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  1. #1
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    The OTHER Montana advocacy ride

    LIMA PEAKS FAT TIRE FESTIVAL
    (TRAIL ADVOCACY RIDES)
    July 11, 12 and 13th, 2008


    Rendezvous Friday, July 11th at 7 to 9 pm at the Dell Bar, Located in Dell, MT. Exit I-15 at Dell, MT (Exit 23). Take a left go through the underpass and the Dell Bar will be due East on Main street. Detailed ride directions will be located outside the bar for latecomers or Saturday morning arrivals.

    Camping: Riders are encouraged to camp at the East Creek Campground located approximately 8 miles south west of Lima. See attached map for directions

    Saturday, July 12th Rendezvous at Dell Mercantile @ 9 am for Deadman/Nicholia Ride. The ride begins at the Nicholia Creek Trail head, A scenic 20 + mile ride will begin at 10 am. Intermediate trail skills and Advanced fitness are required. Riders will meet at the Pete’s bar in Lima post ride for drinks and food at 7 pm.

    Sunday, July 13th The ride begins at the Little sheep creek trail head and the ride will finish at Sawmill creek. Riding begins @ 9:00am.

    Contact: [email protected] for questions or directions.


    LIMA PEAKS FAT TIRE FEASTIVAL DIRECTIONS:

    DELL MT- Located at EXIT 23 on I-15, The Dell bar is located on Main Street in downtown Dell.

    Camping: From Dell get on I-15 heading south and exit at Lima (Exit 23). Take a right from the off-ramp and take a right on the Frontage Road. Head North approximately 2 miles and take a Left
    on Little Sheep Creek Rd, stay on road for approximately 9 miles and take a right on the Forest Service Road # 3930, stay on road approximately 2 miles and the East Creek Campground will be on the right.

    Saturday July 12th, Ride. Deadmans Cr to Nicholia Cr: From downtown Dell head west through the interstate underpass and take a left on the Frontage Road. Head south approximately 1.5 miles and take a Right on Big Sheep Creek Road. Stay on Big Sheep Creek Road for approximately for 13 miles and take a left of Forest Service Road #657 head south approximately 9 miles until the Nicholia Creek trailhead is reached. The last 3 miles of road is relatively rough and a “ Subaru “ type clearance may be required. Post ride beers/food at Pete’s Bar in Lima around 7pm

    Sunday July 13th, Ride. Little Sheep Cr. to Sawmill: The ride will start from the East Creek campground. See the abovementioned camping directions.

    Lodging Available @ Mountain View Motel and RV Park, Lima: Contact Mike Strang 406-276-3535 and Jan’s Cafe and Cabins in Lima 406-276-3484
    Directions and a Map will be available at Dell Mercantile in Dell, Jan’s Cafe and the Exit 15 Motel and Lima
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  2. #2
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    some more information

    This ride has been talked about for many months, and is just now finally trying to take shape. It is our primary focus in Montana to retain the Continental Divide Trail from Yellowstone Park to the Pintlar Wilderness as a bicycle corridor. Several places along the route are threatened to be Recommended Wilderness Areas. The heart of the 300 mile route is this area, the Garfield Mountain RWA (behind the Lima Peaks), and the Italian Peak RWA.

    The Continental Divide Trail cuts through the middle of the Garfield Mt. area, and traverses the northern tier of the Italian Peak area. The Italian Peak loop is trail #91, a self-contained loop to the south of the CDT. The Montana Mountain Bike Alliance's comments proposed a combination of boundary adjustments and bike corridors to the proposed RWAs. We do not oppose the RWAs.

    There are classic rides around the country, and I ask you to reflect on what a classic mountain bike ride's qualities are. In Montana, the Curley Creek Loop and the Gallatin Crest come to mind. Also the Whitefish Divide and as a front country example, the Bangtail Divide. Also trail #2 in the East Pioneers. The Italian Peak loop, trail #91 is a classic in a similar sense to those routes. The known history of biking there is just about 20 years, and so is the history of trying to make it an RWA. The forest service has been ignorant of our presence there up until 3 years ago, they will be ignorant no more.

    Beaverhead County communities need some convincing that mountain bike riding can make a difference in their economies. Go to Dell and Lima and drop some cash in the store, restaurant, and bar.

    Join us on these rides, especially the Italian Peak ride, and experience a true Montana classic.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  3. #3
    jones'in
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    Sonofa BBBBBB!!

