North Central Montana Adventures

Photo by Steven Gnam

Friday, January 17th

Bender Creek (Snowshoe)

Location: Monarch
Miles/Difficulty: 3-6 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leader: Chuck and Gerry Gennings

We begin at a trailhead 8 miles east of highway 89 on the Dry Fork Rd. The trail rises gradually along Bender Creek eventually passing our of the creek bed onto north facing slopes with excellent views of Mt. Barker (8307 ft.) and surrounding peaks. We will return along the same trail at the discretion of the group. Wear layered clothing and bring lunch, snacks and water. Ski poles are strongly advised as there are several creek crossings.

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Monday, January 20th

Porphyry Peak Climb (Snowshoe)

Location: Neihart
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Katie Kotynski and Viki Gallagher

Let's climb to a lookout tower at the top of Porphyry Peak in the Little Belt Mountains. At the top, we will traverse to the Top Rock Cafe at Showdown to rest our feet and eat our lunches. The cafe will have hot cocoa and coffee, soup and cookies, so bring a few dollars if you want to supplement your lunch. Then it's back down a loop trail to our cars.

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Friday, January 24th

Lubec Snowshoe

Location: East Glacier
Miles/Difficulty: 4 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Peter Metcalf and Kendall Flint

This is a lovely winter ramble through the rolling hills of Lubec Ridge in the Badger-Two Medicine. The walk passes through a mix of open meadows, aspen groves, and conifer forests, with views into the Badger and the southern extent of Glacier Park. Lots of wildlife winter in the area, so expect to see a fair amount of tracks.

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Saturday, January 25th

Paine Gulch-Little Belts (Snowshoe)

Location: Monarch
Miles/Difficulty: 4-5 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Camille Consolvo and Gordon Whirry

Join us in the Little Belt Mountains to explore by following a creek up a pretty gulch, ending in an open meadow with the option to hike up the side of a mountain.

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Saturday, February 15th

Holden Ridge, Big Snowy Mountains (Snowshoe)

Location: Lewistown
Miles/Difficulty: 2 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Laurie Lohrer and Dave Mari

The Big Snowy Mountains is central Montana's most intact island range. The hike starts at the Ulhorn Trailhead, approximately 25 miles southeast of Lewistown on the east side of the Big Snowies. The group will follow the Ulhorn Trail through a mix of timber and meadows. After the first mile, if the day is clear, we will have breathtaking views of the Judith Mountains and the Moccasin Mountains north of Lewistown. The length of the hike will depend on weather and the wishes of the hikers. Be sure to layer and prepare for wind (no jeans, please). Bring plenty of water, lunch, and snacks.

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Saturday, February 22nd

Two Medicine Ski

Location: East Glacier
Miles/Difficulty: 8 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Peter Metcalf and Renee Patrice Noffke

Enjoy a lovely ski along the South Fork of the Two Medicine river in the Badger-Two Medicine area. The ski tour crosses a low ridge before connecting up with the river. It then passes through rolling hills, open meadows, aspen groves and stands of timber as it traverses the river corridor. Lots of wildlife winter in the area, so there is a good chance to see tracks. Views of the northern peaks of the Badger predominate along with occasional views of Glacier National Park. This ski is best with cross country skis designed for backcountry touring rather than set tracks.

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Saturday, February 29th

Sawmill Gulch (Snowshoe)

Location: Monarch
Miles/Difficulty: 2 miles/Easy
Leaders: Jo Ann Wright, Dan Bennett, and Desirae Starling

Come stroll up Sawmill Gulch in the Little Belt Mountains. This hike follows an old logging road across a gorgeous meadow to a wooded lunch spot, where we will build a fire to warm up and roast s'mores. The hike leaders will provide the fixings. It's a perfect snowshoe hike for those just starting out.

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Saturday, March 7th

Norwegian Gulch (Snowshoe)

Location: Augusta
Miles/Difficulty: 7+ miles/Strenuous
Leader: Len Kopec and Bill Cunningham

Norwegian Gulch is an important Winter and Spring range for a variety of wildlife. Bounded by limestone cliffs on one side and a rugged, windswept ridge on the other the gulch gets very little human use during the winter. We will travel through aspen and young Douglas Fir forests with intermittent openings and keep an eye out for wildlife and tracks. If snow conditions and our own energy permit, we'll try to make it to the saddle at 6100 feet, which is part of an elk migration corridor between the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Sun River WMA. We'll look for tracks of everything ranging from mice to grizzly bears. In past hikes we've seen tracks of wolverines, giving mute testimony that we were traveling in some wild and special country.

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Saturday, March 7th

Judith Mountain (Snowshoe)

Location: Lewistown
Miles/Difficulty: 6 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Rachel Stansberry and Susan Lohmuller

Come join us for a snowshoe up Judith Mountain.

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Wednesday, March 11th

747 Trail Little Belts (Snowshoe)

Location: Neihart
Miles/Difficulty: 6 miles/Moderately Strenuous
Leader: Katie Kotynski and Susan Woyth

Want to climb a mountain and go over the other side? That's what we will do on this fun climb up and over Porphyry Peak. We will have lunch on top by the lookout tower and then proceed down the other side and follow a trail along the bottom of the mountain back to our cars. Please note: this hike includes a sustained climb of a mountain and much trail breaking on an ungroomed trail.

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