Skiing to Hogan Cabin

Skiing to Hogan Cabin
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Montana
December 24-26, 2015

Hogan Cabin.jpg

In typical backpacker fashion, I did my solemn duty of taking off the Thursday before a federal holiday falling on a Friday to schedule a two-night trip followed by a day of rest. A stroke of good fortune allowed me to book Christmas Eve and Christmas night at a small, rustic Forest Service rental cabin in the mountains of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest . . . read more at TrailGroove Magazine:

http://www.trailgroove.com/blogs/entry/63-skiing-to-hogan-cabin-beaverhead-deerlodge-national-forest/

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Roaring Lion Creek

Roaring Lion Creek
Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
Bitterroot National Forest, Montana
October 24-25, 2016

Junction

Autumn is a great time for both backpacking and bicycling, so rather than choose one or the other I decide to combine them on a quick overnight trip to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Cool temperatures on Saturday meant that I could enjoy a leisurely morning while waiting for the day to warm up and the short distance to the trailhead (about 10 miles) meant that a postponed departure wouldn’t have significant consequences. Even thought the daylight was dwindling, sunset wouldn’t occur until around 6:30 p.m. My only plans upon reaching the trailhead were to hike as far up Roaring Lion Creek as my energy and/or trail conditions allowed and set up camp. Continue reading

Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Montana
October 7-11, 2015

Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Hiking from one beautiful place to another on pleasant and well-maintained trails is a great way to spend five days. Doing so with a good friend and cooperative weather makes a great experience even better. Throw in a few synchronous strokes of good fortune and you end up with an incredibly rewarding and memorable adventure.  Continue reading

Upper Camas Lake

Upper Camas Lake
Bitterroot National Forest
Montana
September 18-19, 2015

Campsite

A few days before the autumn equinox I took an overnight trip to Upper Camas Lake to give myself some time to admire the scenery and bask in the transition from summer to fall. Upper Camas Lake seemed to be an ideal destination given the relatively brief window of time I had for the trip. I’d passed the lake the previous weekend while on a dayhike with some friends; we summited Ward Mountain from the southeast side (the official trail approaches from the north side) and then worked our way down to the lakes and hiked out from there. The uppermost lake was an exceedingly appealing place for a camp and with the larches just beginning to turn I knew planning a trip sooner rather than later would be advisable if I wanted a decent chance at experiencing one of the highlights of fall in the Northern Rockies.

Continue reading

Upper Miner Lake, Rock Island Lakes and Little Lake

Upper Miner Lake, Rock Island Lakes and Little Lake
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Montana
September 3-6, 2015

Little Lake

Labor Day Weekend usually means crowded trailheads and fairweather backpackers fitting in their last trips of the year, but that’s no reason not to plan a trip and take advantage of the extra day off work. Just something to plan around. I’d chosen a somewhat remote area of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest for a three-night trip in an attempt to lose some of the crowds, but I think the forecast did most of the work in ensuring me a good shot at solitude. Depending on the elevation, the forecast for Thursday to Sunday called for rain, snow, thunderstorms (or a mix of all three) and highs between 45 and 60 degrees. Lows would be dipping below freezing at the higher elevations. Not an ideal forecast by any means, but not miserable enough to completely cancel the trip. As the Scandinavian saying goes, “No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Continue reading

Torrey Lake, Pioneer Mountains

Pioneer Mountains
Mono Creek Campground, Backpacking to Torrey Lake
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
July 17-20, 2015

Wildflowers

Experiencing a new landscape with an old friend always makes for a memorable backpacking trip. For this particular trip, the new landscape was the East Pioneer Mountains of Montana and the old friend was Justin, who I’ve known since we bussed tables in Louisville, Kentucky together over a decade ago. This would be Justin’s first trip to Montana and my first trip to the Pioneers. It would also be our first time backpacking together since a trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park taken shortly before I moved to Montana. I spent a fair amount of time planning this trip and I’d like to think the trip returned results equal to, if not greater than, the effort put into its planning. Continue reading

Dawson Pass-Pitamakin Pass Loop

Dawson Pass-Pitamakin Pass Loop
Glacier National Park
Montana
July 9-11, 2015

Junction

In my opinion if you can start a backpacking trip with a boat ride, you probably should. There is a certain satisfaction in stepping off a boat and onto a trail that just doesn’t compare to closing a car door at the trailhead. When my permit for a two-night trek in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park was approved it didn’t take much effort to convince myself to shave a few miles of shoreline walking from my route by taking the tourist boat across Two Medicine Lake. The fact that I wouldn’t be able to start my hike until late afternoon made this time and energy saving arrangement even more ideal. Continue reading