Montana: North Circle Route- Mokowanis Junction to Stoney Indian Lake- Day 5

Mokowanis Junction to Stoney Indian Lake

Total Mileage- 5.7 miles

Total Elevation Gain- 2410 feet

Total Elevation Loss- 1000 feet

glacier-map route Day 5

Our hike for the day was from Mokowanis Junction to Stoney Indian Lake, which included a significant ascent to Stoney Indian Pass and then down to the beautiful lakeside camp at Stoney Indian. While the morning began with sunshine and clear skies, the evening would bring an overcast sky setting up for 38 hours of rain.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_6595 IMG_6599The trek from Mokowanis took us passed some magnificent waterfalls, hillsides of wildflowers, and a spectacular view of the valley looking to the northeast.

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Did I mention the ridiculous waterfalls?

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It seemed as if the more elevation that we covered… the more beautiful it became. We got to the point on this trip that we stopped using adjectives to describe how “beautiful” or “amazing” a view was. It is almost as if we cheapened it by speaking. So when we would stop and stare at a view, we would just stand there in awe… looking at each other and shaking our heads. It is hard to imagine a more glorious place for a weeklong hike.

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IMG_6636Before reaching the pass there was a debate as to where to eat lunch. Patrick went high and everyone else stayed low. Let’s be honest… you couldn’t go wrong at either spot!

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We reached the pass and stood there for a while looking at the crystal blue Stoney Indian Lake. The only thing in between us and our camping spot for the night was a 1000 foot drop via switchbacks down the mountainside.

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Once you reach the lake it is a short hike around the lake to the campsites. There are about four spots to camp at Stoney Indian Lake. Based upon experience, which I will detail in my Day 6 post, make sure that you do not set your tent in an area that may potentially pool water when it rains.

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There are really great spots to do some cliff jumping into Stoney Indian Lake. The lake is very deep in many area but make sure you get in the water first to check it out before jumping. Only one in our contingency jumped because the water was so cold and they air temperature was dropping.

Also, a bear walked through our camp right passed us. No joke… within 10-15 feet. We cleared the area and watched as the bear circled through the camp. We all had our bear spray handy but this incident underscores the importance of NOT HAVING FOOD OUT IN THE OPEN. A couple of young ladies arrived at the camp only 30 minutes prior and had the equipment and food strewn about. The bear likely smelled it and came to investigate. While the bear didn’t get any of the food… they promptly stored their food in the metal food storage area. Bears are no joke. Take them very seriously.

In the next post I will be detailing our 33 hours in our tent at Stoney Indian Camp.

peace…

brandon

3 thoughts on “Montana: North Circle Route- Mokowanis Junction to Stoney Indian Lake- Day 5

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