Sunday, February 24, 2008

Front book updates and corrections

The Blackleaf Canyon walls with Mount Werner above them
There's lots that's happened on the Rocky Mountain Front since I published my guidebook, "Discover the Rocky Mountain Front" more than a year ago.
Book users have pointed out some errors, there were huge fires last summer, and there are some landowner changes resulting in the closure of the Falls Creek Roadless Area.
Here are some corrections and updates I hope will serve the reader.

Updates and Corrections

Pages 29-31 Hike No. 3, Falls Creek: Since the book was published access to Trail 229 and the Falls Creek Roadless Area has been blocked from the north by new ownership. The Forest Service does not know when or if it can regain access to the trail. Another longer and more difficult way into this area is from south (the Lincoln side) up the Alice Creek Trail in the Helena National Forest to Lewis and Clark Pass across the Continental Divide.

Pages 93, 127, Hike No. 23 Muddy Creek Falls: There are two errors in the directions on both pages. The following is a corrected set of directions with correct turns in boldface type: Out of Bynum, travel up the Blackleaf Road 13.9 miles to the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area road juncture. Turn left (west) and drive one mile to the Blackleaf sign (you’ll know it by the white arrows). Turn left (south) and proceed 1.4 miles. Turn right and go .5 miles and turn right onto a two track road. Another .2 miles and you’ll reach an arched gate. Travel 2.5 miles on this road to an obvious parking area where there’s a locked gate. Get out, go around the gate and within about 100 feet take the fork to the right and walk 2 miles to the falls along the creek bottom.

P. 52 Lime Gulch Hike map. Trail 267 is misidentified as Trail 216.

P. 111 North Fork of Birch Creek hike map. The map misidentifies the S. Fork of Birch Creek as the S. Fork Teton River.

FRONT FURTHER PROTECTED: The Front gained significant protection from oil and gas development in December 2006 when Congress, under the direction of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, withdrew the area from future oil and gas leasing. There is a move afoot to get Congress to designate the Front as wilderness.

FIRES OF 2007: Fires closed much of the Rocky Mountain most of the summer of 2007.
The following hikes in the book were affected by fire, but are expected to remain open for hiking:
Hike No. 8 Renshaw Loop (Ahorn fire)
Hike No. 19 Teton River Canyon North Fork (Fool Creek Fire)
Hike No. 29 Kiyo Crag Lake (Skyland Fire)
Hike No. 30 Marias Pass area (Skyland Fire)
In addition, the West Fork Teton Campground was burned and is closed.
The Forest Service has closed the West Fork Teton Road temporarily blocking easy access to Mount Wright which is Hike No. 20 in my book. There will be a timber fire salvage sale.
Trail 107 near the campground up the North Fork was scorched as well as Trail 106 up the East Fork to its junction with the Blackleaf Canyon Trail at the pass behind Mount Werner. The Blackleaf to West Fork hike had been a popular one in the Front.
The remote Patrick Basin Trail 243, east and south of the head of Gibson Reservoir, was also burned.-----
Tom Kotynski
February 2008

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