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.
Clouds above, clouds below, a bit of rain, but at least it ain't snow! (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers hiked the Peters Ridge Road on a rather drippy day Saturday, May 18!
Krause Basin and the upper reaches of Peters Ridge Road are closed to motor vehicles until July 1 to protect calving elk, grizzly bears and other wildlife.
The rangers saw tracks and scat of elk, grizzly bear and wolf - and lots of wildflowers!
Returning to a bare Peterson Creek Trail! (Keith Hammer photos)
Ten Swan Rangers hiked the Peterson Creek Trail on Saturday, May 11, encountering snow and turning around at the junction with the Sidehill/Broken Leg Divide Trail!
It was a warm, blue sky day with wildflowers galore!
Swan Rangers eat lunch and turn around within view of a still distant Crater Notch. (Bob Muth photos and info)
Twelve Swan Rangers hiked the Crater Notch Trail Saturday, May 4, getting to within view of Crater Notch before turning around in deep snow pack!
It's a contrast of seasons, with wildflowers blooming at lower elevations and winter snow pack just beginning to melt higher up.
The Rangers saw trilliums, glacier lilies and tracks of grizzly bear, mountain lion and grouse!
The "better weather" survivors turn it around near Alpine Trail #7's Malfunction Junction. (Keith Hammer photos)
Fourteen Swan Rangers went after the Switchback Trail again on Saturday, April 27, hoping to hike higher up Mt. Aeneas on a better weather day!
Folks turned around in small groups at various points as hiking slowly evolved into post-holing!
A blue sky morning slowly turned gray and windy, but griz tracks and nice views made the day!
Rangers turn a switchback as they climb into the clouds! (Keith Hammer photos)
Ten Swan Rangers hiked the Switchback Trail Saturday, April 20, until they ran out of switchbacks and promptly found graupel instead!
They got a brief glimpse of the valley below, between the tree line and the cloud line, as occassional springtime squals moved through!
A squall rolls in across Flathead Lake! (Keith Hammer photos)
Seven Swan Rangers scaled Crane Mountain on Saturday, April 13, in a blizzard, reaching an altitude of 4,400 feet without supplemental oxygen!
OK, OK; but they did hike the Phillips Trail, starting out in a snow squall and attaining both the Crane Mountain "summit" and the knob offering great views of Flathead Lake!
It was one of those Spring days that reminds you it is still April.
A mossy knob near the Estes Lake trailhead. (Photos by Bob Muth except one noted as Roger Benson)
Seven Swan Rangers hiked to Estes Lake on the north end of Crane Mountain on Saturday, April 6.
Though a bit of a drippy day, this well-glaciated area offered spring green-up and the season's first wildflower booms!
Upper Wolf Creek Canyon (Keith Hammer photos)
Seven Swan Rangers hiked and post-holed the Broken Leg Trail into Wolf Creek Canyon on Saturday, March 30, 2013!
The trail is essentially snow-free to Deer Creek, intermittent snow to Windy Point, then lots of post-holing to Lunch Rock!
Signs of spring include ticks, so carry your bear spray!
Sunshine and smiles on the first outing of Spring! (Keith Hammer photos)
Seven Swan Rangers wandered about aimlessly north of Mud Lake on Saturday, March 23, 2013, soaking up some springtime sun!
They explored the flatlands and enjoyed nice views of the Swan Range!
It's that awkward time of year between skiing and hiking - and time to dig out the bear spray as bears begin to emerge from their winter dens!