36 forum posts
I'm thinking about crossing the Bob Marshall from west to east in a weekend this June. I will get a good start Friday night after work, and knock it out by Sunday afternoon. Preliminary estimates on the total distance is between 45 and 50 miles, so on a 2-1/2 day hike it's within my upper limit (although I doubt this hike will be anywhere near comfortable). With the Bob mosquitos in full force be June, I'll have plenty of motivation to keep moving. So here's the route: Holland Lake trailhead, over Gordon Pass, following Gordon Creek to the S. fork of the Flathead, crossing the Flathead, heading south on the Danaher Valley trail, then east up Stadler Creek, over Hoadley Pass, and out at the Benchmark trailhead. I am familiar with the first 15 miles East from Holland Lake and that's about it for this route. I have departed from Benchmark towards the Chinese Wall, but never hiked west from that trailhead. As of now, it looks like it may be a solo hike, so I need to take all necessary precautions. I have about 200 miles of experience hiking the Bob, so I have a good idea of what to expect as far as trail conditions (basically anything goes). The trails I chose to cross the Bob are farily heavily used stock trails, so navigation won't be a problem. Although, in early June there may be some blowdowns to deal with. I am a civil engineering tech/surveyor by trade, so my navigation skills are solid. My main concerns are the Flathead River crossing and of course, injury. Has anyone seen the S. fork of the Flathead in June? There is a packbridge I can use if necessary, but it adds 6-8 miles to use it. I always lean towards the safe side so I'll likely stay dry and use the bridge if conditions are sketchy. I also might rent or buy a personal locator beacon for my wife's peace of mind.
Anyone with experience on this route? How about experience using the non-emergency features of a PLB (google map locations, "ok" email messages, etc...)? Thanks in advance for any replies, and congratulations for finishing reading this long, wordy entry!