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.
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.
Wolf Creek and a wet snow pack. (Keith Hammer photos)
Twelve Swan Rangers snowshoed the old Bear Creek Road into Wolf Creek on Saturday, January 24, 2015!
The snow was very damp from the night's rain, but the day was dry and pleasant!
Click here for the Flathead National Forest map page, scroll down and download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map, then find the old road running north along the Forest boundary and into Wolf Creek off Bear Creek Road #5398 - straight east of Bigfork.
Sun burning off morning fog! (Joel Vignere photo, others by Keith Hammer)
Thirteen Swan Rangers skied Bog Road in the Swan River Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, January 17, 2015!
The day started with a bit of ground fog beneath a clear, sunny sky!
Click here for more info about the Refuge, which is located a couple miles south of the town of Swan Lake.
The foothills of the Swan Range. (Keith Hammer photos)
Thirteen Swan Rangers skied the Foothills Ski Area and a couple more skied Krause Basin on Saturday, January 10, 2015!
Parking is limited along Foothill Road since the last snow storm, so carpool up!
Click here for maps and information about the Foothills Ski Area or to donate to the non-profit that does the trail grooming!
Swan River and Swan Range from Porcupine Bridge. (Keith Hammer photos)
Fifteen Swan Rangers skied and snowshoed to the Mission Lookout on Saturday, January 3, 2015!
It was the Rangers' best snow conditions yet for this 7.5 mile round trip!
Click here for details about the Mission Lookout, which is closed during winter.
A view of Ferndale! (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers skied and snowshoed the Peterson Creek Road and Trail as far as the first stream on Saturday, December 27, 2014!
The snow was fresh and piling up fast!
Click here for a map of the Peterson Creek Road and Trail.
Destination: Snow line on Peters Ridge (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers hiked Peters Ridge Road with a "sucker hole" promise of sunny weather on Saturday, December 20, 2014!
The sunny weather failed to stick around, but it was a good bit of exercise and fun companionship nonetheless!
Wikipedia: "Sucker hole is a colloquial term referring to a short spate of good weather that "suckers" sailors into leaving port just in time for a storm to resume at full force."
Click here for a map of the Peters Ridge Road area.
A view upriver toward the beautiful Swan Range! (Keith Hammer photos)
Twelve Swan Rangers hiked along the Swan River above Bigfork on a gray, rainy Saturday, December 13, 2014!
And to think they were skiing fresh snow the week prior!
Krause Basin a winter wonderland once again! (Keith Hammer photos)
Just when you thought it safe to remove the bear spray from your pack belt for the season, eleven Swan Rangers discovered bear beds and wolverine tracks while skiing in Krause Basin on Saturday, December 6, 2014!
Couldn't be sure if the small bear was black or griz, but it had rested and bedded down in a couple places beneath hemlock trees since the snowfall stopped Friday.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported last week that only about half of the grizzly bears they monitor had gone into dens thus far.