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24

Aug 2014

Mount Aeneas – Jewel Basin

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Blog Posts, Hikes / 5 comments

Sunday rolled around and the sun peaked out for the first time in days. I awoke feeling great an anticipating the group hike that day. After a quick bite Ron, Matt and I loaded in to the truck and took off, westbound. We met by a gas station near Bigfork that could easily be considered “the middle of nowhere” by most. It was a cool morning but the sun cut through with just enough strength to keep from shivering. People trickled in over the 25 minutes or so we spent at the station, by 9 15 or so we were already on our way to the trail head.

The trail head is the main one for the Jewel, it goes to every trail in the basin and you can make it all the way over to the Hungry Horse Reservoir if you really want to. The weather clouded up quickly as we began gearing up for the trail. There were 10+ of us and 5 dogs along for this wonderful trip.

The climb begins immediately at a pretty decent grade. The dogs were already having a ton of fun romping around together in front of the group, Ron the French Bulldog stayed much closer to us as he usually does.

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Ron looking dashing in his backpack, first time wearing them out on the trail!

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This lovely gal was very curious about my camera as I tried to snap some pics of her.

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Ron, more or less oblivious, was much less interested in Matt’s snack than the food-driven woolly husky.

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One of the first photo’s I took that day was this one, looking back towards Flathead Lake. In the distance you could see lower clouds than the gray, ominous mass drifting above our heads.

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As we reached the point by the radio facility we saw a few mountain goats milling about. I always look forward to being able to get a glimpse of these fun, thrill-seeking goats!

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We had a few folks from Connecticut, Texas and Arizona. “Flat-landers” as they referred to themselves as, the group took another break here to accommodate those used to the lower elevations. Having lived in Florida for many years myself at sea level, I know it’s quite a shock to the body suddenly scrambling up to mountainous peaks!

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That peak in the distance is where we’re headed!

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Matt and I took the lead, running as much of the remaining climb as we could stand! That was difficult (Matt made it quicker than I), I am surely not a runner. I enjoy hiking and some trail running but my big ol’ legs just are not designed to be very aerodynamic! A little out of  breath we reached the summit and oh boy, what the view we beheld!

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Fog rose moved around the ridge we had just crossed as we watched from the top.




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Kathy observing the view shortly before realizing she had lost her sunglasses on on the way up (they were found by one of our hikers though!).

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Ed, Kathy and Mocha enjoying the view.

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Mocha giving loves!

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Beautiful Husky eyes!

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Down the other side we go! The weather was completely clouded over, damp and quite cold by this point we were all feeling pretty chilly. Yay for layers!

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I was clearly not prepared for this photo. That it the beautiful Birch Lake in the background though… which makes this photo slightly redeemable.

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Grey, mucky sky in the background!

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Me trying to be brave, haha! That’s actually the tip of a cliff I’m standing on… that’s as far as I could get my leg up because I was a bit nervous (and cold!).

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Found a patch of snow!!

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Where we’ve just come down from, now we are wrapping around and headed in-between Picnic Lakes.

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Anyone need a toilet?!

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The dogs enjoyed a muddy dip in some murky, smelly water at the lakes. Not Ron of course, he didn’t go near it.

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The little bridge just after the Picnic Lakes.

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Quick stop as some of the group were getting very tired… Ron included!

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What a fun trip with lovely people! I look forward to hiking again with some of them in the future.

The trail itself is moderate to difficult, the climb is relatively gradual for those who are hikers and the distance is only about 7 miles total.

Happy Trails!

 

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5 comments
  • Vickie and Brian

    August 14, 2015, pm31 7:21 PM
    01

    Great photos and thanks for all the information. Staying in Kalispell and looking at our options for hiking!

  • Robert

    July 27, 2016, pm31 7:57 PM
    02

    I stumbled on your blog searching for information about Jewel Basin and your description/pictures confirmed that this is a place I want to visit. I will be staying at Lake Mary Ronan State Park for two weeks. I will likely be hiking solo. I assume this is bear country and I should carry bear spray but am curious if you have any other tips regarding bears or other wildlife in the area? I plan to do day hikes only.

    On separate note I love your blog. Most of all I love the enthusiasm that comes through in your words and the unbridled joy you have for the wilderness and exploration. Thanks for sharing that!

    Robert

    • hikingforliving@gmail.com

      September 9, 2016, am30 7:45 AM
      03

      Yes it is bear country, although I have not come across many outside of Glacier National Park. Be wary of moose, if you see them do not approach, they can be just as dangerous. Make a lot of noise and you will be just fine, if you go stealthily hiking about you may surprise a critter which is not good news for you ;) Happy trails friend!!

  • anthony rojo

    January 2, 2017, pm31 5:01 PM
    04

    found your blog while looking for places to go explore this spring in the Jewel- Really cool photo’s- Looking forward to warmer weather!

    • hikingforliving@gmail.com

      January 3, 2017, pm31 1:39 PM
      05

      You and me both!! I love spring time. Thanks for checking out the blog!

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