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 view of Mud, Echo and Flathead Lakes! (Keith Hammer photos)
Eighteen Swan Rangers hiked the Switchback Trail to snow line on a sunny Saturday, April 18, 2015!
The south-facing slopes make this trail a good early season hike. Substantial snow was not encountered until about a half-mile short of Alpine Trail #7!
Click here for a map of the Switchback Trail.
View of Flathead Lake from "The Knob!" (Keith Hammer photos)
Twelve Swan Rangers hiked a loop over "The Knob" in Krause Basin on a blustery Saturday, April 11, 2015!
They returned to their cars at Foothill Road via a hike along the Strawberry Lake Road, which remains snowed in above the Echo Creek Spring!
Click here for a map of the Strawberry Lake Road.
Off we go into the wild gray yonder! (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers slogged Peters Ridge Road on a sleeting, slightly slushy Saturday, April 4, 2015!
Signs of Spring, however, persist - if one is willing to look for them!
Click here for a map of the Peters Ridge Road and Trail.
A breezy Flathead Lake! (Keith Hammer photos)
Nine Swan Rangers hiked the Phillips Trail on a breezy Saturday, March 28, to get a nice view of Flathead Lake!
Blue sky arrived along with a blustery cold front, then quickly departed!
Click here for a map of the Phillips Trail.
Watching showers roll in over Flathead and Mud Lakes. (Keith Hammer photos)
Twelve Swan Rangers hiked the Crater Notch Trail on Saturday, March 21, turning around when reaching snow line at the "first lunch spot!"
While the lower DNRC stretch of the trail now looks more like a stump farm, this remains a unique trail that gets better the higher one goes!
Click here for a map of the Crater Notch Trail.
Not yet ticked, unsuspecting Rangers cross Birch Creek! (Keith Hammer photos)
Fifteen Swan Rangers hiked the Echo - Broken Leg Trail as far as Wolf Creek on Saturday, March 14, along with several dozen hitchhiking ticks!
Only a few short stretches of snow remain and, lest we repeat ourselves, the ticks are out in full force on the brushy south-facing slopes of Wolf Creek Canyon!
Click here for a map of the Echo - Broken Leg Trail. The Rangers checked the lower part of the Crater Notch Trail as well and, while it is now cleared of logging slash, it is still missing a few sections of trail tread ruined by log skidders.
Strawberry Peak! (Keith Hammer photos)
Twenty-one Swan Rangers hiked into Krause Basin on Saturday, March 7, with half continuing on snowshoes to the base of Strawberry Peak!
The day was sunny and warm and there were wildlife tracks galore in the old-growth forest of the upper Krause Basin!
Swan Rangers and the Swan Range! (Keith Hammer photos)
Sixteen Swan Rangers hiked The Nature Conservancy's Swan River Oxbow Preserve on a sunny Saturday, February 28, 2015!
The Preserve is open to the public for foot travel and lies between the Swan River Wildlife Refuge and Porcupine Road, just south of the town of Swan Lake.
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!