Mid-July in the Missions

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,931
July 15-17, 2022

This was originally going to be a trip to the Bob Marshall Wilderness, but circumstances rendered it so we didn't have enough time. You need probably 3 nights minimum for a decent trip in there. So we re-set our sights on the Mission Mountains nearby. Where we went is probably the most popular spot in the range, so we saw a good number of people, but I'd classify it only as "busy" by Montana standards.

We met in Seeley Lake since two of us (Chris and I) were driving up from Bozeman, and Andrew was driving over from Spokane. We headed into the forest to find a spot to camp for the night. We found what appeared to be a not frequently used trailhead off the road and set up there. Had a fire and some huckleberry cream ales. Bugs weren't terrible either. Not bad. Gave me an excuse to bring the car camping tent too. Always nice to have a lot of room.

PXL_20220716_034836533.jpg


We drove the remaining miles to the trailhead in the morning. By some miracle, Chris had a bit of cell service even though we were 10 miles up a dirt road in the woods. So we waited a second for Andrew to buy a fishing license online so he could try some of the lakes we'd see.

20220716_083525.jpg

Me, Chris, Andrew. Ready to roll.

PXL_20220716_144448168.jpg

Pretty quickly we came to our creek crossings. This one had a slanty bridge.

PXL_20220716_145835286.jpg

This one required us to change our shoes.

We passed the first lake but never really got right up on it. There's a spur trail we could have taken, but we didn't want to bother with it since it was supposed to be a hot day and we were trying to move quickly while it was kind of cool out. We saw it from up high, and that was good enough.

PXL_20220716_153326659.jpg

Climbing up out of the forest.

PXL_20220716_154829431.jpg

Nice spot with a view. There's the first lake down below.

PXL_20220716_164542050.jpg

There was bear grass everywhere on this trail. Very dense in a lot of places, especially down in the forest. It had yet to really bloom down the lower forest though. Up high, it was going off. Apparently there's usually not much bear grass on this route, so we were lucky with our timing.

PXL_20220716_172401767.jpg

More bear grass. Getting close to camp.

PXL_20220716_174828675.jpg

The next large lake. Loved the sheer walls and the drop off at the foot of it.

There's a handful of smaller lakes up there also, and the terrain makes it kind of hard to find a good camp site. Because the area sees a good bit of use, it wasn't hard to find spots people had used previously. We found one that worked well enough, although it was closer to the water than it should have been. It was on slick rock maybe 15 feet above the lake though, so that kind of helped.

PXL_20220716_191410966.MP.jpg

Lake we camped at.

We set up and then headed up to see the largest of the lakes.

PXL_20220716_193234121.jpg

Outlet of the largest lake. It was interesting seeing all the channels it ran through.

PXL_20220716_202235950.jpg

The big one.

20220716_134411.jpg

Me, taken by Andrew.

Because it was hot, we decided to strip down to our underwear and jump in the lake. It was quite cold, as you may have guessed by all the snow in the background melting into it. I have videos of us jumping, but I won't subject anyone to seeing us in our underwear. Ended up jumping in maybe 4 or 5 times.

We hung out by the lake for a good while. Andrew tried a few casts, but there were either no fish or extremely few in there.

We left and checked out the log jam and outlet of the lake.

PXL_20220716_220201992.MP.jpg


PXL_20220716_220905629.MP.jpg

The water was really moving. There was some feature to the rock under the stream that made the water it shoot up really high in that spot.

PXL_20220716_221101834.jpg


PXL_20220716_224633770.jpg

We went down to the other large lake and saw a fish rise. Andrew tried several casts to no avail. Nice place to hang out regardless.

Got back to camp, ate, and watched the sun set. It didn't get too cold that night.

PXL_20220717_032843735.jpg

Really nice sunset thanks to some late afternoon/evening clouds.

Sunrise was also great. I got up as it was coming up, and I was glad I did.

PXL_20220717_120848063.MP.jpg


PXL_20220717_121208244.jpg


The hike out was not as hot and sweaty as the hike in. It did seem to take a long time though. We got lunch in Seeley Lake and went our separate ways. Really glad to have gotten out and done this one!
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,710
The Missions are on my bucket list @Jackson. Thanks for showing them off to me. Pretty scenery, and I love the bear grass shots too.
 

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,931
The Missions are on my bucket list @Jackson. Thanks for showing them off to me. Pretty scenery, and I love the bear grass shots too.
Thanks! There was so much bear grass. I feel like Andrew did a better job of documenting it than I did.

And yeah, the Missions are a really interesting range. There's like 2 or 3 popular trailheads and a few pretty popular day hikes, but then the rest is a lot of old trails (still on maps) that see little to no maintenance, are brutal bushwhacks, and require long drives on probably rough roads. And those lead to just as cool (if not cooler) destinations. Off-trail is rough due to crazy topography. And then there's the tribal side where the trails are brutally steep and also not very maintained. Andrew has been to one lake on that side and it looked incredible. He said it's maybe the worst trail he's ever hiked before though. I'd really like to try for Gray Wolf Lake or High Park Lake someday, but thick forest bushwhacks have kept me scared off so far. Haha. If that sounds like something you're interested in though, let me know! Haha.
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
1,089
Nice @Jackson
I have gone by those mountains many times, including being right by them a couple weekends ago, but have not made it into them.
The pics and all are excellent!
I am keeping them on my list for sure for when it is hopefully not as smokey as it was Friday before last.
 

