Ole Creek - new trail

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mattB
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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by mattB »

I think some new trails or restoring some abandoned trails would be a great idea and could reduce the congestion on the trails and at trailheads.
But I think its pretty doubtful there will ever be any new trails or restored old trails.
One big problem is just the NPS budget and how it keeps getting cut and is never enough to really address all the maintenance backlog let alone build new stuff. As long as we keep cutting taxes and underfunding the NPS we'll never see new trails and minimal repairs to existing one.
RE: which trails are abandoned and which kept; one item they're trying to address with trail closures is to create corridors for the wildlife that aren't subject to frequent human activity. Which does make sense, but it seems like there could be some routes reopened (like the Kintla-Bowman-Logging connector) that wouldn't impact the wildlife corridors and would really eliminate some logistics problems for hikers.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by llholmes1948 »

If I recall correctly, Ruhle's last guidebook indicates that the newest trail in the Park (which he takes some credit for) is the trail to Miche Wabun Lake which I believe comes off the Belly River Trail at some point. It is listed in the trail status reports but never seems to get much attention or respect.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by PeteE »

mattB wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:58 pm
...But I think its pretty doubtful there will ever be any new trails or restored old trails.
One big problem is just the NPS budget and how it keeps getting cut and is never enough to really address all the maintenance backlog let alone build new stuff...
Matt, while we disagree on many issues, you are correct regarding "underfunding" of the NPS.

And it's my opinion as a long time(40+ years) observer of Washington politics that the NPS funding will not get any better in the foreseeable future.
Our country is headed for a MAJOR recession/depression. There won't be any money for many programs that are far more important
than the National Park Service. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dept. of Interior suffers major funding reductions--maybe closing some of the lesser National Parks, National Monuments, etc.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by paul »

PeteE wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:27 pm
paul wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:14 am
I wouldn't want to see the Reynold mountaineer's trail be made into an official trail. Not because it's too dangerous but because it will bring more people (a lot more people) into that area which is for the most part pretty peaceful.
I understand your point of view Paul and I'm sympathetic to it, but...
The "cat's out of the bag" regarding the Dragon's Tail---another victim of social media imo.
There are already "a lot more people" going out the Reynolds trail.
There is now an obvious worn path from the Hidden Lake trail over to the beginning of the Reynolds trail--and it encourages people to follow it.
It's no longer "peaceful" like it was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. LOTs of people climbing Reynolds as well as going out to the DT.

Glacier is becoming more and more like Yosemite or Yellowstone--packed with people like never before.
It is STILL crowded at Glacier as of last week. I went over after work last Thursday afternoon about 2pm.
PACKED! parking was non existent at both Avalanche Creek and Logan Pass. Same for most of the pullouts.
GNP will never be "peaceful" again imo unless you backpack in to areas unreachable as a day hike.
And then you have to deal with the a$$holes who steal campsites without a permit.
Sad, isn't it? :(

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by wnysteve »

Since we have gotten into the Boulder Creek Trail question, I will offer this old post as my contribution. Perhaps others have actually completed this quest successfully. Still, it was an interesting several days.

viewtopic.php?p=65843#p65843

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by Jay w »

This is a good subject.

The Boulder Creek drainage…..I’m wondering if there is a path across the dam. I assume it’s fenced off (at least that’s the picture I have in my head). So starting at the northern end(s) might be challenging.

Ahean Pass…I have also looked at Helen Lake and thought it doable to find the current trail to Elizabeth. The problem is I’ve never hiked to Helen Lake from the Belly River side, so it would be foolish, ok stupid, to attempt it from Ahern Pass. This year I was looking down there and wondering about doing a loop—Swiftcurrent to Ahern, to Ptarmigan and back to MG. Longish at probably 33-35 miles, and plenty of elevation, but what a cool loop.

Each time I hike Pit-Daw, I look into the various valleys and wonder about hiking down there. Maybe I’ll do Cut Bank to Two Med one of these days.

I too am working on a trip report. I’ve written up a couple days, but it’s the photos that take me a while. I like to tinker with them. As you can tell from above, I hiked to Ahern Pass. Also, I saw plenty-o-moose.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by llholmes1948 »

llholmes1948 wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:45 pm
If I recall correctly, Ruhle's last guidebook indicates that the newest trail in the Park (which he takes some credit for) is the trail to Miche Wabun Lake which I believe comes off the Belly River Trail at some point. It is listed in the trail status reports but never seems to get much attention or respect.
According to Ruhle's 1972 Guidebook at page 116, this trail is called the North Fork Belly River Trail and runs from Threemile campsite to Miche Wabun Lake, a distance of 10.4 miles. I don't recall ever seeing a trip report from someone who has hiked this trail and it seems to get pretty low status for trail maintenance.
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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by orin »

A quick search on "Miche Wabun" pulls up some information. Not surprisingly for those of us who have been here for awhile, Ear Mountain had something to say about that area more than a decade ago.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3787&p=46533&hilit= ... 664#p46533

It sounds like a large rock slide took out the upper part of the trail before then. Between then and now the Park Service must have either fixed it up enough to justify keeping it on the trail list or simply never got around to deleting it. In any event it seems unlikely that a 20 mile out and back with no campground at the end would appeal to anyone except the most adventurous.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by llholmes1948 »

orin wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:19 pm
A quick search on "Miche Wabun" pulls up some information. Not surprisingly for those of us who have been here for awhile, Ear Mountain had something to say about that area more than a decade ago.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3787&p=46533&hilit= ... 664#p46533

