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Shoulder Season Solution


Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Unless you’re training for the postholing world championship, the high country of the Northern Rockies is a distinctly unappealing destination for late spring backpacking. What makes this fact particularly excruciating is that the weather in the valleys is sublime, the vibrancy of spring abounds, and three-season tents and sleeping bags are eager to emerge from hibernation. It might seem that bemoaning Nature’s cruel schedule to anyone who will listen or driving to points south are the only options until the pages of the calendar flip to June. However, there are a few ways to make the most of the outdoors while anxiously waiting for the snow to melt and thus unlock the crucial mountain passes which allow for the epic trips you’ve been dreaming about all winter. One option is to pick the most sublime destination accessible. And it doesn’t get more sublime than natural hot springs. The most blissful sub-category of natural hot springs would undoubtedly be wilderness backcountry hot springs. Those that are just far enough from trailheads and metropolitan areas to keep use to a halfway reasonable level. A friend and I chose just such a hot spring in a designated wilderness area in northern Idaho as the destination for a two-night backpacking trip in late April...

A solution to that stubborn high country snow, in Issue 38 @Mark details some late spring backpacking in the Rockies. Take a look at the story in Issue 38:

Shoulder Season Solution

Shoulder Season Solution - Idaho Hot Springs and Montana Backcountry.JPG

Issue 38 Page 1

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  • 4 months later...

I used to go out in the Plains in the spring when I lived in the Rockies of CO and WY.  It can be warm and every thing is in bloom.  I like watching the antelope and raptors and there is no one out there. 

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