Tobacco Root Mountains 2017

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
I'm posting all of our last summer Tobacco Root adventures in this thread. Most of them cover places that I have posted threads on before and the reader should search those if looking for access information. While one trip was indeed backpacking (Curly/Beall Lakes) all the remainder were either day hikes or Jeep camping/day hikes.

The first trip was the cabin fever cure in early June. My wife and I were looking for something low elevation (to avoid the snow) for a day hike and settled for Camp Creek Reservoir. For full disclosure, Camp Creek Reservoir exists pretty much in name only. It was purposely breached, probably in the mid 1970's, because it likely wasn't economical to bring it up to Federal safety requirements. There are at least a half dozen other small dams in the Tobacco Roots that met the same fate. Access to this area is via FS Road 160 up South Willow Creek from the old mining town of Pony, MT. The trailhead for FS Trail 6309 is at the north end of the Potosi Campground and the trail follows S. Willow Creek downstream (north) for approximately a mile before heading northeast up a steep grade out of S. Willow into the Camp Creek drainage. Mileage from the campground to the "reservoir" is about 2.5 miles and relatively scenic. For the first mile, you just have to focus your eyes on the scenery and not at your feet. A text book page from the Montana Noxious Weed list and a reason some degree of range management is required for the over populous bovine population on the FS grazing allotment. Enough.

South Willow Creek was really ripping. I didn't get a photo of the ford at the trailhead but it was really moving there also. It would be an adrenaline rush in a kayak, at least until you got to the first log-----


Looking south, upstream, from trail 6309 in a small area of mostly native vegetation. Branham Peaks in background.


Wildlife


Near the S. Willow Camp Creek divide. At this point, mixed sagebrush/fir habitat.


Camp Creek Reservoir with Branham Peaks (left) and Potosi Peak for a backdrop.


We were a bit surprised by the presence of fish (brookies?).


Flowers were hitting their stride.




Required kid photo. But at 12.5 and 14 years old, the moniker hardly fits anymore.


Heading back, we off-trailed it for a mile or so along the divide. Mount Jackson left, Hollowtop Mountain right. Hollowtop is the highest peak in the Roots at 10,604'.


Taken near the above. The dark point in the middle is the tip of Lady of the Lake Peak, with a snowy wedge of mount Bradly to it's right. Far right, Branham Peaks.


Weather was perfect, nice lunch at the reservoir, at a cost of about 10 gallons of gas 2 hours of driving and about 5 hours hiking. A well spent day.
 

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
Next up was the annual July 4th trip to North Meadow Creek-a two night Jeep trip. We hit this one starting June 28th to beat the crowd but the weather wasn't too nice to us.


North Meadow Creek was just ripping.


Friends 97 XJ. He just put a new set of BFG KO's on it.


Upper Twin Lake and Lady of the Lake Peak.


And how we spent most of Thursday-hidding from the hail/snow in the Jeep or why you put a book in the pack-


Cleared off in the evening. Upper Twin again.


Camp.


Friday morning.




Yep, froze pretty hard.


And a parting shot of some of the meadow in North Meadow.
 

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
July turned out to be a busy month and we managed to escape only once, to the Magruder Corridor and that will be posted in off-road. The second weekend of August found us returning to Wisconsin Creek.

The first day we drove in (2 to 3 hour on Jeep trail) and set up camp in our favorite spot in the meadow below Sunrise Peak.


Following that we hiked over to Crystal Lake.


Lakeshore/Gladstone Mine remains at Crystal Lake.


Then we headed back to camp. Wisconsin Creek near camp.


The next morning we hiked to Sunrise and Twin Lakes.
Sunrise Lake.


Mount Jackson.








And hence to Lower Twin Lake arriving about the same time as the afternoon boomers.






The last day arrived pretty chilly.


We packed up camp and then headed to Jackson Lake that we bypassed the day before.


My wife spent a couple hours fishing and then we headed home.
 

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
The following week end, it was a day hike to Brannan Lakes on the South Boulder River. All the photos from this trip were from the Canon point and shoot as I found out the SD card for the real camera was still at home in the PC----


Sailor Lake.


2nd or 3rd highest peak in the Roots and no name.


Upper Brannan Lake.






Mount Jackson.


Outlet of Lower Brannan Lake.






Outlet of Sailor.


Another well spent day.
 

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
The next trip was the 2 nighter backpack trip to Curly and Beall Lakes. There isn't much of an access issue but low range most definitely needed to get to the Curly Lake trailhead.

At the trailhead.




Curly Creek.


Curly Lake.


Upper Curly Creek bowl.


Camp.


Beall Lake.


Puddle at the top of the west fork of Curly Creek. There actually is an abandoned FS trail all the way to this "lake". A lot of dead fall on it but blazes are clearly in evidence.


Hiking down to the above puddle.


Another puddle near camp.


Early morning shot of wet meadow below camp-and yes, the elk were talking to us both nights.


Curly Lake/Curly Creek drainage.




A very intense light and boom show rolled over us the last night and probably dropped close to an inch of percip. But it also started the Conrow fire a few miles north of Cardwell, MT. We were a little concerned that the storm would light up something closer to where we were but thankfully, that didn't happen. But there was a spotter plane doing recon the next morning.

 

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
The first 3 days of September found us at South Meadow Creek Lake. The first day we drove in and packed around the lake to set up camp, and then headed to the large cirque above South Meadow Creek Lake hoping to see a few goats. Alas, they didn't make an appearance but there was more than ample recent evidence of elk, moose, and bears.

