Waterfalls and Wanderings in the Cabinet Mountains

As I mentioned in my last post, we stayed 2 weeks in Libby for our Habitat build. As usual we spent some of our time off exploring the surrounding area, in this case a couple waterfalls, a lovely hike along the river gorge, and some pleasant dogwalks around town. And of course visiting the local Cabinet Mountain Brewery which served up the delcious Peak Baggin Pale Ale and Ross Creek Red among other tasty brews.

Kootenai Falls, just down the river from Libby, is an easily accessible walk along the Kootenai River as it tumbles through a basalt and granite gorge. It’s accessibility directly translates to popularity however so we timed our visit for a late-evening, after dinner walk. Because the northwest corner of Montana is at 48 degrees latitude, the sun doesn’t set until 10pm in early June which we thought would make for some lovely golden hour photos. Unfortunately we didn’t realize how deep the gorge was and we ended up being in shadow. So maybe not the best pictures but we had the place to ourselves except for one other person so no complaints.

Our next excursion was a short hike on the Old Route 2 Trail on one of our days off. Lee had recommended this well-graded route that leads up the side of the river gorge and provies views downstream of Kootenai Falls. We were not disapointed. In addition to the views downriver we had lovely vistas of the surrounding mountains and got to see some beautiful wildflowers. The easy 6 mile stroll was perfectly rejuvenating after a week of pounding nails.

On enthusiastic recommendation from Dyana we also drove out to Yaak Falls after we got off work one afternoon. There wasn’t much walking around involved due to the narrowness of the basalt gorge and the violently rushing water but after a day of being on the roof in 90 degrees we were more than happy to just crawl around on the rocks for awhile and get a few different views of the falls.

Last but not least are 3 miscellaneous photos: a view of the sunrise from the morning dogwalk, the roadside moose we saw as we were leaving Libby, and a view of the Mission Mountains the same afternoon as we headed south back to Idaho.