    I'm at a wedding that weekend, but I've been waiting for you guys to post a ride in this area. I've hunted in Sawmill Cr./Deep Cr./Shineberger Cr. for 15 years. I know most of that country like the back of my hand, basically everything south of Lima Peaks. Absolutely beautiful country. One year, hunting was slow, so my dad, brother and I hiked from Sawmill Creek (where we setup camp every year) all the way around Lima Peaks (through the saddle at the head of Deep Cr.), through Dutch Hollow, the bottom end of Deep Creek and back to camp. Was a pretty good hike....especially in knee deep snow.

    For those of you who don't have anything going on this weekend, DO THIS RIDE!! I'm gonna plan a weekend of riding over there later this summer too, I'll post it up when the time comes. Be sure to get a roast beef sammy at the Calf-A in Dell...tasty!

    Some pics to entice (from 2007 hunting season...snow wasn't very deep last year):
    Lima Peaks from the head end of Deep Cr.:


    Looking at the Centennials from the head of Deep Cr.:


    Garfield Mountain (you can see a bit of the CDT trail in the side of the hill) from Deep Cr.:

    --Ben
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  4. #4
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    Great pics Ben. That was a HUGE hike! For those that don't know, this is not the Italian Peak portion but the Lima Peaks-Garfield Mt. area. The two areas are about 25 miles apart.

    I'm glad you mentioned hunting. For at least 20 years, these two areas have been excellent bike accessed hunting areas during bow and early rifle season.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  5. #5
    jones'in
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregB406
    For those that don't know, this is not the Italian Peak portion but the Lima Peaks-Garfield Mt. area. The two areas are about 25 miles apart
    Yes, sorry for the confusion. I saw that your ride on Sunday will be ending in the Sawmill Cr. area, which was the context of my post. Should have been more clear.

    And yes....it was a very long hike. We were just feeling adventurous and didn't realize what we were getting into until we were already fully on the north side of the peaks. At that point, we figured we might as well finish the loop. Took all day.
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  6. #6
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    some italian peak pics

    fall of 05. Snowed during the night, and a late start had us chasing the snowline as it retreated.

    Be sure to check out John's pictures of Italian Peak too. http://picasaweb.google.com/Parkerjohn/ItalianPeaks
    And his pictures of Little Sheep and Sawmill area are mixed in to that album.

    Vote for John! Santa Cruz bike Hellride 5!
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    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  7. #7
    Salad Days
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    Italian peaks

    I'll take the liberty of adding some a couple more photos. The riding up there is pretty darn cool.
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  8. #8
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    Greg.....we're looking forward to riding with ya on sunday.


    a few more pics from last year.



    later, Chad
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    Same thing back to ya, Chad. See ya soon.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  10. #10
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    mostly positive press

    From today's Butte newspaper, the Montana Standard.

    It's not entirely accurate, and the headline is not our aim at all, but it is almost a positive article. Read on...

    Lima mountain bike festival is a protest against wilderness proposal
    By Nick Gevock of The Montana Standard - 07/08/2008

    When it comes to mountain biking destinations, places such as Moab, Utah and Crested Butte, Colo. set the standard for trails, accommodations and cold beer.

    And if Corey Biggers has his way, Lima, Mont. could join the ranks of scenic locales popular among the mountain biking crowd.

    “That Continental Divide Trail in Beaverhead County is some of the best mountain bike trail I’ve ever done, bar none,” he said this week. “There’s no doubt in my mind it could be a summer destination.” But it won’t happen, Biggers said, if the nearby Lima Peaks are designated a wilderness area as called for in a proposed U.S. Forest Service management plan for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Mechanized equipment, including mountain bikes, are not allowed in wilderness areas, which are recommended by Forest Service staff but can only be designated by an act of U.S. Congress.

    Biggers and other members of a group called the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance, a group that works to maintain bicycle access to public land, are trying to spread the word about the riding potential in the area. This weekend they’re putting on the Lima Peaks Fat Tire Festival, an event that has two rides planned in the Italian Peaks and Lima Peaks areas, both of which are slated to be managed as wilderness by the Forest Service in the plan.

    Biggers said they did a similar event last year that drew a handful of riders, and this year they’re hoping for a bigger crowd. The group is also inviting hikers and horseback riders, but not off-road vehicle riders because those areas are already closed to motorized use.

