Blowdowns, washouts making backcountry travel challenging

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Hikers heading into the Missions can expect blowdowns and difficult travel conditions. Here is a high country camp in a file photo.

Backcountry travel in the Bob Marshall and wildlands adjacent to it is proving challenging this spring, the Flathead National Forest is saying.

An above average snowpack and several winter storms has some trails either washed out or clogged with blowdown. Early season hikers should expect down trees and difficult travel. The blowdown and washouts has trail crews about three weeks behind an typical year.

In the Bob Marshall, Trail 80 leading down to the ford at Mid Creek was washed out this spring. A temporary patch is in place, but folks are urged to use caution when traveling with stock. This segment of trail is accessed via the Meadow Creek Trailhead on the Spotted Bear Ranger District.

Trail 80 is the main route into the South Fork out of Meadow Creek Gorge.

Down south in the Bob, trail No. 126, the Danaher Creek Trail, is washed out approximately ˝-mile north of Rapid Creek. It is currently not passable by stock, the Forest warns.

The Hahn Creek Trail, No. 141, has a major blowdown on the trail in upper Jenny Creek. The trail is not passable to stock.

Closer to home, Road 896 near milepost .2 is currently closed to motorized use. The roadbed has slumped away making access impassible. This road accesses a small dispersed campsite on Hungry Horse Creek off the Hungry Horse Reservoir

The Swan Lake District has several issues for folks looking to get into the Mission Mountains and Swan Range, including:

• Glacier Road No. 561 has deep channels near the parking lot.

• Lindbergh Road to Crystal Lake (North) has impassable blowdown.

• Trail No. 490 (Lindbergh Lake) has heavy blowdown.

Folks heading into the backcountry should contact the local ranger station where they’re hiking for the most up-to-date conditions.

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