Tobacco Root Mountains North Meadow Creek 2015

John Goering

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Another mixed use trip with a good shot of off-roading plus a couple of day hikes-both on and off trail. Location is our annual 4th of July pilgrimage to North Meadow Creek in the Tobacco Root Mountains in Madison County, MT. Trail numbers and access can be found in some of my previous North Meadow TR's.

At the divide between North Meadow Creek and Hot Springs Creek/Revenue Flats. Ward Peak in background. This is on Sterling Road.
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Upper Twin Lake, Friday afternoon.
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After getting camp set up, we did a short hike to the upper end of the lake. Lots of fish in the inlet-most yellowstone cuts.
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The rest of the party observed a couple of cow elk with calves in that meadow but I missed them. Saturday morning we did a 10 mile day hike past McKelvey, Mine, and Cliff Lakes ending in the next drainage to the south at Kidd Lake. The last several years the weather was either rain or snow, or the place was still buried with the latter. This year is was perfect.
McKelvey Lake. Cliff lake sits in the bowl behind it.
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A couple shots of Cliff. Nice cuts there also.
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Outlet below Cliff Lake.
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Meadow between McKelvey and Cliff Lakes.
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Ward Peak at the divide between Mckelvey Lake and Kidd Mountain.

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Remains of a mine building in the upper Kidd Lake drainage.

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Accessory buildings-----ATV trail goes right by this site.

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We departed the FS trail a short distance below those buildings and headed off-trail directly for Kidd Lake. Found a long abandoned cord wood pile.

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Kidd Lake nestled right up against the base of Ward Peak.

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The Frisbee Mine cook house on the way back to Upper Twin Lake.

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Pond in a meadow below Upper Twin.

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Camp at Upper Twin Lake.

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Sunday morning, we packed up camp and stashed the gear in the Jeep and then headed up past Bradley Meadows to the un-named lake we are pretty fond of.

Upper Twin, Sunday morning and yes, the weather had changed.

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Bradley Meadows.

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The un-named lake.

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Lots of flora at the lake.

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Below the un-named lake.

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Bradley Meadows on the way back to Upper Twin.

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Upper Twin Lake on the way out.

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Can't have a thread which involves a little off-roading without at least one Jeep shot, even if it's one of the new-fangled variety.

At Upper Twin just before heading home.

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On the trail.

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And what our friends were driving-not really sold on these. A lot faster than an old CJ flatty perhaps, but tend to get wheels in the air way more often. The JK was much faster in the rocks.

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Beautiful scenery as always John. That's one dicey looking road. I assume it's standard to keep extra provisions on hand when traveling roads like that in your neck of the woods?
 
Beautiful scenery as always John. That's one dicey looking road. I assume it's standard to keep extra provisions on hand when traveling roads like that in your neck of the woods?

Depending on one's point of view, that trail is either the best or worst Jeep trail around here. It does sharpen your driving skills. I always have a winch on all my Jeeps and if you happen to slide off one of those boulders into where you really don't want to be, that is the extraction means. There is a branch that goes up to McKelvey Lake but I no longer do that. None of my rigs can make that without rumpling the sheet metal these days. This was the first trip with the JK on 35's and they did make one hell of a difference. Opened up all sorts of lines I bottomed out on before.

We also always have our complete backpacking gear along so it wouldn't be too difficult to just hike out if necessary. For the 4th of July weekend, there really weren't any people up there. Didn't see anyone Friday, 2 ATV's on Saturday-late, a couple bikes, a couple hikers, and one truck at the trail head on Sunday. Usually a pretty busy place that weekend.
 
Great adventures John. I'm looking at getting the kids up there in a week or so. How is the fishing on Mine, Cliff and McKelvey?
 
Great adventures John. I'm looking at getting the kids up there in a week or so. How is the fishing on Mine, Cliff and McKelvey?
Sorry about the late response, but the fishing is really decent in all of them, including Kidd and Upper/Lower Twins. The only caveat is Lower Twin is mostly brookies and they are usually small. Yellowstone cuts and a few cut/rainbow hybrids in the rest. I think the best fishing in the Roots is Jackson Lake on Wisconsin Creek and Skytop Lake on North Willow Creek-westslope and Yellowstone cuts respectively.
 
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