    He’s been meeting with Forest Service officials to push for changes to the plan. Biggers said his group favors protection for the areas, but said wilderness goes too far in barring some activities, especially mountain biking. He said federal law allows other options, such as a national conservation area or national protection area that would still allow mountain biking.

    Biggers said he wants business owners and residents in Lima to understand the potential to make money off of what’s there, with millions of people who ride mountain bikes and billions of dollars pumped into local economies.

    “It’s our way of showing and kind of giving Lima and Dell an idea of what there could be, you look at some of the demographics,” he said. “They literally have a million dollar resource and it doesn’t require any resource extraction.” The alliance’s lobbying against the wilderness proposal in the plan has brought the group together with people it otherwise might not agree with, Beaverhead County Commissioner Mike McGinley said.

    “It has created some strange bedfellows, because you’ve got the mountain bikers who are non-motorized, and yet the wilderness designation would keep them out,” he said.

    But aside from making a statement, the festival is meant to be a good time, Biggers said. The event will include an evening barbecue and beers in Lima after the rides.

    “Those things are just fun,” said Mike Strang, owner of the Mountain View Motel in Lima and a former cyclist. “You get together and have a good time.” — Nick Gevock may be reached at [email protected]
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  11. #11
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    Italian Peak ride report, chapter one

    Kathy and I packed up the old motor home, after filling the tank (150 plus bucks). We pulled out of the drive at 5pm for the 3 hour drive to Dell to meet an enviro at the Dell bar for a beer and debate. Kathy yells "stop, you've got a flat tire!" Poo, I jump on another bike and pedal to the tire store, where they say, no problem, we're open till 5:30.

    6:30 and we're on the road again. Smooth sailing, but we arrive late in Dell and no enviro in sight. One person at the bar, plus bartender, and they took us under their wing. Life stories and all talked about, a couple buds walked in, and the reunion started anew.

    We were in camp by 11 and up at 7. Back into Dell to pick up the morning arrivals and lead them down the 30 mile dirt road to Italian Peak trailhead. Sun was out, the day started cool, and 14 people plus 2 dogs were ready to go. I threw in a pic of myself just because no one knows what I look like. Pics of the riding team, the takeoff, and early efforts up Deadman Creek on the way to Nicholia Crk. This all takes place in the Italian Peak area. Fox IMBA hero Corey Biggers is there, plus photographer Bob Allen and his high energy bride, Estela. Also our riding champion, John Parker, who made a valiant effort to qualify for Hellride 5.
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    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  12. #12
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    from a mix of other cameras

    We shuttled up to a hilltop start in the interest of time and energy. I got ansy and rode up the thing, and arrived about 45 minutes later with 2 pickups packed with riders. We all took off to find a connection with the Continental Divide Trail. Two plus a dog turned here and the rest of us soldiered on. It was a diverse group, beginners to super advanced skill level. Ages 25 to 55. A balanced ride, 2 dogs, 2 girls, 2 treks, 2 cannondales, 2 yetis. We had a busted chain, bent derailleur hanger, and 2 flats. A 5 hour ride became an 8 hour ride. But the Italian Peak geology dominated the day. There was no way to escape it. From the foliage growing over the freshly constructed CDT, and the hide and seek watercourse of Deadman Creek. Then as you creep up the Deadman drainage, the overhanging arch of rock on Italian Peak just grabs your senses like Half Dome or El Cap (if you know what I mean). At this point half of us were bonking and just mostly pushing. Ride hero undoubtedly was Christina, who is just in a second year of biking and never, ever, uttered a discouraging word. Off the top, one has to negotiate a talus field, a couple hundred foot vert, loose, spincter pucker drainpipe track. At the foot of it is the best spring in the Montana rockies, where we watered up. Georgia, the dog wandered over to a NOLS camp and ate their cobbler. For this, our sole goof up, we apologize to the NOLS staff and students.
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    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  13. #13
    jones'in
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    wow......nice pics. I really wanted to make this ride.....silly weddings getting in the way.

    I'll ride it before the summer's out if I have to quit my job! (ok, maybe not) Thanks for the pictures Greg!

    --Ben
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    chapter three

    I almost forgot one of the days highlights. Whilst Aaron fixed his bent hanger, we were treated to a spectacular display of helicopter logging. For those of you who are not initiated, it involves a horsefly, a nice sturdy grass stem, and a deft aim as you stuff the ah.. grass, um up the. Oh well, the fly takes off and puts on a fairly kamakazi display of helicopter spirals until he simply sputters out. Great redneck fun.

