpx”] 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… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Morning Hike along Bear Creek

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    [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” maptype=”TERRAIN” z=”15″ gpx=”http://radleyice.com/wp-content/uploads/Bear Creek to the cascade.gpx”]

  • 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. [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015, Hiking

    Sweeney Ridge until the Deep Snow

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    [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” maptype=”TERRAIN” z=”14″ gpx=”http://radleyice.com/wp-content/uploads/Sweeney Ridge until the deep snow.gpx”]

  • 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 »