We had a little extra time after hiking up Tin Cup today, so I decided to swing by Lake Como on our way home. As we got closer to the lake, the wind and rain were moving in, and the temperature was quickly dropping. When I realized the weather wasn't going to be what I had expected, I decided to go anyway. And I'm so glad we went. When I'm busy looking for fair-weather days for hiking, I can sometimes forget how enjoyable the atmosphere of inclement weather can be. One sure way to be reminded is to just get out in the middle of it. Which is what we did today. So much so, I didn't want to leave! :)
I discovered this whimsical rock spiral on the beach and enjoyed following the path to the rock cairn in the center. Just a little carefree fun that brought me an extra smile. :)
Enjoying the moment. -- The evening chill with the wind and the rain as we followed the shoreline listening to the water splashing on the rocks was an awesome experience to end our day. A little reminder that nature is beautiful in all sorts of weather. Enjoy! :)
With our recent cloudy weather, we were happy to see some blue skies and sunshine on our hike up Sweathouse Canyon a few days ago.
It was a sunny day in the valley, and while we were hoping to hit a little sunshine on our hike, we knew we might be getting to that time of the year when the sun never hits the bottom of the canyons. But sun or no sun, we set out for a little mountain fun. :)
The falls are less dramatic this time of year, but still enjoyable to see.
This is the top portion of the lower falls. Icy cold!
We were getting so close to the warm glow of sunshine...
... as we headed up to our spot to hang out past the falls.
A bit of off-trail over and around rock and downfall, but nothing crazy.
The temp had dropped and our blue skies had turned to gray for our way back out.
Still quite enjoyable. We just put on another layer. :)
Overlooking Lost Horse Corridor from Lost Horse Observation Point.
Bitterroot Mountains, Montana. July 2019. Northern Rockies.
There are lots of amazing views of the northern canyon wall in Mill Creek Canyon.
No trail to follow here.
We just pick our way along as we go, using caution on the loose rocks.
Rock fields are always a little slow going for me, but we're making progress. :)
Plenty of rock to navigate on the way up.
I'm not the only one stopping along the way to take pics. ;)
Getting pretty close. It's larger than I realized from the trail. We did get up to the wall below the hole, but as we suspected, it was too high up and risky to try to get into it. So we went around and up on the rock to the right of it as close as we could for now.
Almost there. Coming around on the side.
So, so close! This photo doesn't represent the size well, but it does show the relation of where we were sitting next to the hole. We couldn't find a way into it that we felt safe with at this point in time without additional help or gear. Maybe another day??
Our view looking further into Mill Creek Canyon from our rock spot next to the hole.
Zooming in for a closer look at the snowy mountains.
Enjoying some lighthearted conversation and views away from the beaten path. :)
Looking down from our spot up above the trail and creek.
To add some perspective, I've pointed out the creek below and a hiker that came along on the trail while we were hanging out above.
Heading back down a slightly different way than the way we went up.
This way has less rock field and smaller talus to deal with. The better option for me.
Looking back. Our distance is increasing as we make downward progress.
Back to the trail with a feeling of accomplishment.
The view that had intrigued me has now become another experience. :)
Our little quail came to visit again this morning.
I'm always amused by these quirky little birds and love to watch them skittering about!
As darkness gave way to light one morning last month, I noticed that the faint bit of color in the sky was stretching out farther to the south than usual... which meant a beautiful sunrise was quite likely upon the horizon. However, since we are surrounded by trees, we don't have much of an open view for sunrise photos. So I quickly woke up the girls, threw on some shoes, grabbed my camera (along with a coat and gloves for the cold), and away we went. I was hoping to not be too late as I headed to a spot up the road I knew had a wonderful view of the Sapphire Mountains to the east. My suspicions of a great sunrise were spot on and our timing couldn't have been better. We enjoyed a fabulous color show as it unfolded before our eyes for over half an hour. And a small herd of elk came along to lounge around and graze nearby, so we also enjoyed hearing a bit of bugling behind us while watching such a spectacular sunrise!
