Montana Trip Reports

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, August 2020

In August, 2020 Christy and I took a road trip to the Northern Rockies. We spent the first 3 weeks in Wyoming's Wind River Range and most of the final week in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. First up was a short backpacking trip up the Lake Fork of Rock Creek, with a tough hike up to Black Canyon Lake. (photos). We finished the trip with another short backpacking trip to Shelf Lake and Moon Lake. The highlight of that trip was a hike up to the Hellroaring Plateau to climb Mount Rearguard. (photos).

Mokonwanis Lake

Glacier National Park, August 2013

Glacier National Park Photos

In August, 2013 I returned to Montana for a solo backpacking trip in Glacier National Park. I took a train from Portage, Wisconsin all the way to West Glacier, just outside the park. I spent a day getting organized, before starting my 12-day backpacking trip. On day 1, I hiked from the Belly River Trailhead at Chief Mountain Customs over Lee Ridge and down to Gable Creek (photos). From there, I hiked up the Belly River to Elizabeth Lake and on to camp at Helen Lake. I then backtracked a bit before hiking up the Mokowanis River to Cosley Lake and on to camp at the foot of Glenns Lake. (photos). The next day featured a short hike to Mokonwanis Lake, followed by a dayhike up to Margaret Lake (photos). From there I backpacked over Stoney Indian Pass and hiked on to Kootenai Lakes, Goat Haunt, and Lake Francis. (photos). From there, a short day took me to Brown Pass and Hole in the Wall. (photos). The next day, another short hike took me up to Boulder Pass. That afternoon I hiked to the summit of Boulder Peak. (photos). The next day I started backtracking, hiking back to Lake Francis, and then on to Goat Haunt and Stoney Indian Lake. (photos). The following day I backpacked up to Fifty Mountain. (photos). I finished the backpacking trip by hiking to Granite Park and on to Going to the Sun Road. (photos). That night I car camped at St. Mary. The next day I dayhiked with Dave to Grinnell Glacier. (photos). The following day we dayhike from Going to the Sun Road over Piegan Pass and down to the Many Glacier Hotel. (photos). I finished the trip with a dayhike to Hidden Lake and a fun weekend with my friend Brian in Missoula. (photos).

Mokonwanis Lake

Selway Bitterroot Wilderness

Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Photos

In early September, 2008, a work assignment allowed me to spend a week in Missoula. I flew out a couple of days early so I could do some hiking. I did two hikes in and near the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness southwest of Missoula. On the first day, I did a short hike along Bear Creek. I'm camped at the trailhead that night. The next day, I attemped to climb Lolo Peak. Unfortunately, when I left the trailhead, I wasn't prepared to climb a mountain in 6" of fresh snow!

Lolo Peak from Carlton Lake

Glacier National Park
August 2007

Glacier National Park Photos

Christy and I finally made it to Montana in August of 2007, spending 10 days in Glacier National Park. We flew into Seattle, and spent the weekend there visiting with friends. We then made the long drive across Washington to Glacier. We began our trip with three days car camping in the Many Glacier section of the park. On our first full day, we hiked to Grinnell Glacier. The following day, we did a long hike on the Highline Trail from Logan Pass to Granite Park, and over Swiftcurrent Pass to Many Glacier. On our last day in Many Glacier, Christy relaxed at Fishercap Lake while I hiked to Iceberg Lake.

Fireweed in bloom

The next day we abandoned the comforts of car camping in favor of a backpacking trip. We backpacked from Logan Pass to Sperry, by way of Hidden Lake, Floral Park, and Comeau Pass. Although it was only a two-day trip, Christy and I agreed it was the most scenic, challenging, and adventurous hike of our lives.

Sperry Glacier

We spent the rest of our time in the park car camping at Rising Sun. We spent most of our first day there running errands, but I did manage to squeeze in a short hike to Baring Falls, St. Mary Falls, and Virginia Falls. The next day, we tackled the longest hike of the trip. We traveled to the Two Medicine area, and did a loop hike combining Dawson and Pitamakan Passes. We took a break from hiking the following day, spending it touring Waterton Lakes National Park, in Alberta, Canada. We did one more great hike the following day over Siyeh Pass. On our last day, I did the short hike to Avalanche Lake. Afterwards, we drove right past a raging forest fire on our way to Missoula.


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