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,931
Nice @Jackson
I have gone by those mountains many times, including being right by them a couple weekends ago, but have not made it into them.
The pics and all are excellent!
I am keeping them on my list for sure for when it is hopefully not as smokey as it was Friday before last.
Yeah we had a really strong dose of smoke that weekend and into the following week, all over the western side of the state. Sorry it had to hit while you were here! Been a good smoke-free summer otherwise. I guess the upshot to July trips with bugs is that you (usually) don't have to worry about smoke!
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
103
Beautiful photos. Love that sunset shot with all the layers. THis is my first time viewing anything in this mountain range and now it's added to the future bucket list. THanks for sharing!
 

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,342
Wow! So beautiful! I have never been a lake jumper in-er haha It made me cold just looking at that picture!
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
TheMountainRabbit Invite Younts Peak, Mid-July 2022 Meet Up (Members Only) 11
U Favorite sites in Glacier in North Fork, Lake McDonald or Cole/Nyack? Looking at mid july Trip Planning 2
U Just picked up a permit for Shelf Lake 2 nights in Mid/Late July. Any ideas for a day hike/summit from there? Trip Planning 0
U Glacier North Circle Loop Mid July - Looking for an alternative back-up plan for a 3-4 nighter Trip Planning 0
E Glacier National Park in Mid July Trip Planning 0
Born to Hike Clements Lake and East Basin in the High Uintas, mid-July 2018 Backpacking 6
H Yellowstone/Beartooths Mid-July - Lamar Valley or Bearthooths? Or something else? Trip Planning 6
T RMNP sleeping pad question- mid July Trip Planning 4
Skiwi Kings Peak in mid July? Trip Planning 5
J Invite Bob Marshall Wilderness mid July Meet Up (Members Only) 10
B Wind river range mid sept. Trip Planning 8
Nethos Santa Fe/ABQ/Durango Area- Mid Late June Trip Planning 11
pstm13 Rocky Mountain National Park Mid June with Kids Trip Planning 7
pstm13 Rocky Mountain National Park Mid June with Kids Trip Planning 0
TheMountainRabbit Upper Toklat River (Denali NP) - mid-August 2018 Backpacking 7
TheMountainRabbit Southeast Yellowstone Loop (Yellowstone NP) - mid-September 2019 Backpacking 5
TheMountainRabbit Lamar River, Mirror Plateau, and Pelican Valley (Yellowstone NP) - mid-September 2020 Backpacking 28
D For Sale: X-Mid 1p $100 Gear Market: Buy, Sell, Trade 2
TheMountainRabbit Yellowstone NP: Mid-September Options Trip Planning 6
andyjaggy Windrivers mid to end of June Trip Planning 7
Benjamin Hayden Looking for good hike away from people in Sedona in mid-February Trip Planning 3
Eugene Suggestions for mid-Nov backpacking trip Trip Planning 2
Mountain of Youth Death Hollow Loop in mid-September Trip Planning 11
TractorDoc Yellowstone in Mid-September Meet Up (Members Only) 3
Born to Hike Backpacking Northern Windriver Range, solo 60+ miles, 5 days, mid September 2018 Backpacking 17
RyanP Lower Death Hollow, mid-April Trip Planning 8
David Rule Greetings from the Mid-West Noobs: Introduce yourself! 22
E Thorofare mid september 2018 Trip Planning 16
J Buckskin/Paria in mid Nov??? General Discussion 4
OCArch Suggestion Needed- 4 days in Southern Utah (Escalante?) in Mid-October Trip Planning 11
OldBill Am I wasting my time fishing for Wind River golden trout mid-September? Trip Planning 12
P Invite White Pocket mid August Meet Up (Members Only) 4
K Zion in Mid Feb Suggestions? Trip Planning 6
Joey Backpacking Colorado's Maroon Bells, Snowmass Wilderness, Four Pass Loop in mid October Backpacking 21
jtarheel1 Uinta Trip in Mid October? Trip Planning 34
Rock Mid-October Backpacking Trip Planning 21
jentzschman Subway trip mid June Trip Planning 5
mak1277 Sierra weather - mid-September Trip Planning 1
Kullaberg63 Homemade silnylon mid Gear 7
Thomas Rasmuson Uintas Mid-June Trip Planning 2
S Southern Utah mid-March with kids Trip Planning 6
IntrepidXJ Mid-Week Moab Hiking & Camping 3
heronwheels Mid-April Trip Questions Trip Planning 10
Yvonne Spring Break mid March, but where to go? Trip Planning 26
Jeff A Uintas Loop in Mid September - Tips? Trip Planning 8
AdamE Trip to the Maze,mid-May Trip Planning 14
AustinCronnelly Options for Mid May Trip Planning 26
Georgia Yankee Snake River; Wolverine, Coulter, Pilgrim Creeks, July-Aug. 2022 Backpacking 18
scatman Shoshone Lake Lollipop Loop - Yellowstone National Park - July 24, 2022 Backpacking 63
TheMountainRabbit Younts Peak (Teton/Washakie Wilderness) - July 2022 Backpacking 20

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top