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

 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.