As you can see, I took more than a few photos. Enjoy! :)
As the more intense colors disappeared, the serene afterglow was a lovely finish to our dramatic sunrise. It was colder than usual for a mid-October morning, so we were more than ready to get back inside and warm up with some hot cocoa by the fire. :)
17-mile round trip day hike to Bass Lake - October 2019
Bitterroot Mountains - Western Montana - Northern Rockies
With less water flowing down the mountain this time of year, the falls are not as large as they are in late spring and early summer, but I still enjoy the cascading water. :)
I love our mountain streams and waterfalls, and so do the dippers.
But I think I will reserve dipping my feet in this icy cold water for summertime! ;)
Brrrr! The coldness coming off of the water feels like air conditioning.
It's definitely the wrong time of year for that! Back to the trail to keep moving.
A wonderful view to the south from what is known by locals as Pinball Wizard, an avalanche chute north of the trail that keeps this area along the way open to views. It's our turn-around-point in winter and early spring due to avalanche risk, but all is safe to continue to the lake on this trip. :)
More beautiful views as we traverse through the wonderful open meadows that are created by more avalanche chutes along the way.
The views are amazing here! Awesome place for a photography and snack break! :)
More views as we go through the rock field. I love the large bench and table rocks!
(If only I could take some of them home with me.)
Getting closer. We will go between these two mountain slopes to get to the lake which sits just beyond. The backdrop at the other end of the lake is now coming into view.
As we head through an opening between two ridges that close in together just before the lake, we look over to see that we are passing by what was once far off ahead of us. Almost there! :)
We arrive at our destination and continue hiking around the north side of the lake hoping to find more views and less wind than at the east end. And we did. :)
When we hiked into here last year, we didn't have time to hike around the lake, so this is our first time of going beyond the east end of the lake. Part of the hike around Bass Lake seemed kind of similar to hiking around Big Creek Lake. Both are very beautiful!
How long does it take to hike around a mountain lake?
That largely depends on how many pictures you take!! LOL! :)
Although still a little breezy, we chose a spot down by the lake to hang out for a bit and enjoy a little campfire along the rocky shore.
I love watching the sparkles dance on the water while I soak in a little sunshine!
This solitary goose was our only company at the lake.
Almost forgot to get a group photo. Took a quick snapshot as we were leaving the lake. Not the best of lighting here, but it will have to do for this time. Gotta get going. :)
One last look back at the lake as we are leaving. I can picture my son skiing on the slopes when there is more snow on them. As his mom, I always wish him to "be safe and have fun" when he heads out. As for us, it's now time to get back before dark. :)
Back on the trail again to retrace our earlier footsteps. We never came across anyone else coming in or going out, so we enjoyed having the trail and lake completely to ourselves for the day. I love the solitude of being in the mountains by ourselves! :)
Looking back down a portion of Bass Creek Canyon. A whole lot of awesomeness!
(We'll be hiking back through those trees shortly.)
Nature's bench with a view. Love it!! Tell me again why we need to go back? ;)
Okay... since we must get back, I'll try to take less pics and keep moving.
Gotta take a little time to hang out in the meadows on the way back, too.
Soooo peaceful and relaxing with beauty in every direction! :)
I took this photo of the aspens as we were almost back to Pinball Wizard, with about 5 miles left to go. From there I don't have any more pictures to share of this hike on our way back, as I've already taken plenty of photos of the lower portion in many of my shorter day hikes. So I'll end my post with one more photograph of the lake. :)
See you in another Out Here post. Enjoy! :)
Being in the mountains is awesome, even on not-so-fair-weather days!! :)
Some of our views were obscured in the clouds, but the views were still beautiful!
The wind was a bit crazy at the overlook, but I didn't care.
I love being in the mountains, and I love the views!!
Such amazing views ... I feel like I could stay out here forever!
But sooner or later... what goes up must come down. Time to head back.
The crackling warmth of a campfire makes a fall mountain adventure complete. :)
Do what you love! :)
Although we enjoyed our snowy mountain excursion today, I'm still hoping for a little more fall before winter comes to stay. It's a bit too soon for me to get out my skis and snowshoes just yet. :)
As usual, we had a blast! Until next time... :)
Hi! I'm Nikki Weiss, and I'd like to invite you to follow along with me "Out Here".
mountain adventurer + photographer
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