Some of the puddles above the Lake:






Yep, still snow in September even after a very warm, dry summer.






The second day we bushwhacked our way down to another puddle a couple 100 feet lower than South Meadow. For sure another moose heaven.


South Meadow Lake proper.


Camp.


Hiking back to the Jeep.
 

John Goering

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
429
The following week, it was a return to North Meadow under better weather than the previous trip. North Meadow is absolutely the most fun Jeep trail in the "Roots" and rare is the occasion when I don't end up using the armor on the bottom of the JK.

Our friends XJ.

I think he came pretty close to wheels up on one place during our exit. Definitely pucker time.

Still plenty of smoke the first day. Upper Twin Lake and Lady of the Lake Peak.


Day 2 day hike to Lady of the Lake. Bottom of Bradley Meadows and Lady of the Lake Peak.




We chased a young bull moose out when we arrived at the lake. He didn't have anywhere else to go except swim as we were blocking his only exit with boulder fields preventing him from heading the rest of the way around the lake.


One of the inlet streams and where the moose had been residing.


Pika.


Lady of the Lake. The fishing was pretty much one cutthroat per cast. My wife really enjoyed it.


The third day we hiked to McKelvey and Cliff Lakes. Again, great fishing.
Upper Twin with no smoke. Yea!


McKelvey.


And a few of Cliff Lake.








A few days after that trip, summer came to a very abrupt end on September 16th and although we kept the packs ready for a couple of weeks, the snow never did depart the high country.
 

Rockskipper

No ETA
.
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,789
Great TRs, especially like the pics of the kids. They're a very cute pair.
 

Outdoor_Fool

Member
.
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
1,589
I wish I could like this a few more times. Excellent photo essay, John. Certainly makes me miss the Tobacco Roots
 

MikeM

Member
.
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
360
Great stuff, John. After a very busy summer where I only made it into the T-Roots once, I really enjoyed viewing it through your eyes.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
482
Now Love this trip report with all the photos. Thanks a Bunch!!! This is one place that I have wanted to get to but haven't is the Tobacco Roots!
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
John Goering Albro Lake, Tobacco root Mountains Off Road 1
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains day hikes Hiking & Camping 3
John Goering Year's initial foray to the Tobacco Root Mountains Hiking & Camping 3
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains South Willow Creek-Camp Creek Reservoir day hike Hiking & Camping 2
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains Wisconsin Creek day hike Hiking & Camping 1
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, South Willow Creek-Granite Lake Hiking & Camping 0
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Indian Creek day hike Hiking & Camping 1
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, annual 4th trip to North Meadow Creek Hiking & Camping 4
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Rock Creek Lake-Hells Hole Hiking & Camping 2
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains-Leggat Creek, Upper Mill Creek Hiking & Camping 1
John Goering South Boulder River (Tobacco Root Mountains) day hikes. Hiking & Camping 8
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Wisconsin Creek, Mud and Sunrise Lakes Hiking & Camping 1
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, South Fork Indian Creek-Thompson Reservoir Backpacking 1
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Lady of the Lake/North Meadow Creek Backpacking 4
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, North Willow Creek Backpacking 3
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains North Meadow Creek 2015 Hiking & Camping 5
John Goering North Fork Indian Creek, Tobacco Root Mountains, Montana Backpacking 4
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, South Willow Creek Hiking & Camping 1
John Goering Quartz Creek/Johnson Creek, Tobacco Root Mountains Backpacking 3
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Indian Creek Backpacking 6
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Mason Lakes Hiking & Camping 3
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, the other side of North Meadow Creek Hiking & Camping 6
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, Mill Creek Backpacking 4
John Goering Tobacco root Mountains, Wisconsin Creek Hiking & Camping 2
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains Noble Fork Backpacking 0
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains Sailor, Globe, Brannan Lakes Backpacking 7
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains Curly Lake Backpacking 3
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains Lost Cabin Lake Backpacking 0
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, South Meadow Creek Hiking & Camping 5
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains Louise Lake trip Backpacking 6
John Goering Tobacco Root recon run Off Road 7
John Goering Tobacco Root Willys trip Off Road 0
John Goering Tobacco Root (North Meadow Creek) trip Backpacking 8
JimmyW Tobacco Roots - Brownback/Pole Canyon Trail Hiking & Camping 0
JimmyW Day trip to Rock Creek Lake - Tobacco Roots Hiking & Camping 2
Mountain Wanderer Cedar Lakes Loop in Montana's Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Backpacking 4
Janice Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula - August 2-7 Backpacking 15
balzaccom Ruby Mountains, Nevada Hiking & Camping 2
fossana 2fer in the Tushars (Tushar Mountains, UT) Hiking & Camping 4
TeamJenkins17 Bighorn Mountains Trip Planning 2
T Grizzly bears in Wind River Mountains Noobs: Introduce yourself! 12
fossana Bat Mountain traverse (Funeral Mountains) Hiking & Camping 5
westy Meadow Valley Mountains Backpacking 7
westy Meadow Valley Mountains Hiking & Camping 2
scatman Tabby's Peak, Cedar Mountains - November 19, 2019 Hiking & Camping 10
westy Delamar Mountains. Again. Hiking & Camping 0
westy Delamar Mountains Hiking & Camping 4
Artemus Wind River Mountains Snowpack 2019/2020 Trip Planning 12
fossana Delano Peak the even longer way (Tushar Mountains, UT) Hiking & Camping 14
fossana Ruby Crest Trail (Ruby Mountains Wilderness) Backpacking 7

Similar threads

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

Top