30th Anniversary Hike and Call to Action!

Let's extend Wilderness protection from Swan Peak (above) to Columbia Mountain, all along the Swan Crest! (Photos by Keith Hammer and Pam Willison)

Our recent hike along the Swan Crest commemorates Swan View Coalition's 30th anniversary and asks for your short email supporting Wilderness designation for the area!

Enjoy these 27 photos taken from Napa Ridge to Trinkus Lake, then please send a quick email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

Urge the Flathead National Forest to manage and recommend the entire wildlife-rich Swan Crest as Wilderness in its Forest Plan, perhaps highlight your favorite areas, then add your name!

Your voice matters and the Swan Crest needs your help - Thank You!

A morning view of Swan Peak and Inspiration Point (both center) and Alcove Mountain (left), looking back while hiking north along the Swan Crest's historic Alpine Trail #7.

 

Keith Hammer checks out the widespread death of Whitebark Pine caused by blister rust fungus brought into the United States about 1900 . . .

 

. . . which includes monarchs like this one along Alpine Trail #7!

 

But there remain some healthy Whitebark . . .

 

. . . producing cones that are a key food source for Clark's Nutcracker birds, squirrels, grizzly bear and other wildlife.

 

In fact, we saw a flock of 30 Nutcrackers further north along the Swan Crest, though none would sit still for a photo like this one did for us in Yellowstone last Spring!

 

A view along the shoulder of Warrior Mountain, where friends saw two wolverine earlier in the summer!

 

We instead spotted mountain goats that quickly made themselves scarce! These are not the semi-habituated goats of the more crowded Jewel Basin or Glacier National Park!

 

Pam Willison alongside Warrior Mountain: Where did those goats go?

 

Ancient seabed riffles in sedimentary layers high atop the Swan Crest!

 

Alpine Trail #7 runs smack atop the Swan Crest as it approaches Gildart (right) and Thunderbolt (center distant) mountains.

 

Pam Willison atop the shoulder of Warrior Mountain: Does this trail go OVER all of these peaks or AROUND them? (Answer: a little/lot of both).

 

Looking back at upper Gildart Lake and Warrior Mountain.

 

A 2011 wildfire in South Lost Creek and on the slopes of Thunderbolt Mountain will help with rejuvenation of whitebark pine by helping suppress disease and spur seedling growth.

 

The ridge running from Thunderbolt Mountain to Bruce Mountain (center), separates Bunker Lake and Creek (right) from Sullivan Creek (left) - all wild country deserving of Wilderness designation!

 

Looking from Thunderbolt Mountain down Sullivan Creek with Bruce Ridge in the background. Sullivan is the best bull trout spawning stream in the South Fork Flathead outside the Bob Marshall Wilderness!

 

The old Forest Service cabin on Thunderbolt Mountain, where trails head from Alpine #7 out Bruce Ridge, the Bunker Creek high country, and down Bunker Creek.

 

Our second night's camp was at Crevice Lake on the north shoulder of Thunderbolt Mountain . . .

 

. . . where it was early to bed and watch the sunset through the tent screen!

 

The next morning's look back at the north slopes of Thunderbolt Mountain.

 

Looking down Slide Creek, a major tributary to Sullivan Creek.

 

Even at high elevation, a dead tree spawns new life along Alpine Trail #7!

 

Pam Willison surveys rutting and braiding of Alpine Trail #7 caused by motorcycles unfortunately still allowed from Crevice Lakes to Sixmile Mountain and north of Jewel Basin!

 

Motorcycles make shortcut ruts straight up and down this steep Swan Crest hillside, rather than use the gentle switchback running from left to right in this photo (among other switchbacks)!

 

Trinkus Lake comes into view, with Springslide Mountain in the background, as Alpine Trail #7 switches to the west side of the Swan Crest at the head end of Bond Creek.

 

Looking back up from Trinkus Lake to where Alpine Trail #7 passes over a saddle in the Swan Crest.

 

The morning after final camp #3 at Trinkus Lake. Time to head out Bond Creek before more rain showers move in!

You can also watch three minute-long videos highlighting the wilderness qualities of the Bunker, Sullivan and Trinkus portions of the Swan Crest.

Please take a moment to help insure our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to enjoy truly wild experiences along a Swan Crest protected from damage and disruption caused by motorcycles, snowmobiles, road building, and logging.

Send a quick email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

Urge the Flathead National Forest to manage and recommend the entire wildlife-rich Swan Crest as Wilderness in its Forest Plan, perhaps highlight your favorite areas, then add your name!

Your voice matters and the Swan Crest needs your help - Thank You!

 


This article published on August 24, 2014 • [Permalink]