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South Willow Creek/Bell Lake, Tobacco Root Mountains, MT


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Just a few photos from a June 14 day hike to Bell Lake in the Tobacco Root Mountains.  Access is via FS Road 160 out of Pony, MT and the FS Trail 6305.  The hike is a modest 6 mile round trip with about 2,000' of elevation gain.  I should note that the winter of 2014-2015 was very mild with a resulting thin snowpack.  In a normal year, most of the area traversed would still have been buried by several feet of snow in the middle of June.

About 3/4 mile from the trail head-north side of Branham Peaks.

Upper South Willow Creek heading off the first hanging valley headwall.


The token canine photo.  We did run into a little snow but in a normal year, there would  still be 4 to 8' of it over all this area.


Bell Lake and un-named mountain (about 10,400').

Branham Peaks.  The slope failure on the right has dumped a lot of sediment in the lake and it would appear that catastrophic failure at some point is likely.

Another shot of Bell Lake.

While we were at the lake, the wind pushed the ice away from the outlet so my wife got a little time in with the fly rod.  Yellowstone cutthroats.

South Willow Creek near the trail head.

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