The northern Swan Range -- home to the Jewel Basin Hiking Area and Alpine Trail No. 7, is the rugged backyard and scenic backdrop of the Flathead Valley. From Inspriation Pass to Columbia Mountain, the northern Swan supports our unique way of life and contributes much to the natural beauty and economic prosperity of the entire Flathead Valley. This website is dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of the northern Swan Range. Now is the time to act for the future of the Swan.
A new, improved Crater "Notch" Trail? (Keith Hammer photos)
Fifteen Swan Rangers inspected the "winter" logging of the Crater Notch Trail on Saturday, February 21, and it's not pretty!
Montana DNRC promised to allow Stoltze Lumber to "sanitation log" the area only on "snow covered/frozen ground," but the ground and the Crater Notch Trail sure are tore up!
Though DNRC has "suspended" the logging for now, YOUR EMAILS ARE NEEDED TODAY to get the trail repaired and insure logging on bare ground is not allowed!
1. Send crews in with hand tools to clear and redig damaged trail segments ASAP.
2. Allow no more heavy equipment on this already damaged, steep hillside, and to stick to his promise to not allow it on bare ground if there is any future logging!
Click here to learn more about this controversial logging project. We'll keep you posted on further developments!
Hiking up Crane Mountain Road with Swan Range in background. (Bob Muth photos)
Fourteen Swan Rangers hiked up Crane Mountain on Saturday, February 14, 2015!
They hiked up to the Estes Lake Trailhead area and onto the wonderful, glaciated rocks there, listening to varied thrush already returned for "Spring!"
Click here to download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map to find where Bug Creek Road and Crane Mountain Road turn off near Ferndale.
How's the February snow pack holding up? (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers slogged up the Peters Ridge Road on a rainy Saturday, February 7, 2015!
With persistent warm weather even packed snow is rotting out, making choices between hiking spikes, snowshoes and skis difficult.
Click here to download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map to find where Peters Ridge Road turns off of Foothill Road.
Checking out Cottonwood Bottom! (Keith Hammer photos)
Thirteen Swan Rangers hiked a foggy and frosty loop in Krause Basin on Saturday, January 31, 2015!
Previous tracks are boiler plate hard in the cooler weather, though snowshoes or skis are needed off-track!
Click here to download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map, which shows some of these old routes in Krause Basin.
Wolf Creek and a wet snow pack. (Keith Hammer photos)
Twelve Swan Rangers snowshoed the old Bear Creek Road into Wolf Creek on Saturday, January 24, 2015!
The snow was very damp from the night's rain, but the day was dry and pleasant!
Click here for the Flathead National Forest map page, scroll down and download the North Half Swan Lake Ranger District map, then find the old road running north along the Forest boundary and into Wolf Creek off Bear Creek Road #5398 - straight east of Bigfork.
Sun burning off morning fog! (Joel Vignere photo, others by Keith Hammer)
Thirteen Swan Rangers skied Bog Road in the Swan River Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, January 17, 2015!
The day started with a bit of ground fog beneath a clear, sunny sky!
Click here for more info about the Refuge, which is located a couple miles south of the town of Swan Lake.
The foothills of the Swan Range. (Keith Hammer photos)
Thirteen Swan Rangers skied the Foothills Ski Area and a couple more skied Krause Basin on Saturday, January 10, 2015!
Parking is limited along Foothill Road since the last snow storm, so carpool up!
Click here for maps and information about the Foothills Ski Area or to donate to the non-profit that does the trail grooming!
Swan River and Swan Range from Porcupine Bridge. (Keith Hammer photos)
Fifteen Swan Rangers skied and snowshoed to the Mission Lookout on Saturday, January 3, 2015!
It was the Rangers' best snow conditions yet for this 7.5 mile round trip!
Click here for details about the Mission Lookout, which is closed during winter.
A view of Ferndale! (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers skied and snowshoed the Peterson Creek Road and Trail as far as the first stream on Saturday, December 27, 2014!
The snow was fresh and piling up fast!
Click here for a map of the Peterson Creek Road and Trail.