Long run from canyon to canyon in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

What was supposed to be a final long run – up one canyon and down another in the Bitterroot Mountains – before a 55K race turned into a day of navigating cold stream crossings, flattened forest and snow-covered trail last month. While trying at times, the 27 miles between Fred Burr Creek and Mill Creek northwest of Hamilton offered …

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Steep switchbacks to Ward Mountain

Looking for a hike with some elevation and rocky terrain to prepare for an upcoming ultramarathon, I found myself atop 9,108-foot Ward Mountain last month, the ridges of the Bitterroot Range lining up into the distance to the north and south. About 4 hours earlier, Jen, the dogs and I started up the trail where Roaring …

Cooling off in snow-ringed Glen Lake

In early June – on the first 90-degree day of the year – we decided to take the dogs on a short hike to cool off at Glen Lake, in the Bitterroot Mountains west of Victor. The last time I hiked there was before a wildfire burned the area in 2006, and I remember it being fairly …

‘Gem’ of a peak in the Sapphire Range

Searching for a new place to hike with our dogs on Memorial Day, we were led up Palisade Mountain east of Corvallis by an online guide. “A surprising gem in the Sapphires,” the description on the Montana Wilderness Association’s Hike Wild Montana website states. Indeed. I’ve always thought of the forested summits of the Sapphire Mountains …

Snowshoeing up Bear Creek with new puppy Gus

Meet Gus, our newest addition! This Beagle-American Staffordshire cross joined our family as an 11-pound 3 1/2-month-old in late November. One month older and a few pounds heavier, Gus went on his first real adventure showshoeing up Bear Creek in the Bitterroot Mountains on Christmas Day. The outing was a fitting tribute to our old dog Belle, a 12-year-old black Lab-hound …

Spring sights on the way to Camas Lakes

A short May hike to Camas Lakes, southwest of Hamilton in the Bitterroot Mountains, highlighted the changing of the seasons: spring runoff and wildflowers, and the last of winter’s snow. For the first mile, the trail climbed steadily to the north, crossing Hayes Creek at about a quarter mile then turning northwest at 1 mile and entering …

Spires and ice in Blodgett Canyon

With its towering rocky spires, Blodgett Canyon is a geological highlight of the Bitterroot Mountains for summer visitors. In winter, however, it becomes a frozen wonderland. And while it’s quite popular in warmer months, it seems hardly anyone goes there in the snow. On New Year’s Day, for example, we saw four other people, and …