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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Ross Creek Giant Cedar Grove, MT

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
44 1 0
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Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 2,838 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
44  2014-07-24 tibber
Author tibber
author avatar Guides 21
Routes 589
Photos 28,770
Trips 1,095 map ( 12,789 miles )
Age 65 Female Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, May, Jul
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  4:43am - 8:48pm
0 Alternative

500 and counting
by tibber

Likely In-Season!
This scenic area is 100 acres and houses some 1000 year old cedar trees according to the Kootenai Forest Service website and other articles I've read but most other sites say more around 500 years old. This is an interpretive loop trail about 0.9 miles. There is another optional trail along the way: Ross Creek Trail 142 is 4.5 miles that follows Ross Creek. In fact I seem to recall there were two trails.

Area loggers first noted the beauty of the grove and then worked to protect the tall trees. In 1960, the Kootenai National Forest set aside the Ross Creek Cedar grove and established it as a scenic area protecting it for scientific and recreational value.

The hike takes you through a modified temperate rain forest climate which has allowed many of the cedars to grow up to 12 feet in diameter and 175 feet tall. They say some of the trees are over 500 years old, both alive and fallen. No matter, the canopy is quite tall and the fallen trees are fascinating to see how they landed. It seems when they are on the ground, you can appreciate better how big they were. Ground level is lush and full of flora including ferns, moss covered rocks and trunks and lots of Devil's Club.

Follow the boardwalk alongside Ross Creek and it will take you past some moss-covered rock slides. In fact, you will see moss everywhere. You will get to read informative signs that tell you about where you are looking. The forest floor has fallen trees, large and small scattered about. If you are in low light, keep that in mind when taking your pictures. You need to be very still or they will come out blurry.

You eventually cross the first wood plank bridge over Ross Creek. You will start to see all sorts of fir trees including Engelmann Spruce, Western Cedar and Hemlock, Grand Fir and Western White Pine. Fortunately there is an interpretive sign that explains the differences. You will also see some hollowed out trees that you or your friends can slip into for a portrait. You will see lots of Twins: usually they start from from several sprouts of a fallen tree. The interpretive sign will give you further details. And then there are trees twisted around each other for almost the full length of their trunks.

There are benches scattered about as well so you can sit and soak up this incredible environment. Be sure to put people in your photos as it provides great scale to the tall, tall trees. You will also see tree trunks that are still standing though there tops are no where to be seen. Some of these trunks are huge. You will walk over huge root systems and pass by those old fallen trees, some that are hollow inside or split in half on the ground.

I agree with a comment I read about it seeming like you're in a chapel when you're walking through... well except for the screaming kids from time to time. If you like the serenity of a tall forest with big and wide and aromatic trees and a running creek, put this on your list of things to do while in NW Montana.

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2014-08-08 tibber
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Troy, MT 3 miles east on US Highway 2. Turn onto Montana Highway 56 and travel 21 miles. Turn right onto Ross Creek Road 398 and follow for 4 miles.
    OR from Montana Highway 200 to Hwy 56 at the “Bull River Junction”. (About 25 to 30 minutes east of Clark Fork, or about 20 minutes west of Trout Creek). Turn north on Highway 56, go about 18 miles. Watch for the forest service sign for Ross Creek Cedars, turn left.

    Follow the signs to the parking lot for the Cedars
    page created by tibber on Aug 08 2014 1:26 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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