Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 25, 2016, Gates of the Mountain, Upper Holter Lake, Outside Helena, Driving Route I-15 North, Great Falls

July 25, 2016, Gates of the Mountain, Helena, Montana.

Today we traveled from Helena up to one of the highlights of this area and the Lewis & Clark trail and that is a tour through the Gates of the Mountain boat trip on Upper Holter Lake. This is a 6.5 mile tour that takes two hours. We had a great tour, the guide did a great job pointing out the history, geology, plants and wildlife along with answering questions. Lewis was very moved by the amazing cliff that were in this area and call a formation at the beginning of the canyon the "gates of the rocky mountains."

After the tour we drove up to Great Falls, MT

The tour boat for the Gate of the Mountain tour

Louise looking up the Canyon

The gate of the Rocky Mountain

One of the interesting sites located in this canyon is the Mann Gulch. Mann Gulch is famous for being the site of the worst smokejumper disaster in American history. On August 5, 1949 13 firefighters including 12 smokejumpers were overcome fighting a fire that they had jumped into at this location. This disaster became the the site that taught many of the lessons that the US Forest Service uses to this day to teach fire fighting techniques. Our guide did a great job explaining and talking about the fire. If you want to read more about the Mann Gulch fire click here

Mann Gulch, scene of the 1949 fire.
We say Bald Eagles, Mule Deer, Mountain Goats, Osprey nests. It was a great trip. Driving north we went through some beautiful canyons. One of the things that is odd about the Missouri River is that in this area of Montana it runs north instead of how most rivers go which is south.

The story of the Mann Gulch put to music by James Keelaghan, Cold Missouri Waters