Sunday, June 22, 2014

Morrell Falls Hike

First I had a great (but semi-hard) hike to Crow Creek Falls a couple of weeks ago.  Then last weekend it was a cold, damp, but inspiring wildflower hike.  Yesterday I won the Triple Crown!  We had a terrific day - perfect weather - hiking to see Morrell Falls.

Don had us leaving a bit earlier than our normal time - fine for me, can't get too early - and it's a good thing we did.  Since it was the first beautiful day in about 2 weeks, as we were leaving the trail we met about 50 or more people heading in.  Once again, Don does his research to our advantage!

Located near Seeley Lake, the falls are about a two hour drive from Helena.  But it's no hardship as the scenery along the way is fantastic.  This is the way I drove to BOW in 2013.  Passing Salmon Lake and Seeley Lake, you turn of just past the town of Seeley onto a pretty well maintain dirt/gravel road with vistas like these....



It's hard for my brain to wrap around the fact there 'are snow on them there mountains'!  In June!

The parking area at the trailhead is small, about 6-8 cars worth on the loop, but when we left people were parked along the edge of the road.  Another great thing - a bathroom!

This is rated as an 'easy' hike and I agree.  The whole time I was planning on taking Savvy, Texter and Lady K back.  One person packing food/water for a picnic and the other packing Lady K.  However, the trail is fairly flat for most of the way, so she could be put down and allowed to run.


Most of the trail was like this, fairly flat.  People with big feet have to watch for tree roots though!
One that that struck us was the amount of bird song.  On the Crow Creek and Wildflower hike, I remember little, if any, bird song.  Here, at least on our way out, it was constant.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stop and sit and do a little bird watching.


After winding through these lovely trees and nice trail, we came upon a brackish pond.


The fisherman in me just knew there had to be good fishing there, but the edges were really marshy.  There was one diving duck on the water as we went past.


Then we came to a larger lake, what I am guessing is Morrell Lake.  Clear water and our picnic spot on the way back from the falls.  The day was a bit cool to start out with (although I was in shorts and t-shirt), but by the return trip it was starting to heat up.  It was nice to sit in the sun and eat our PBJ sandwiches.  And to rejoice, as we watching group after group heading up to the falls, that we were on our way back. 


Plenty of beargrass all along the trail.  I am really loving their fluffy heads.  Speckled throughout the trees, on the hillsides, they make a truly lovely picture.









Unlike the Crow Creek Falls hike where we heard rushing water constantly, other than the initial bit of the trail, there wasn't any real water sounds until we got within about 15-20 minutes of the falls.  Then it sounded like an oncoming freight train.  I keep waiting to hear a whistle blow for a railroad crossing.


After last weekend, I was on the lookout for wildflowers.  As we got closer to the falls, Angela pointed out the trilliums.  There were so many that I renamed the trail, Trillium Trail.

There was only one real creek crossing, but it had a really nice, study bridge across it.  The water was pretty shallow yesterday, but based on what the bank looked like, it is easy to imagine the water being a lot higher.


But notice how clear it is!  So have a leisurely hike up and around and through the woods, we came to the falls.  The noise is loud and there is a mist from the falls.


But can we say "impressive", "beautiful", "awe-inspiring"....you really can't describe the falls with words.


A double-waterfall, it pours over the rocks, throwing up a fine mist.




And because there are always those idiots, signs have to be provided.




I took the following bit of video with my iPhone there (and no, there is not cell coverage right at the falls).  I wanted you to hear the sound of the falls.



So with Savvy coming from Arizona and a couple of people and their kids from the library, I know I will be back for this hike in the very near future.  At two hours, the drive to get there isn't bad at all, the hiking is easy, even for kids (and me!) and the turn-around at the falls is outstanding.  

2 comments:

Christine Stinson said...

Hope we get to go with you one of these trips!

Don Uhrig said...

Judy, your writing style and vivid pictures always bring me joy. It's a pleasure to hike with you. Don