Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My Hiking Journal: Entry 11

Glacier Lilies
Sunday, July 2, 2017 - Jewel Basin - 10 mile loop with 1800 feet net elevation gain

"We did it!  Back on June 5, 2017 (entry 10), we were thwarted in our attempt to start a hike from the Camp Misery trailhead … but today, success!"

So begins my journal entry for this hike, almost a full year ago.  But you should read on for the 'rest of the story'.

"It was not without its trials … there was still a lot of snow on the trails.  This meant it was physically more demanding than normal hiking.  Also, at the intersection of trail 55 and trail 7, there was so much snow and a lack of trail signs that it was impossible to figure out the location of the trail.  The topographical map was a huge help, and we also crossed our fingers that some of the footprints in the snow were directionally correct."

As I noted in the margin of my journal, I was very pleased that we were calm and worked through it!

Ok, now that I have that out of my system, let's approach this a little more calmly.  Spring flowers were abundant (yes, at this elevation, July 2 is still 'spring').
Upper left: Red Paintbrush; Middle left: Elliptic-leaved Penstemon
Lower left: Mountain Buttercup
Upper right: Glacier Lilies and Western Pasqueflowers
Lower right: Man with Hat on rock

Along the way, we met a family planning to camp at Black Lake. At a few obscure points on the trail, we helped each other find the way.
Black Lake
At Black Lake, 3 guys and their 2 dogs were breaking camp.  They reported hooking cutthroat trout in the lake for their supper the previous night.
Creek leaving the foot of Black Lake

We cruised on and made our picnic break at Jewel Lakes.  We heard the three guys pass us by and thought nothing more of it.

From left to right: Yellow Columbine, Green False Hellebore, Yellow Columbine, Shooting Star

However, as we ascended past Blackfoot Lake, we heard gunshots, and it was impossible to determine the source.  We started shouting and continued the racket for quite a while.  Some distance on, we came across the same 3 fellows, and learned that they had been doing some 'target shooting' at dead trees.  Swell.
Beargrass surrounds Man with Hat

Climbing, climbing.

Blackfoot Lake; saw two bald eagles flying around lake

Yes, this is the trail!
Met a group of 5 heading the other way, planning to camp at Blackfoot.  About this time it was getting quite warm and I could not imagine that this much snow was still around.  I used snowballs to help cool down … at one point, we MIGHT have had a good old-fashioned snowball fight!

Enter the hour of trail confusion.  I won't belabor the point I made at the beginning of this post, other than to say snow can be a blessing (you can see every footprint) and a curse (you can see every footprint).  Once we worked through it, we were rewarded with the view of Twin Lakes.  Worthy of a break.
Top: Western Pasqueflower
Center left: Paintbrush and Western Virgin's Bower
Center right: Larkspur

Upon returning to the trailhead, as I was taking off my boots and sweaty socks (too much information?), I felt victorious, confident, reassured, relieved and pleasantly tired.  Accompanied by a healthy respect for snowpack in July at 6,000 feet. 

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Nature Notes


  1. Great landscapes, the snow is still showing.

  2. ...with scenery like this, it would take me forever to get from point A to point B!

  3. Snow in July! Amazing. But it looks like a good hike. I love the picture of the twin lakes, and all the flowers. You live in a different world, that's for sure.

  4. OH my, well done! And your photographs are breathtaking. It has to have been a wonderful fulfilling experience. Wising you well!

  5. What a beautiful hike. I need to get out again soon!

  6. Wow, amazing scenery to look at along the hike. Breathtaking.

  7. Whooo hoooo! I'm thrilled for you reaching your amazing destination, Angie. Also envious that you're seeing mountainous beauty. 10 miles is an amazing feat (poor feet) in my book. :-)

  8. What an amazing hike! I've never done that much elevation change on one hike, and never done much hiking in snow. Absolutely gorgeous scenery and photos!!

  9. The white patches of snow are beautiful along with the spring flowers popping out in various colors. Such a perfect time for a hike!

  10. amazing with the snow and all spring flowers at the same time. A great hike!

  11. Lovely hiking area and great scenery!

  12. Beautiful landscapes everywhere and so many wildflowers

  13. It's stunning scenery up there. I'm afraid I could not do such a hike so it's wonderful to see your beautiful photos :-)

  14. Hello, great hike and lovely views. I love the mountains and lakes. The wildflowers are gorgeous. Is target practice allowed there, is this the national park? Lovely series of photos. Enjoy your weekend!

  15. I can see why you do a ten mile hike in such glorious landscapes around every twist and turn of your route. Lovely photos Angie. Snowballs to cool down! That's a new one.

    The shooting signs belong to the vast estates' owners, some of whom are English "aristocracy" - Duke of Westminster etc. They guard their rights to shoot Red Grouse with much determination to keep the plebs from their witnessing privileged customs.

  16. wow! what a hike and magnificent photography!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  17. When yahoos are around with guns it scares the living daylights out of me. And isn't that just what you need, the crack of gunshots as you venture out to enjoy nature? Does wonders for wildlife watching.

  18. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trek with us! It looks so pretty!

  19. What a gorgeous place for a hike. I enjoyed tagging along.

  20. You are getting to know Montana so well! Have you ever taken the trail to Granite Park Chalet in Glacier? It is a wonderful trek along the Highline Trail. Happy June! :) Kit

  21. Wow,such a glorious landscape! You had a great success of hiking!
    I like to hike, but only prefer to walk on a on a flat place.
    Happy new week to you, Angie.

  22. Trails with trials, I like that! Stunning scenery every which way and beautiful natural flora and vegetation peeking through the snow.I admire your determination to continue with the hike despite all the setbacks and missteps, what a great achievement, no wonder you were feeling victorious as you removed your boots.
    Happy Mosaic Monday.

  23. It's spectacular...very different hiking than down South! I'm sure that water is ice cold too! Beautiful photos for MM! Hugs!

  24. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and the hiking notes. So beautiful and such a great achievement!


  25. What a beautiful hike (with excitement, too). Those lakes are pristine and jewel-like set there in the mountains. A little snow for cooling off sounds like a wonderful thing.

  26. Angie, Amazing that there is still snow! Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

  27. I have to agree with Tom ... with scenery like this I would have been stopping along the trail .. it would take me forever!

  28. My healthy dream self would love to be able to do that. How lucky and what scenery and how stupid those guys were for shooting...sigh..Michelle

  29. It is so beautiful. I love "wild" places like this, where nature are allowed to be natural.

  30. You shot a nice collection of wild flowers!

  31. Oh my goodness that is a long hike and high elevations...well done! Those lakes are glorious. How majestic are those snow-capped mountains at Black Lake. Love all the pretty wildflowers. You do live in the most beautiful of places.

  32. Beautiful photos! Thanks for taking us along.

  33. This is so beautiful! What marvellous memories!


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