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 …

On – and off – the Lolo Trail

Memorial Day weekend started with a misadventure for me and a couple of friends. After seeing a photo of another friend on the Lolo Trail – a section of the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark national historic trails – we decided to try to run up to Lolo Pass and back as part of our training …

Back on the run in Hells Canyon

The Hells Canyon Adventure Run in March marked the start of my trail-running season this year and represented a return to form after a winter ankle injury. The three-day weekend over the spring equinox was also the beginning of warm-weather recreation for us and our puppy Gus’ first camping trip. With mostly sunny skies and wildflowers on the hillsides, …

A walk to Wahclella Falls in the Columbia Gorge

Visiting relatives in Portland, Oregon, always means driving through the Columbia River Gorge, which offers the perfect opportunity to go for a hike before arriving in the city. Over the years, the national scenic area east of Portland has become our go-to spot for getting out, with its numerous creeks and waterfalls. I don’t think we’ve ever …

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 …

A Hells Canyon trail run to start spring

As it did last year, my trail running season opened in late March with a trip to western Idaho for the Hells Canyon Adventure Run. The event isn’t an organized race – jet boats ferry runners up the Snake River about to drop-offs at 15 and 25 miles, and they return unsupported along the national …