Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rattlesnake National Recreational Area

Steph had her freshman orientation at the University of Montana in Missoula last Thursday and Friday. I went with her but I went mountain biking while she signed up for classes, etc. I checked out some of the trails at the Rattlesnake National Recreational Area. Like Spokane with Riverside State Park nearby, Missoula has Rattlesnake within easy reach of the city.

Since I didn't know the place, I just went exploring. One of the trails I stumbled across on the first day, Wallman Trail, totally kicked my butt. It went up and up...and up some more...and then some more. I finally had to get off and walk for a while. Not knowing how much farther the trail went I decided to do the much more fun descent from there. Afterwards I found a long piece of single track closely bordered by tall grass and lots of bushes. Everything was wet from the rain and my shoes would hit the wet grass while I pedaled. They ended up soaked from the constant wet brushing. On the second day I just followed the main Rattlesnake Trail. It was a long gradual climb with lots of scenic creek crossings. There were deer and rabbits about. The rabbits were more skittish than the deer. After crossing Rattlesnake Creek, the trail took a steep climb. But it was very soggy and had water flowing down it so I followed the rules about not creating ruts on a trail in this condition. The ride back went quick since it was mostly downhill.

I look forward to visiting the trails again while Steph is attending school there for the next four years. Maybe I'll get strong enough to ride Wallman to the top--where ever that is.

Climbing Wallman Trail. 

Wet grass on both sides made my shoes soggy.

 Rattlesnake Creek.

 Crossing Fraser Creek.

 Pilcher Creek.

 Beeskove Creek.


Brian J said...

I love rattlesnake, and try to hit it during work travels. I have a great 1.5 hr "best bang for your buck" route in my head, I'll reference and send you the deets.

Hank Greer said...

That would be awesome, Brian. I'll be visiting Missoula quite a few times.