Friday, August 14, 2015

Bowl Mountain in Bob offers exceptional views

Packers with Bowl Mountain in the background

The Bowl Mountain wall to the west and below the peak
This is a 17-mile round trip hike to the top of Bowl Mountain (elevation: 8,217 feet) in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in the Flathead National Forest.
This is an area that got pounded by the 2007 fires and on the day of this hike it was filled with smoke again from fires burning around the state.
Originally, I had set out to hike to Teton Pass from the West Fork Teton, a distance of over 11 miles round-trip and about 2,000 feet elevation gain.
But, when I got to the pass and the Flathead National Forest's Bob Marshall Wilderness sign I couldn't help but keep going and Bowl Mountain was the handiest mountain.
This is an unaesthetic mountain in a burned over area ---- not selling points, right?
Looks were deceiving.
Ground cover is in color already
Even though smoke obscured my views, as I ascended this mountain --- only 1,600 feet from the Bowl valley trail --- I discovered I was surrounded by an intersection of reefs, mountains and ridgelines and Bowl was in the center of it.
Further, although the high point of Bowl is rounded it sits above a spectacular wall  below to the west that goes on for more than a mile.  At this intersection is the Corrugate Ridge, Washboard Reef, Porphyry Reef and the mountains of the Front.
Normally, when I hike to Teton Pass I continue on for a traverse of the Washboard Reef.  That traverse, with its several highpoints dominated the eastern view.
Most of the Teton Pass hike is now within the Bob Marshall on the Lewis and Clark Forest as part of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, signed into law by President Obama last winter.

For map, elevation graph and more photos, CLICK HERE

Bowl Mountain ridge line

West flank of Corrugate Ridge to the east