Monday, September 4, 2017

My Hiking Journal - Entry 5

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - Beartrap Mountain - 5.25 mile loop

We owe this hike to the knowledgeable rangers at the Rexford Ranger Station.  Having learned our lesson on previous hikes, we wanted to make sure to have a back-up plan in case our first choice of hike did not pan out.  And what a wise decision that turned out to be:  below is a picture of the road to the trailhead for Lower Boulder Lake, our original destination. 

The shot may not do it justice - there was at least a foot of snow on the road.  Bummer - we were within 2 miles of the trailhead!

We accepted the gift of re-direction and navigated our way through the backroads to Plan B.

The trail for Beartrap Mountain starts (and ends) with sweeping views of Lake Koocanusa, a reservoir in Montana and British Columbia formed by the damming of the Kootenai River in 1972.  A joint project between the two countries, it was driven to provide flood protection and to generate hydroelectric power.  (The Kootenai River fluctuated wildly in the spring, causing flooding in Montana, Idaho and British Columbia.)  Although many people assume the lake has an Indian name, that is not the case.  It received its name in a contest: Alice Beers from Rexford, Montana, combined the first three letters from Kootenai River, the first three letters of Canada and USA.  Cool, huh?

This hike featured gentle terrain with a variety of settings from young forest to open meadows.  

"The Northwest portion of the trail meanders through an old wild-land fire, which now serves as habitat for moose, elk, coyotes, deer and black bears." trail description

No animals this day, but lots of fresh elk scat!
Glacier Lilies and Lanceleaf Spring Beauty
We were delighted to find another bird nest (see Entry 2 with our first nest) which is most certainly that of a Dark-Eyed Junco.  I can't get over the unique coloring on these eggs!

At this time of year, many of the plants were just starting to get a foothold.  This Cous biscuitroot is a good example.

We had challenges of our own with footholds - the shaded parts of the trail were still covered with snow - here is #1 Son picking his way down a slope.   It's just another reality of spring-time hiking in  Montana.  I suppose we'll 'suffer' through it!!! 
Linking to Nature Notes


  1. Such wonderful adventures - love the snow picture.

  2. Hello, it looks like a great hike, I love the views of the lake and the flowers are so pretty. It takes awhile for the snow to melt. Great series of photos! Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

  3. Oh that is a beautiful hike! Snow and all .. but I'm glad you learned about a trail with enough less of it that it was foot navigable. An interesting story about naming Lake Koocanusa ... I sure would have assumed it to be an Indian name. Love the wildflowers and envy your ability to find birds' nests! Lovely pictures.

  4. Thanks for taking us along on this beautiful hike! The views are great!
    How interesting to learn how the river was named!

  5. Hiking, that's my cup of tea.
    Running, is my coffee.
    Your have a great hike which I did not experience before in Malaysia.

  6. Fun and interesting! Very nice photos!

  7. Another great hike in our beautiful state! I hear we have rain coming next week. Whew hoooo! Have a great weekend! Kit

  8. Looks like a great hike once to got to it. I was thinking of how much I think my hubby would love it and be able to do unlike me..Thank you for linking in...Michelle

  9. You are so fortunate to have so many gorgeous places to hike. Always amazing to me when there's still snow in certain areas even during the summer. Are you not at all affected by the fires that I keep hearing are all across Montana? So crazy to have fires burning in so many places and then devastating floods elsewhere. You should definitely join the prayer shawl group. I wish it was easier here to make and donate things. Actually, I wish I lived somewhere I could do more and had access to a postal system that actually worked efficiently and effectively. :/ Have a great day!


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