9/27 to 9/29/2015 – The wonderful fall continued to roll on in NW Montana, with warm temperatures and dry trail conditions that only helped encourage a bit of exploration. My good buddy Joe and I realized that we had a matching 3-day weekend in late September, and figured that we should wander up into the Whitefish Range again. Also, I had just received a new warrantied grape-soda colored frame from Surly (greatest bicycle manufacturer ever?… yup) and I knew I needed to break it in! After thinking up a couple possible routes, we received an alternate plan from the godfather of good backcountry trails in the area – Mike Meador (author of Mountain Bike Rides of the Flathead Valley guidebook). It involved a good bit of dirt road milage that led to some excellent singletrack, with a night at “the best campsite in the world.”
So we packed up in the morning, and hit the road north out of Whitefish, pedalling from the house up and over Red Meadow Pass to spend the night on the lawn of the Ford Cabin (where friends were staying). That evening, we enjoyed the lunar eclipse viewed over the western front of Glacier National Park. The next day we wandered up Whale Creek, checked out the Ninko Cabin, and lunched at Whale Lake. After that, the final climb up to the Whitefish Divide Trail led to quality backcountry singletrack and down to a glorious night at Huntsberger Lake. Another beautiful night up in the mountains, followed up with a gorgeous morning at the lake ensured that we’d be back to this special spot! The final day of the ride we schwacked, rode, and hiked ourselves – and our loaded bikes – through the remainder of the Whitefish Divide Trail to Red Meadow Pass. It was simply wonderful wandering along a ridgeline with exceptional views and yellowing larches everywhere the eye could see. The final cruise down Upper Whitefish Lake Rd. was pleasant, and only improved with the stashed beers enjoyed along the way!
For only three days, we certainly couldn’t be much happier with how far into that wonderful collection of mountains – just behind our home – we could go! NW Montana just keeps delivering the goods and I couldn’t be happier anywhere else!
On to the photos…