Lake loop through the Rattlesnake Wilderness

After my final long run before a 55K race turned into a trying day, I decided to break my taper with a 29-mile loop through the Rattlesnake Wilderness with a friend. Clear skies and lakes – and a trail mostly free of downed trees – were just what I needed. Like the routes to Stuart and Mineral peaks, the …

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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 …

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, …

Year on the run, from races to RATBOB to R2R2R

Last year was a fairly big running year for me – not in terms of total distance or race times, but simply in overall experience. As in 2014, I raced at 11 Miles to Paradise between St. Regis and Quinn’s Hot Springs, finishing with a small PR, and at the 52-mile Bighorn Mountain Wild and …

Dark start, dark finish on the Rim to Rim to Rim run

As we ran over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in the dark early last November, I knew better than the rest of the group the risk presented by patches of packed snow and ice left from a storm earlier in the week. The others arrived at the canyon by van the night before after flying from Missoula to Las …

Red rocks and hot hiking in Arizona

The first of two fall trips to Arizona allowed us to get out in the Sedona and Scottsdale areas – both of which offer easy access to trails. It’s been several years since we’ve met relatives in the Phoenix area, and in the past we’ve taken the opportunity to drive north to Sedona’s red rock …

A 50-mile run across the wilds of The Bob

On the last weekend in July, I joined a group of Missoula friends for the Run Across The Bob, or RATBOB. The annual run – this was the third year – is loosely organized, covers 50-some miles and crosses the Bob Marshall Wilderness from east to west. The 1 million-acre wilderness area was designated with the passage of the …

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 …