September 6-7, 2019
Cedar Creek Lodge
and the Coop
Columbia Falls (Salish nq̓eyɫkʷm), Montana
*All events this weekend are FREE and open to the public*
Friday, September 7 at Cedar Creek Lodge
7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Jewel Basin trail stewardship day
Join our trail stewardship team on a one-day project in the beautiful Jewel Basin in the Swan Range. Volunteers will help clear and maintain the Clayton Lake Trail. Space is very limited, so please sign up early at wildmontana.org/vtc-wildfest.
3 – 4 p.m.
Swap adventure stories, meet new friends, and visit with old ones as you grab a drink and prepare for an entertaining afternoon of learning.
4 – 4:45 p.m.
Welcome to WildFest
MWA Executive Director Ben Gabriel and Board President Addrien Marx will welcome you to WildFest Weekend, to be followed by Flathead-Kootenai Chapter president Bret Luedke and John Todd, Deputy Director of MWA. Ben, Addrien, Bret, and John Todd will provide organizational and chapter-level updates on MWA’s current campaigns.
4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Learn about the Whitefish Range Partnership
Hear from members of the coalition that worked together to make broadly supported management recommendations for over 300,000 acres of the Flathead National Forest. Panelists include Paul Mackenzie, Dave Hadden, Bob Brown, Chip Weber, and Amy Robinson,. The discussion will be moderated by working group participant and MWA board member Debo Powers.
6:00 – 7:15 p.m.
Hors d'oeuvres and social hour
Enjoy a variety of heavy appetizers provided by the chefs at Cedar Creek Lodge and a cash bar hosted by Blue Moon Nite Club.
7:15 – 7:30 p.m.
Join us to recognize and celebrate some of MWA's most dedicated volunteers.
7:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Huckleberry Pie Auction
The Huckleberry Pie Auction is nearly as old as WildFest itself. This year, the pie will be made by MWA's Communications Coordinator Alex Blackmer, with local Flathead-picked huckleberries. Place your bid and enjoy some tasty homemade pie!
7:45 - 8:30 p.m.
Join us in welcoming our guest speaker of the evening, Debo Powers.
Coming of age in the south during the civil rights movement, Debo Powers was inspired to create a better world. As an educator, she was involved in the growing alternative school movement in her community, an involvement that in the opening of an innovative public K-8th grade charter school that was named one of the top eight charter schools in the nation by the Department of Education in 2005. During her 13 years as a school principal, she spent her summers along the North Fork of the Flathead River building a solar-powered cabin near the remote community of Polebridge next to Glacier National Park.
Now that she is retired, Debo lives full-time in her off-the-grid cabin and loves to hike, backpack, kayak, mountain bike, and garden in summer and cross-country ski in winter. She has served as president of the North Fork Landowners Association and she has been a member of the Whitefish Range Partnership, a collaborative effort that brought together diverse interests to reach consensus on a recommendation for land management in the Flathead National Forest. She currently serves on the board of several environmental organizations in Montana, including Montana Wilderness Association, and donates her time as a volunteer fire lookout during fire season.
We wrap up the evening with a few more words by Ben Gabriel, and last call for drinks, raffle tickets, merchandise, etc. Join us again Saturday afternoon, across the street at the Coop at 3 p.m.
Join us on one of seven hikes to explore the local wildlands and learn about these spectacular places. Space is limited, so please sign up using the link in the hike description. Registration for all hikes will open on July 15. Some longer hikes or hikes departming from more distant trailheads may result in later returns to the Coop. Please plan accordingly.
Birch Lake (Previously listed for Friday the 6th, this hike is now on Saturday the 7th)
Miles/Difficulty: 6 miles/moderate
Leaders: John Larson and Carol Barnes
The trail begins at Camp Misery and climbs up a ridge and across the side of Mount Aeneas, providing fabulous views of the Flathead Valley.