    Wildflowers were psychedelic!

    Descending below the spring, the technical trail bobs and weaves, then repeatedly disappears in the meadows, where a dozen sets of eyes would go on a scavenger hunt for trail clues to picl up the path agian. This happened 3 or 4 times. Took a while to descend, and this confusion becomes part of the magic of the Nicholia drainage, one of the greatest natural bike playgrounds anywhere. I think we were a good 2 hours coming down (about 8 miles to the vehicles).

    We were late getting to Lima and dinner, but pigged out at the bar, most of us missed getting a shower, and we finished up around a fire at midnight listening to golden oldies on satellite radio. Thanks Mike Strang at Mountain View Motel for the shower offer! We'll try to be more timely next time. I hope we can do this again!

    Summary: Italian Peak is super endangered. even with a 20 year bike history, it gets very little use. Trail keeps filling in with new growth. I hope the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest sees the need to keep a couple of these trails open. We'll find out this fall or winter.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by GregB406; 07-16-2008 at 07:41 PM. Reason: forgot the pictures
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  15. #15
    Talentless Hack
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    Killer ride, wished I could have made it. Whens the next advocacy ride? I'll be sure to show up. Heck, you should make every ride an advocacy ride.
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  16. #16
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    Here's a few more.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/ItalianPeaks/photo#5224006146646306626"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/SH9l6ZNPb0I/AAAAAAAAAG4/425eXIbMhUk/s800/MMBA-1.jpg" /></a>
    Nice place

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/ItalianPeaks/photo#5224006995190144706"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/SH9mryR23sI/AAAAAAAAAHs/tuAPqKPPR5M/s800/MMBA-9.jpg" /></a>
    A sweet anticline

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/ItalianPeaks/photo#5224008203657840466"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/SH9nyILAh1I/AAAAAAAAAIk/aa9oB829aJE/s800/MMBA-14.jpg" /></a>
    Adam and Ron

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/ItalianPeaks/photo#5224009147254129346"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/SH9opDV5QsI/AAAAAAAAAJo/FG50m4AGo0w/s800/MMBA-25.jpg" /></a>
    Greg putting his almost vintage schwinn through it's paces

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/ItalianPeaks/photo#5224009559690951346"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/MontanaMountainBikeAlliance/SH9pBDyfurI/AAAAAAAAAKE/rPPXFWDkmhs/s800/MMBA-28.jpg" /></a>
    One of the Daves. Note the "trail" is just a path through the brush. The poor thing needs our traffic to survive. . .

    I had a flat too, so does that make 3?

    The meadow where everyone gets lost is funny. There are 4 posts that you can link together, but the third is tough to find and the fourth has totally fallen over. We went through in a search pattern and Greg found the trail as a path of only grass through grass and sagebrush.

  17. #17
    The Sentinel
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    Dang...missed it by two days

    I was traveling through that area on Wednesday the 9th, heading to Missoula to visit relatives. I had just enough time to enjoy a tasty cheeseburger at the Dell Calf-A! The wife and I make the trek to Missoula a couple of times a year, and would love to take a break for a ride along the way there...do you have any maps or GPS tracks of those rides?
    Sworn to avenge, condemned to hell

  18. #18
    jones'in
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker62
    I had just enough time to enjoy a tasty cheeseburger at the Dell Calf-A!
    The open-faced roast beef sandwich is the best thing on the menu there!

    I'd love some GPS tracks too, in case I can't make it out there with someone who's ridden these routes. I can make my way around the Lima Peaks/Garfield Mtn area, but haven't done any exploring in the Italian Peaks.
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  19. #19
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    This looks like a great ride. I'm going to do it when I'm in the area (early August). Awesome pictures, too!

  20. #20
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    The second day, Lima Peaks

    This was a 2-day ride, and so here it is, the next day. We lost Tim and Greg (thats right, there was 2 Greg's on the Italian Peak ride, yet more balance) to obligations at home. But we picked up Ashley and Sherri, and a surprise showing by 2 new friends, Mitch and Andrea (and dog Bernie).

    I must detour a bit now. The previous day, we were disappointed by not having along a well known Montana enviro. This second day, Chad and Shrek were to join us, but became no-shows. We could never diss Shrek, as he is far too core to approach that way. So we dissed Chad, one of the nicest guys anywhere, because we could. Chad, did you find your ears were burning on sunday?

