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Old 11-15-2008, 05:41 PM
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 1,004,806 times
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I took a hike into the Lava Lake area last weekend, and toured up around the hills there until the weather, darkness and the spectre of having to be into work at 5:30a.m. sent me back out. There were a few people around, but not a lot as it was pretty gloomy. That winds up being the best time to go because it does weed out all the fair weather folks and leaves all but the most popular trails deserted. Which just happens to be the way I like it, foot or horseback.

I was curious to hear what some of your favorite spots are that don't tend to be very well traveled. I'm not going to put down my top two or three for obvious reasons, and I'm not expecting anyone else to either. But just a few of the ones that don't get all that much attention.

A nice easy hike is Ibex mountain on the west flank of the Crazy Mt. range, winding up right by the USGS marker. I rarely see anyone up there because it's not all that well marked and people are usually headed up Cottonwood or Trespass and pass it up. I have had many nice walks in there and you can't beat the view with your feet hanging off the rock on the south face. It's a great place to snowshoe into in the winter, also. Another spot is Campfire Lake in the Crazies; Campfire and Moose lakes sit below the face facing east and waking up to the sunrise in the summer is real nice. Fishing is decent sometimes; the lake has frozen solid a few times and there was a kill. If you can get up early enough in the spring there is an impressive ice bridge below the lake. Trail is good going up and you find yourself on a high divide before you drop into the lake; if you go in too early, you'll find yourself traversing a lot of snow getting in - not a good place to take a slide, either.

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Old 11-17-2008, 01:30 AM
989 posts, read 3,127,283 times
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I hate to see a good topic like this go cold so I'll pitch in.

I live in the Helena area so one of my favorite places to horse ride is refrigerator canyon. Its about an hour from here up past York. I love a horse ride with switch backs and some steep stuff, this ride does not have tons of that but there is enough to keep it exciting. I see a lot of folks hiking it too. At one point in the trail you go through a narrow crack in the mountain that is about 5 feet wide and 50 or maybe a 100 feet tall. It takes a few minutes to get from end to end on this spot but there's a great trail that goes right through it. Very cool spot.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:56 AM
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My family is from Wilsall and Clyde Park. Used to live under the Ibex. By far one of the best places to hike or ride. Weather can change suddenly though-be prepared. Another nice one is the Bob Marshall behind Lincoln. Nice trailheads, good trails, spectacular views.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:30 PM
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I want to get over to the Lincoln area this summer and do some riding, I spend a lot of time there but not horse riding.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:00 AM
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I'm from Helena and in reading the AQHA posts, I absolutely agree about Refrigerator Canyon. I usually make it up to Bear Prairie and then back down. I have, however, gone all the way through and out at Hunter's Gulch, but that's too long for me in one day and Bear Prairie is a great place to camp.

My most favorite ride is out of Vigilante Campgroud up Trout Creek. I've done that ride lots of times and led some trail rides through there for friends. Years ago, my good friend and I found a way to come out of there that is so unique and wonderful that we named it "The Enchanted Forest". We have taken many friends up there and to this day, I often hear someone refer to The Enchanged Forest. The name we gave it sure did stick ... because it is almost enchanted. I hope you've taken that ride through, AQHA. Maybe we should ride together!
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:41 PM
989 posts, read 3,127,283 times
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I haven't done that ride but I better look into it. It sounds like you have gone further up refrid. canyon than I have. I want to learn more about that area, it is a nice area to ride/hike.
Are you part of the Helena Trail Riders? If not you should look into that. We go on a ride every few weeks through the summer, REALLY a fun group of folks.
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