Saturday, October 17, 2015

Up The 'Root

By Tuesday we had had enough of Missoula's city lights and our storage unit and so resolved to head up the 'Root for some hiking in the great canyons of the Bitterroot National Forest/Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. (The Bitterroot River flows north, so you actually drive south from Missoula, up the Bitterroot Valley). By turns we did Kootenai, Bear, and Blodgett creeks/canyons (camping at Kootenai and Blodgett), all of them off the beaten track, all of them running roughly east/west beneath high ridges and walls of metamorphic rock. Printz Ridge towers some 4,000 feet above the trail at Blodgett. All the trails follow a creek, and many lead to high Alpine tarns or lakes. Also Idaho. The weather was just what you'd hope for in mid-October Montana: clear, cool and crisp, and the fall colors were great.
A climber (top, middle) in Kootenai Canyon



















Kootenai Creek




















In Bear Canyon...




















A little waterfall...most of these trails are on the south sides
of the creeks, and canyons, and thus receive very little sun
light this time of year


















Sunny north ridge in Bear Canyon
















Ditto; note spire on the left of the ridge
















And larches at their most golden; in Bear Canyon we had the
good fortune to see Jean Steele, one of the best board members
and board chairs I had at Humanities Montana... 


















Autumn color on Blodgett Creek
















At the tiny campground at the beginning of Blodgett Canyon,
the Bitterroot's most spectacular

















The pictures say it best














































































































Lunch break
















Big arch on Romney Ridge
















Looking further up the canyon from the pack bridge
















Among the larger of Printz Ridge's scores, no, hundreds, of
pinnacles


















Pretty incredible place
















PS...so I was walking up the canyon again Saturday, and, on his
second pass, got a shot of a sports plane buzzing the canyon

















Pretty neat place

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Gorgeous leaves! Especially in that shot of Blodgett Creek. Looks like a lovely side trip.