Overlooking Heart Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvo and I are ready to leave the rain behind.

THE DETAILS

Heart Lake,
Lolo National Forest, ID

Saturday, July 1, 1995

Went looking for another long hamp weekend around Missoula.

On Friday evening, I met Marvo at Terbo's and then we headed to Mr. C's to see the night's entertainment, Dave (not me) drink himself silly. Woke up with hangover, naturally.

Katie joined us in the morning and we and Redwood and Elroy headed out to the trailhed about 20 miles south of Superior, MT. Lots of cars parked there.

Met a few people along Trail 171T. It's a constant uphill hike to Heart Lake, but not overly strenuous.

Great views of waterfalls and high canyon walls on the way up. In what would be an omen of things to come, we talked about how lush the forest floor was. Green filled almost every square inch.

Got to Heart Lake in about two hours and ran into the guy-with-the-yippy-dog again. It was a hot day but we decided to hike further up to Pearl Lake. Some of the best views are along this stretch.

Found a nicely hidden campsite on the bluff separating the two lakes. A huge boulder along with lots of pine trees and bear grass took up most of the space, but we found room for two tents.

The weather was fabulous as we finished off a fifth of Super Schnapps and fished Pearl Lake. There weren't any fish in the lake, but we did catch a good buzz.

 

Sunday, July 2, 1995

I had packed in all my fishing stuff except my waders so I really wanted to find a good lake to fish. We had been told that Heart, Dalton, and some of the Trio Lakes held trout.

Shortly after waking, it began to rain. It rarely stopped for the rest of the trip.

We spotted a buck deer in velvet just behind my tent. Terbo offered it some ramen noodles, and it ate some off a tree. It then smelled and brushed at his hand.

Like the rain, the deer was a constant around camp.

After eating in the tents, I got restless and took off for a hike around the lake. Instead, the trail led me to the pass overlooking Dalton Lake. Steep walls dove deep into the lake which still harbored snow and ice. It was unlike any lake I had seen before. This whole area reminded me of Glacier.

Headed back down with Redwood and met the rest of the hampers on the way up. So I went back up and we sat there for a while before talking to a couple of guys from some bible college in Spokane. Nice guys, they didn't catch any fish, but had seen some large trout in Dalton Lake.

Went back down and considered visiting the other campers on that side of Pearl Lake. But they, like nearly everyone else, had dogs with them.

Back at camp we waited out the rain. Played two games of chess with Marvo. Read a bit. And slept a lot. Felt bad for the dogs out in the rain, but most of the time they were out and about playing.

 

Monday, July 3, 1995

We were still dry when we woke up even though the rain was as strong as ever. I had taken the time to stake the tent out well which had helped a lot.

During a break in the rain we decided to leave in two hours. We cooked and ate a lot of food and quickly packed up.

We took down the tents and left camp in mere minutes. Everything was wet. I expected some rain this weekend and was ready for it. Nobody else really was, so they were anxious to get back to the cars. We pretty much bee-lined it out.

Katie fell into the creek trying to cross below Heart Lake. I fell in trying to help her. The campsites at the crossing were empty, everyone had headed out.

The rain wasn't nearly as bad down lower; our campsite location got the brunt of the wind and rain.

Met a group of 15 or 20 adults and kids. They were obviously from some sort of religious organization. The girls all wore there hair long and had to wear skirts. They were not prepared for this kind of hike in this kind of weather. Few had on boots and few had coats. Several of the little girls didn't seem too happy. We wondered if this location was a religious retreat camp.

Made it to the cars in about 2 hours.

An interesting way to do this hike would be to start from Hoodoo Pass, hike along the stateline trail and drop into any of the lakes.

Stayed the night at Terbo's. Drank a bit, ate a bit and just hung out. Left for Great Falls after visiting with their friend Marcus.

Backpacking and Hiking in Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Me, Redwood, Terbo and Katie at the pass above Dalton Lake