My wife and I squeezed in a short trip into the Pintlers, an area we've always wanted to hike but just never got around to doing it. We both agreed we'd be back in for a longer trip next summer :)
We made a loop starting at the Middle Fork of Rock Ck trailhead, headed up the Middle Fork- hooking into a few trails including a potion of the CDT and then out the Falls Fork of Rock Ck back to the same trailhead
The area is dotted with several alpine lakes (most occupied by trout :))
Little Johnson Lake (the lupines were out in full force, as well as a whole host of other wildflowers)
@ Bitterroot Pass
looking down onto Kelly Lake
camp at Ripple Lake
I was expecting "typical" small mountain lake trout (8-10"), but got totally surprised w/ this fish- cutthroat-rainbow cross that was in the 4 # range! With very light tackle (2# test), I had a long 20 minute fight and surprised myself and actually landed it. The trout was too big for the grill so he went back in to grow some more.
this one wasn't too big however for my "1 oz grill"
there was a large burn in the area in 2000 that took large chunks of real estate
trail into Hidden Lake- amazing wildflowers!
views from the CDT
this sign got a scorching
Elk Park (aptly named as we saw 15-20 head)
the nights were cool and the mornings crisp
while resting at the pass we met "Handle Bar" who was on his way to finishing the CDT, was great visiting with him as we want to give the CDT a go sometime
down the Falls Fork which is aptly named as well
I've already penciled in a longer loop east of where we were hiking for next year :)