The northern Swan Range -- home to the Jewel Basin Hiking Area and Alpine Trail No. 7, is the rugged backyard and scenic backdrop of the Flathead Valley. From Inspriation Pass to Columbia Mountain, the northern Swan supports our unique way of life and contributes much to the natural beauty and economic prosperity of the entire Flathead Valley. This website is dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of the northern Swan Range. Now is the time to act for the future of the Swan.
A breezy Flathead Lake! (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers hiked the Phillips Trail on a breezy Saturday, March 28, to get a nice view of Flathead Lake!
Blue sky arrived along with a blustery cold front, then quickly departed!
Click here for a map of the Phillips Trail.
Watching showers roll in over Flathead and Mud Lakes. (Keith Hammer photos)
Twelve Swan Rangers hiked the Crater Notch Trail on Saturday, March 21, turning around when reaching snow line at the "first lunch spot!"
While the lower DNRC stretch of the trail now looks more like a stump farm, this remains a unique trail that gets better the higher one goes!
Click here for a map of the Crater Notch Trail.
Not yet ticked, unsuspecting Rangers cross Birch Creek! (Keith Hammer photos)
Fifteen Swan Rangers hiked the Echo - Broken Leg Trail as far as Wolf Creek on Saturday, March 14, along with several dozen hitchhiking ticks!
Only a few short stretches of snow remain and, lest we repeat ourselves, the ticks are out in full force on the brushy south-facing slopes of Wolf Creek Canyon!
Click here for a map of the Echo - Broken Leg Trail. The Rangers checked the lower part of the Crater Notch Trail as well and, while it is now cleared of logging slash, it is still missing a few sections of trail tread ruined by log skidders.
Strawberry Peak! (Keith Hammer photos)
Twenty-one Swan Rangers hiked into Krause Basin on Saturday, March 7, with half continuing on snowshoes to the base of Strawberry Peak!
The day was sunny and warm and there were wildlife tracks galore in the old-growth forest of the upper Krause Basin!
Swan Rangers and the Swan Range! (Keith Hammer photos)
Sixteen Swan Rangers hiked The Nature Conservancy's Swan River Oxbow Preserve on a sunny Saturday, February 28, 2015!
The Preserve is open to the public for foot travel and lies between the Swan River Wildlife Refuge and Porcupine Road, just south of the town of Swan Lake.
A new, improved Crater "Notch" Trail? (Keith Hammer photos)
Fifteen Swan Rangers inspected the "winter" logging of the Crater Notch Trail on Saturday, February 21, and it's not pretty!
Montana DNRC promised to allow Stoltze Lumber to "sanitation log" the area only on "snow covered/frozen ground," but the ground and the Crater Notch Trail sure are tore up!
Though DNRC has "suspended" the logging for now, YOUR EMAILS ARE NEEDED TODAY to get the trail repaired and insure logging on bare ground is not allowed!
1. Send crews in with hand tools to clear and redig damaged trail segments ASAP.
2. Allow no more heavy equipment on this already damaged, steep hillside, and to stick to his promise to not allow it on bare ground if there is any future logging!
Click here to learn more about this controversial logging project. We'll keep you posted on further developments!
Hiking up Crane Mountain Road with Swan Range in background. (Bob Muth photos)
Fourteen Swan Rangers hiked up Crane Mountain on Saturday, February 14, 2015!
They hiked up to the Estes Lake Trailhead area and onto the wonderful, glaciated rocks there, listening to varied thrush already returned for "Spring!"
Click here to download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map to find where Bug Creek Road and Crane Mountain Road turn off near Ferndale.
How's the February snow pack holding up? (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers slogged up the Peters Ridge Road on a rainy Saturday, February 7, 2015!
With persistent warm weather even packed snow is rotting out, making choices between hiking spikes, snowshoes and skis difficult.
Click here to download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map to find where Peters Ridge Road turns off of Foothill Road.
Checking out Cottonwood Bottom! (Keith Hammer photos)
Thirteen Swan Rangers hiked a foggy and frosty loop in Krause Basin on Saturday, January 31, 2015!
Previous tracks are boiler plate hard in the cooler weather, though snowshoes or skis are needed off-track!
Click here to download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map, which shows some of these old routes in Krause Basin.