Backcountry hot springs, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

Hike to Backcountry Hot Springs
Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
Clearwater National Forest
Idaho
November 26-28, 2015

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Soaking in a hot spring and stargazing on a winter night certainly meets the definition of sublime. When the hot spring is reached after a delightful five-mile hike and you have it all to yourself, the charm of the experience increases exponentially. When there’s just enough snow on the ground to provide a lovely contrast to the lush evergreen forest without causing the slightest inconvenience to camping or hiking, then the setting and experience approaches perfection. It should go without saying that finding myself in such a blissful place on Thanksgiving that I was indeed grateful, peaceful, and content in the utmost. Continue reading

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Welcome Creek Wilderness

Welcome Creek Trail
Welcome Creek Wilderness
Lolo National Forest, Montana
March 27-29, 2015

Wilderness

When a guidebook describes an area as “a little-used mountain gem” and the Forest Service website states that “overnight backpackers are few and far between” it piques my interest. Add in a captivating cultural history of Native American habitation, gold mining and outlaws, and the appeal grows. Combine that with easy access via a low elevation road and it becomes irresistible to an eager backpacker who is only a 90-minute drive away. A dayhike with a friend in the Welcome Creek Wilderness the previous weekend whetted my appetite for the area and its rushing creeks and rugged canyons, so I planned a two-night backpacking trip to the area in an attempt to satiate it.  Continue reading