    Detour number 2. Mitch and Andreas dog. Bernie. Standard poodle. Descended from wild standard MOUNTAIN poodles. they have died out in the wild, because of the herds of groomers that followed them died out too. Now these large prissy dogs exist only in captivity, living on toast points and caviar, and thriving on complements. Bernie was very cool and shrugged off our dissing of Chad by thinking, "Chad is almost as cool as me".

    It was a hotter day, and our fatigue bore heavily on us. It's not a super tough trail, Little Sheep Creek, but tough enough to kick at our butts all the way up. Again, the wildflowers were cranking full volume. The trail has numerous creek crossings with appropriately placed stones for foot placement. The sun just beat us up. About 2/3 of the way up 5 of our 12 riders had to bail out for various reasons, but it was cool. They met my wife Kathy who was walking Sonya, Aarons dog, on the downhill back to the car. No shame here, everyone was tired or had taken on too much sun the day before.

    But they didn't turn around before they had their spiritual experince broken. A couple years ago, in a meeting with Gail Kimball, (now chief of the forest service), Corey asked her what was wrong with him riding a bike in recommended wilderness. Her answer was that Corey, on a bike, ruined the spiritual experience of the hikers. Well, about 4 miles up the trail on Sunday, we came across 4 hikers, bearing signs, protesting our presence on bikes. One sign said, "FAT TIRES, FAT CHANCE" the next, "BOOTS, NOT BIKES", and the last, "KEEP IT WILD". (slogan for the Montana Wilderness Association)

    Talk about affecting our spiritual experince. These guys made a point to tell us to stay on the trail. They were squatting in the wildflowers. They were young, idealistic, and quite ignorant. We gave them some facts and figures, and said that there was room enough out here for all kinds of protesters. One of our group called one of their group a name. Of course, it fit very well. But we do owe the d--khead an apology.

    Later, Kathy came upon them, while they were tromping up and down the meadows and busting through the willows by the creek. She visited with them some, and made observations. Before our advance, or faster, riders came back down, these guys had drug 3 logs across the trail to block our way. Of course, the logs got moved back and the d---chbags were confronted, and they denied doing it. The only other person up there was Kathy. Oh well. We are not showing their pictures because it just wouldn't be mature to spread their mugs around. They are saved though, for blackmail. Hahahahaha! Here is some other pics.
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    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  21. #21
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    Coincidentally, I was backpacking out that way last weekend. Didn't see those 4 or the ride, but I noticed this on the Sawmill Creek Trailhead sign when we got back to our rigs on Sunday around 11:00:
    P7130145.JPG

  22. #22
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    If you have photo evidence of the group putting logs across the trail you should submit it to the FS since they are doing unauthorized trail work
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  23. #23
    jones'in
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    If you have photo evidence of the group putting logs across the trail you should submit it to the FS since they are doing unauthorized trail work
    And they're vandalizing FS signs........WTF, over? I'm glad you all had a good ride, despite the douchebags. Wish I could have joined you.

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  24. #24
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    the final hike a bike session dumps one into a high grassy basin where Little Sheep trail tees into the CDT. Then a half mile grunt-pedal effort put us on top, looking into Sawmill drainage to the east. Here is some 360 degree shots off the top point of the day. You'll see the similarity with Ben's snow pics earlier in the thread. I guess the ride was around 7 miles each way, and a 2000 or more vert.
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    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  25. #25
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    A Trip over there...

    We are thinking about riding this area over labor day weekend and are curious which Gallatin National Forest Map I need. I am assuming the West Half?

    Are the sites at the East Creek campground fairly spread out? Enough rooms for dogs?
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  26. #26
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    If you're talking about the Lima Peaks / Italian Peaks, it's Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF. South Unit, west half. There's a USFS office in Dillon that will sell the map if you can't find it elsewhere.

  27. #27
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    Chris, It's in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. You need what is called the Southwest Montana interagency visitor/travel map, west half. 1996 edition. It's the current map. You get there by driving over Monida Pass, on I-15. Wish I could join you that trip, but I won't make it there until late Sept. Post before you go and I'll bet you'll get some company!
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  28. #28
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    might as well add this tidbit

    since most people have seen it by now, the rest of you might as well partake in the slamfest or read and learn something.

    http://www.newwest.net/topic/article...rness/C41/L41/

    Lots of areas have their own wilderness issues, but sometimes I think that Montana might be ground zero for the wilderness movement.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

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