Posted by: sunnyharvy | August 23, 2014

Happy Trails to You

Other than Glacier National Park, I didn’t know much about what Montana has to offer, so I picked up several brochures at the Murray Hotel in Livingston (see previous post) and started doing my homework. I came up with two different types of trail outings that fit our interests.

The first was the Clearwater River Canoe Trail just north of Seeley Lake, Montana.


The dirt road to the put-in provided a few obstacles in the way of low hanging branches that I had to hook with our awning pole and hold aside while Al drove past. We were a bit hesitant when we saw how narrow the river was at the put-in. Then the clouds let loose just as we set off. We quickly donned our foulies and carried on anyway. Luckily the rain did not last very long and we eventually dried out. The river trail provided a pleasant, although not spectacular, setting for a two-hour downstream paddle into the lake.



The second half of the outing was a hike back through the woods to the put-in to retrieve haRVy. Upper body work out in one direction and lower body on return. Can’t beat that!


Our second outing was to peddle the Hiawatha Trail, a 15-mile rail trail that crosses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. We had to take a bit of a detour from our intended route to do it, but the prospect of riding our bikes through ten tunnels (including one nearly 2 miles long!) and across seven high steel trestles seemed worth the effort.


The entrance to the Taft Tunnel which burrows for 1.7 miles under the state line.
It was pretty spooky in there, plus damp and cold!


Made it through!


We had lunch and enjoyed the view from this picnic-table rock.


Helmets and lights are mandatory on this trail.


It was difficult to get good photos of the trestles, but this one provides an idea of what they are like.


Nice wildflowers around, but just about finished for this season.


Many interpretive panels that share the colorful history of the railroad, the 1910 fire, old mining towns, the early Forest Service and current management practices line the path.

To complete the adventure a harrowing shuttle ride back up a dirt forest road to the parking lot is included. This was definitely one of the most unique bike rides we’ve ever done!


  1. Greeting from Lake Tahoe,

    We follow your blog with I interest.

    We are heading to the Olympic Penisula in Washington next week. Any suggestions for great hikes or camping spots?

    David & Diane

    David Galson 15763 Foxboro Drive Truckee, CA. 96161

    Email: phone: 530-426-5310 blog:

    • Hi David, Glad you enjoy the blog. Love the Olympic Peninsula, but have not been there for a few years. There is a trail out to the northwestern most point in the US that is definitely worth doing. Can’t remember the name of it, but easy to Google. It’s on Indian Reservation land. Will you be blogging about your trip? How long will you be traveling this time? We should be over that way in a month or so.

  2. fabulous – love this bike ride!!

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