Northwest Montana Walks

Photo by Jim Chapman
Northwest Montana


Thursday, May 31

Columbia Mountain - Wildflowers *hike is full*

Location: Columbia Falls
Miles/Difficulty: 2.5 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Ellen Horowitz and Grete Gansauer

The Columbia Mountain Trail is a flower-lover's paradise. Join us, alongside and Montana Native Plant Society, for a 3-hour evening wildflower walk. We'll travel at an easy pace and make lots of stops to view big, bold blossoms, and beautiful subtle ones alike.

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Sunday, June 3

Smith Lake - Bird Watching

Location: Whitefish
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Jennifer Runnels and Brad Buhmiller

Grab your binoculars and join us for an introduction to bird watching at Smith Lake. Learn to search for birds with your eyes and ears on this easy-paced walk that will take us through several habitat types including riparian areas, old growth and open forest. The whole family is welcome.

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Saturday, June 9

Kootenai - Archaeology 

Location: Libby
Miles/Difficulty: < 3 miles/Easy
Leaders: Becky Timmons and Grete Gansauer

Retrace the steps of the fur traders, 19th century miners, and Native Americans who walked the lands of what is now the Kootenai National Forest. On this easy outing, we will start our journey at the Heritage Museum and move on to discover pictographs and other historic sites of the Kootenai.

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Tuesday, June 19

Stanton Lake - Loon Tunes *hike is full*

Location: West Glacier
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Ellen Horowitz and Grete Gansauer

The sound of loons is often associated with wild places. Join us for a hike to Stanton Lake, located in the Great Bear Wilderness, to look and listen for these iconic birds. Along the way, we'll watch for other wildlife or evidence of their passing through the area.

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Sunday, July 8

Cube Iron Silcox

Location: Thompson Falls
Miles/Difficulty: 7 to 8 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Mark Sheets and Karen Sheets

Join us and Cube-Iron Cataract Coalition for a hike on the east side of the Cube Iron Silcox Roadless area, where you'll find great views of a sprawling and empty valley from the heads of two drainages. Wildflowers should be abundant.

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Monday, July 16

Little Spar Lake *hike is full*

Location: Troy
Miles/Difficulty: 8 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Sandy Compton and Marjolein Groot Nibbelink

Little Spar Lake Trail #143 traverses a lush glacial canyon benefited by over 80 inches of precipitation a year. Wildflowers, leftover avalanche debris, and an icy alpine lake are just a few of the many highlights.

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Saturday, July 21

Coal Ridge *hike is full*

Location: Polebridge
Miles/Difficulty: 6.8 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Bill Walker and Randy Kenyon

This hike climbs steadily out of the Moran Basin through the forests and meadows of prime bear habitat until it reaches the site of an old fire lookout on the crest of Coal Ridge. The ridgetop is above the tree line, offering broad views of Flathead Forest and Glacier National Park.

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Thursday, July 26

Rock Lake *hike is full*

Location: Noxon
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Mary Freniere and Grete Gansauer

Hike with us into the heart of the Cabinet Mountains to Rock Lake. Although the hike ascends steeply to the lake, we will take it slow and steady to make sure that all can enjoy the beautiful views along the way. As we go, we'll pause to search for wildflowers and wildlife unique to the Cabinets.

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Wednesday, August 1

Cedar Lake - Ladies Trek *hike is full*

Location: Swan Lake
Miles/Difficulty: 8 to 10 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Kari Gunderson and Anne Dahl

The hike into Cedar Lake travels through lush vegetation and an old growth forest of spruce and before transitioning into white bark pine and subalpine fir.  Higher elevations might still have wildflowers in bloom. These same elevations offer plenty of spectacular views.

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Saturday, August 11

Canyon Peak

Location: Trout Creek
Miles/Difficulty: 6 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Grete Gansauer and Pat McCleod

Hike with us to the top of Canyon Peak at the southern edge of the Cabinet Mountains and experience one of the last remaining wild and unprotected wildlife corridors in the Kootenai region.

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Friday, August 17

Bluebird Lake

Location: Eureka
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: John Larson and Carol Barnes

This hike moves through lush forest and offers scenic views and wildflower meadows.  Bluebird Lake is in a meadow at the foot of a cliff face with plenty of space for relaxing.  There is great fishing for cutthroat trout.

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Saturday, August 25

Jewel Basin - Ladies' Yoga

Location: Big Fork
Miles/Difficulty: 7 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Caroline Hill and Jen Fugatt

Breathe deeply and relax with a yoga practice in the serenity of the Jewel Basin. We'll hike in to Picnic Lakes with our yoga mats and set up in a grassy meadow for our yoga practice, led by instructor Caroline Hill of Outsiety.

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Saturday, September 15

Review Mountain *hike is full*

Location: Polebridge
Miles/Difficulty: 11 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Debo Powers and Jennifer Fugatt

Hike with us deep into the Whitefish Range, where grizzlies roam and golden larches abound. Review Mountain is right in the heart of the proposed wilderness. Enjoy views of Glacier National Park and into Canada along the way.

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Sunday, September 16

Mount Henry *hike is full*

Location: Yaak
Miles/Difficulty: 12 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Anthony South and Grete Gansauer

Hike with us to the summit of Mount Henry and enjoy views of the Yaak Valley, one of the wildest remaining landscapes in Montana. We'll break through the damp old-growth forests of the Yaak and emerge on a rocky ridge line where views of the Yaak and into Canada abound.

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