It sounds like a large rock slide took out the upper part of the trail before then. Between then and now the Park Service must have either fixed it up enough to justify keeping it on the trail list or simply never got around to deleting it. In any event it seems unlikely that a 20 mile out and back with no campground at the end would appeal to anyone except the most adventurous.
Orin,
Thanks very much for posting that link. As a sign of senility, I don't remember that earlier discussion at all :shock:

That is one "trail" where there should be no complaints about crowds. Given the remoteness of this area (similar in my mind to the Coal Creek area) I wonder if it would be possible to get some type of a special permit to camp somewhere on this trail.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by zozeppelin »

Some random findings:

1) Trail status page is back up (thanks Scott), and here is the description:

Miche Wabun Trail
Former 3-mile Campground to North Fork Belly River/ 4.8 mi.
Projected initial clearing date: 9/8/2021 per 650
Minimum maintenance and unsigned route. Begins with an UNMARKED river ford 3 miles from Belly River trailhead. First mile of trail is not visible in meadow.

2) The park released detailed GPS trail maps. This included a track for the Miche Wabun trail, which appears to mirror the description above, terminating at the North Fork after wrapping around Sentinel Mountain. I'll grab a screenshot and upload when I have sometime.
Link

3) This guy claims to have jumped in 'all' 168 GNP lakes. Mentions Miche Wabun by name. Appears to have happened in 2013. Not sure when the slide happened, but this was after the post in 2009 mentioning it. Many of the lakes had detailed trip reports, but not this one, just went from '8 remaining' (Miche Wabun named) to the last one. Link

4) Here is a post mentioning seeing it from Kaina Mountain (in the comments). Link

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by Ear Mountain »

wnysteve wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:43 am
zozeppelin wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:44 pm


Interesting. Any recommendations on where to learn more about historic trails? I have seen some references from the trail status pages about trails NW from Kintla and N from Belly River, but nothing too exciting.
I think the longest trail that was abandoned was the West Lakes Trail. That trail could take one from Lake McDonald to Kintla. Today, if you take the trail from Bowman Lake to Akokala Lake, you will come to a "T" in the trail. The right-hand trail takes you to the Lake. To the left is a little-used but still Official trail that goes to the auto road that leads from Polebridge to Kintla. There is no option to continue straight, but back in the day that is what the West Lakes Trail did, taking the hiker as far as Parke Ridge and down into Kintla. If that trail were still open today, it would solve the transportation problem encountered by those who hike the Kintla-to-Bowman horseshoe and only have one car to return to their starting point.

Here is a link on the subject of lost trails, written by one who has a deep knowledge of Glacier, past and present.

viewtopic.php?p=25165#p25165
The West Lakes trail began near the northeast end of Lake McDonald and crossed Howe Ridge to reach the Camas Valley. That section of trail is still identified as the West Lakes Trail on many GNP trail maps. Of course many of us have hiked that still section. The trail continued north eventually ending at Kintla Lake. Many sections of the West Lakes trail are still shown on the older 7.5 minute USGS Maps. Sometime in the latter half of the 20th Century I identified several sections of the old trail.

1. I was hiking the Dutch Creek trail and found old trail markers where the West Lakes Trail intersected with the Dutch Creek Trail.

2. As late as 2005 or so, the West Lakes Trail was visible (and hike able if you didn't mind pushing through alders) from Kintla Lake to where it began to cross Parke Ridge.

3. The trail heading north from Bowman Lake to Akokala Creek is actually part of the old West Lakes Trail. It was probably renamed sometime after the 1964 flood event that brought an end to many section of the West Lakes Trail.

4. When the West Lakes Trail reached the Akokala Creek it did not continue straight across. One had to turn west down the Akokala Creek trail for a short distance. Back in the late 70s there was still an old green Park Service sign identifying the West Lakes trail junction there. The West Lakes trail then went up the east side of Long Bow Creek for a short distance, crossed that creek and began it's long push to Parke Ridge and Kintla Lake. My partner Bill Blunk and I used the section near Long Bow Creek to access the ridge west of Long Bow Creek. We followed that ridge all the way to well above Long Bow Lake when we made an apparent first ascent of the West 9430 Peak.

5. I remember seeing old yellow disk trail markers of the West lakes Trail heading south where it crossed the Logging Valley trail back around 2001.
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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by Ear Mountain »

Two other abandoned long trails are the South Boundary trail from West Glacier to the Walton Ranger Station and the Boundary Trail from the entrance station on the Two Medicine Road to and beyond the Cut Bank Ranger Station.

Some parts of the Boundary trail are still useable especially just north of the Entrance station and on the east side of Mad Wolf Mountain.

Many sections of the South Boundary trail are still in use but large sections have been washed away by the never changing Middle Fork Flathead River.
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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by tibber »

Just to let you know, I think it's fun to hear about the old trails so thx for all the info. I'm sure that the '64 flood did cause some changes in trails as that was quite the flood.

I was noticing that the Dry Fork Trail intersects with the Pitamakan Pass Trail and it comes from Two Medicine Entrance station. I'm surprised it doesn't join up with another trail or go somewhere else. Altho according to Ralph, it used to be part of the Boundary Trail.

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Re: Ole Creek - new trail

Post by Ear Mountain »

tibber wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:53 pm
Just to let you know, I think it's fun to hear about the old trails so thx for all the info. I'm sure that the '64 flood did cause some changes in trails as that was quite the flood.

I was noticing that the Dry Fork Trail intersects with the Pitamakan Pass Trail and it comes from Two Medicine Entrance station. I'm surprised it doesn't join up with another trail or go somewhere else. Altho according to Ralph, it used to be part of the Boundary Trail.
My map shows the Dry Fork Trail separating from the Boundary Trail Here:
Boundary-Dry Fork Jct 48.51063; -113.33989
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