GOLD CREEK/LOWER BLACKFOOT EAST OF MISSOULA

Jan 14, 2020
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Is this snow comparable to around Seeley? Heading out there March 5th and am worried about there not being any good snow. Looks like it's going to be very warm there for the next 10 days or so.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

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Nov 27, 2007
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Is this snow comparable to around Seeley? Heading out there March 5th and am worried about there not being any good snow. Looks like it's going to be very warm there for the next 10 days or so.
This area is the south end of the Seeley riding area which extends from Hiway 200 at Gold Creek, North to the Mission wilderness boundry North West of Seely lake. Up behind the warming hut at Seeley you get to the base of some Alpine riding.
AT Gold Creek there are 5 canyon of Alpine riding, we never go there due to Avalanche danger. 20years ago we lived there everyday on our chute climbers, some have died, we got lucky, but all ride able. Alpine skiers there every day.

From Gold Creek turn off of hiway 200 it is 30 air miles to Marshall Lake North West of Seeley Lake, at Marshall lake and back to Placid area the riding area is roughtly 9 miles wide East to West.
In the BOLES MEADOW area which most would consider the South end of Seeley and North End of Gold Creek, the riding area is 20 miles wide and 15 miles North to South. Now, 80% of that never gets rid.
No groomed trails at Gold Creek. Small parking area thats' empty. No groomed trails to ride to riding area.

This end of the area, like Seeley is a Montana snow belt ( check snotel sites STUART PEAK/NORTH FORK OF THE JOKO, not the epic fluff dumps down low, but twice this year fluff dumps where the latest 174 sleds had to turn around and find lower elevation riding.

You can ride from Gold Creek to the town of Seeley lake. You can ride from Gold Creek to the riding areas North West of Seeley, without a guide some days you won't have enough gas to get there, with a guide you don't have enough gas to get there and back.

March 5 , the start of the fourth quarter of riding, more sun, max snow widely varied snow conditions.
 
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CATSLEDMAN1

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Feb 22 23 2020

More new snow, best general riding conditions of the year. Not much added down low, but tracks from week before faintly visible up high.

Road still snow covered even after the 3 days of sun. So drive to gravel pit with trailer. Most riders out I've seen in the area in a couple of years. The sun really brings out the sleds, and family groups, and older iron...........looked great out there.
 
Dec 4, 2009
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We are in seeley right now it’s warm and spring riding. About 8 inches of powder in trees on top of super firm base. Exposed areas pretty much wind striped and solid
 

CATSLEDMAN1

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Best snow of the year last week for many riding the Missoula to Seely Lake area, new snow on hard base, 6" in some areas, 18" or more further North ( Seeley ). Lolo pass to the South /Beaver ridge, foot or more of new snow. For sure not one around, maybe at Seely, Sat morning talked to guys headed that way.

Anyway, typical Mountian spring riding, rock hard one day, new snow when you least expect it.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

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One small storm after another. The stuart Peak snotel north of Missoula is 2ft./ North Fork Joko snotel a few inches more. That means the higher reaches of Gold Creek have rideable snow. BUT, I am waiting for the hunters to clear out, my riding partner has his elk in the freezer so we are free to enjoy the snow in a couple of weeks. Going to drive up that way this week and check it out.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

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OK.......this sat morning drove up to see what's up with the snow.

1. road icey and old hard snow pack on the road from hiway 200 on up, that suprised me, thought it would be bare gravel.......not so.
2. a couple of sleds ran up the main road sometime last week when we had warm weather, tracks up Mineral Mtn rd.
3. Mineral Mtn road, hard snow about 4 or 5 inches deep to start........say concrete, I could drive on it with my RAV4. Scratchers down you are not going to hurt your wear bars.
4. 2 miles up old snow when wet, hunters rutted it up and dragging big time on the bottom of my suv.Thats as far as I went. Experience tells me drive another mile to the North facing slope and unload.Guess now I have to try that.

The two snowtel sites in the area around 30", so that whats up top and likely a pretty good base.
 
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