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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With one exception, my wife and I didn't stray too far from home this summer with a number of trips to the Roots that will be summarized here.

This trip was the June cabin fever cure. 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. Didn't get a photo of the ford 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.



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.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The second trip, starting June 28th, was our annual trek to North Meadow Creek but the weather wasn't too nice to us.


North Meadow Creek was just ripping.


Friends 97 XJ. He had just installed a new set of KO's on it.


Upper Twin Lake and Lady of the Lake Peak.


And how we spent most of Thursday-hidding from the hail in the Jeep-


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.
 
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Nice, I need to spend some time over there. We get over a lot due to my daughter is at MSU but never have done much camping etc.
Go griz LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The middle of August found us at Brannan Lakes on the South Boulder River. All photos from the 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
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The next trip was a 3 day/2 night trip, again on the South Boulder, to Curly and Beall Lakes. There is not much of an access issue getting to the Curly Lake Trailhead but low range is most definitely needed.

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


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 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.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Next: a 3 day trip to Wisconsin Creek out of Sheridan, MT

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.


We then 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 then 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.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And then it was South Meadow Creek. The first day we drove in and hiked 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 Sept 11 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.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And finally, a last trip the 2nd week of September back to North Meadow to enjoy a little better weather than the first visit. North Meadow is absolutely the most fun 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.








Any thought of more "summer" trips abruptly ended a few days after this adventure and the white clothes on the Roots will be there until spring.
 
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