Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Devil's Glen in Scapegoat Wilderness before the snow

Looking down on one of the Devil's Glen cascades

The key stretch of the Devil's Glen

On my way out the sun finally lit up the Steamboat bluffs
It's been a while since I hiked to Devil's Glen on the Dearborn River, an easy trek in this limestone canyon of translucent emerald waters and cascades beneath Steamboat and Monitor mountains.
The last time was before the Scapegoat Wilderness boundaries were expanded by Congress under the Heritage Act to include this scenic area.  I love the new Scapegoat Wilderness sign just beyond the Forest boundary.
It is a 2.5 miles hike one-way from a trailhead across the road from a Christian guest ranch and retreat center.
The land ownership in this area is as ugly as the area is beautiful.
It is near where neighbors fought over access issues and one murdered another.
A landowner closed off access to the Falls Creek roadless area several years ago.
The access to Devil's Glen is so tight that a thin one-mile trail from the parking area parallels a road cluttered with no trespassing signs.
There has been an encouraging development in the area, though.  The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has negotiated a deal to buy access into Falls Creek and is raising money to that end.
I took off from Great Falls around 10 a.m.,and was back in town from my hike by 4 p.m.
The trailhead is a mere 72 miles from town by way of Augusta or Highway 200 cutoff to Bean Lake.
Of note, there was tree thinning for fire protection going on private property.  These folks are going to need it.
The debris piles from tree thinning

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