Saturday, August 24, 2002
Bah, Humbug Spires!
Team North leaves the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and their horses today and hikes across BLM land en route to their campground on state lands on the banks of the Big Hole River. Featured on the itinerary is a BLM-guided tour of the Humbug Spires Primitive Area, a popular rock climbing and backcountry destination.
Humbug Spires contains over 11,000 acres of rolling foothills, including a spectacular outcroppping of quartz monzonite. The spires rise from 300-600 feet, and are extremely popular among climbers. Most of the routes are vertical cracks which range in difficulty from 5.5 - 5.7. Hikers can tour the main trail, which leads to the Wedge, one of the more prominent spires, or follow any of the game trails through the hills. The higher elevations support a Douglas fir forest, while the lower reaches include riparian and sage/grassland zones. This undeveloped area is home to black bear, moose, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, ruffed and blue grouse, and all kinds of raptors, songbirds, and small mammals. Fishing in lower Moose Creek for brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, or in upper Moose Creek for cutthroat.