Miles/Difficulty: 1 mile/easy
Leaders: John Hartlieb and Kathi Hartlieb
Join us on this easy loop trail through a varied landscape of old growth forest, riparian areas, and large stands of ponderosa pine.
Miles/Difficulty: 4 miles/moderately strenuous
Leaders: Mary Freniere
Join us on this Flathead Valley favorite, a classic hike that offers all the solitude and wildlife viewing opportunities of the Great Bear Wilderness in a short round trip.
Glacier View Mountain
Location: Columbia Falls
Miles/Difficulty: 7.6 miles/difficult
Leaders: Chris Rost
Hike the ridge to the summit of Glacier View Mountain for views of both Glacier National Park and the North Fork Basin of the Flathead Valley.
Columbia Mountain Waterfall
Location: Columbia Falls
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/moderate
Leaders: Sheena Pate
Explore the northwestern edge of the Swan Mountain Range on this moderate hike that goes approximately halfway to the summit of Columbia Mountain.
Lone Pine State Park Loop
Miles/Difficulty: 3.4 miles/moderate
Leaders: Amy Pearson
Learn about the local wildlife and forest ecology, and stop at one of the many lookouts to catch views of Big Mountain, Flathead Lake, the Jewel Basin, and Glacier National Park.
Saturday, September 7 at The Coop Community Market
3 – 8:30 p.m.
Gear demos, horse packing, and family fun
Get ready for a day filled with gear demos, food trucks, and great drinks at The Coop. Activities will include:
- Packing demos from Back Country Horsemen of the Flathead
- Raptor presentations from Montana Wild Wings
- Gear demos from REI including navigation, camp stoves, water filtration, and hiking and backpacking
- A knot-tying demo from MWA's very own Backcountry Bob
- A rock wall
- Missoulian artist Freedom Drudge drawing portraits
Be sure to come hungry because food trucks will be on site with tasty options catering to multiple dietary needs.
- Delicious smoked pulled pork and brats from Knucklhed BBQ
- Fragrant stir-fries, curries and more from My Thai To Go
- Ice cream from Sweet Peaks
We're also excited to partner with Blue Moon Nite Club to provide local beer and wine throughout the weekend. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be provided.
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Jameson and the Sordid Seeds is a rock/reggae/blues/soul powerhouse known for its electric live performances and captivating songwriting. Hailing from Whitefish, they have developed a solid following throughout the western United States performing mostly original songs alongside occassional covers from Paul Simon to Sublime. We dare you not to dance! Be sure to stick around on Saturday to enjoy their great tunes.
Looking to stick around the Flathead Valley after WildFest? Explore town, visit Glacier, and get lost in the beautiful Jewel Basin. Check out Visit MT to see more lodging options and things to do in the beautiful Flathead Valley. If you're looking for more hikes, you can find them on our online hiking guide.
We need volunteers to help us set up, clean up, sell merchandise, assist in the bucket raffle, greet our guests, and more! Volunteers are a crucial aspect of WildFest and we wouldn't be able to pull it off with your time and effort. Register for shifts here.
Thank you to our event partners
Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
Blue Moon Nite Club
Cube Iron Cataract Coalition
Cedar Creek Lodge and Conference Center
Flathead Land Trust
Flathead National Forest
Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness
Glacier Park Conservancy
KnucklHed BBQ Food Truck
Montana Wild Wings
My Thai To Go Food Truck
North Fork Preservation Association
Sky Eco Rentals
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
Columbia Nursery and Landscape
Dean Center- MGC member
Dee Blank, photographer
Ghost Art Gallery
Glacier Raft Company
Goldsmith’s Bed and Breakfast
Izaak Walton Inn
Kevin League, photographer
Lake Missoula Tea Co
Mike White and Douglas Lorain, Authors
Montana Coffee Traders
Rhonda Ronan- WDC member
Sky Eco Rentals
Sportsman and Ski Haus
Spotted Bear Spirits
Swan Mountain Outfitters