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Roman Nose Lake

After hiking at Snow Creek Falls we were just getting warmed up… So we followed the road up past Snow Creek Falls Trail to go check out Roman Nose Lake. There are a few Geocaches along the way and we had intended to grab them however I left my Garmin GPS at home and the GPS on my Smartphone was not interested in working for us. The drive up is awesome! The road is well maintained until the very top but my car has plenty of clearance so I wasn’t concerned.

There are a couple trails to take if you are wanting to hike in this area. The first is Bottleneck/Snow Lake trail which I understand is about 7 miles round trip. We chose to hike the Roman Nose Lakes trail. There are 3 lakes; the first one you can drive to. One thing to remember when heading up to Roman Nose is that the temperatures can be drastically different as the first lake sits just shy of 5900″. When we left to go hiking it was a comfortable 78 degrees at home, it was 48 degrees when we arrived at the lake! *Although the trails are mostly cleared, there are rocks to step up on and over. This is not a smooth path type trail and some sections are fairly steep.*

Leaving the car we immediately got into snow. It was mainly just the trial that had snow on it, hard pack, so we could walk on it. A ways up, the trail Y’s and the marker is not very clear as to which way goes to the lake and which way is the scenic loop. We chose to go to the right and I believe after looking at the map, we took the scenic loop. Either way it was a beautiful hike and had we not dealt with snow we would have made it to the lakes.

Looking up from the path

Hiking in about a 3/4 mile we eventually came to where the trail climbed fairly steep and it was completely covered in snow. Since I was packing Abram and Genna didn’t have her hiking boots on I didn’t feel comfortable going on. Going up would have been fine but eventually you have to come back down…

 
Once we got back down to the parking area we had to go check out the lake. This is one of my favorite lakes in all of Boundary County to fish. Being a high mountain lake it is very cold year round and the fish are excellent, if you can catch them! There is a path that takes you around the left side of the lake to the rock slide and a nice little platform to view the lake or fish from.

Genna with the lake behind her. You can see the mountain we hiked on the right in the background.

This was such a wonderful way to spend the day and Genna’s 4th Birthday! We can’t wait to head back up once the snow is gone and actually make it to the lakes and grab up the Geocaches too!

 
Round trip: 1.6 Miles
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Upper Snow Creek Falls

Snow Creek Falls are located just a short drive south of Bonners Ferry. You take Deep Creek Loop Rd to Lion’s Den Rd and after crossing the bridge the road will Y. If you take the left, it will take you up to the trailhead and on to Roman Nose Lakes. If you go to the right, it will take you to the Wildlife Refuge.

 

Genna on the trail

The trail is very well maintained and not terribly steep. We picked a really nice day to go check out the falls too. Genna liked the bridges and at one point we saw a squirrel snacking on a mushroom cap. As we hiked along the trail goes gradually downhill to a Y where you can choose to go to the Upper or Lower Falls. We headed up to check out the Upper Falls first.
 
On the way to the Upper Falls we came across a huge tree that was just begging to be a back drop for a picture. Since it was just the kids and I this ment we needed to be creative if we were getting a group picture! Genna scrounged up a few sticks to prop the camera on a handy post and we experimented with the timer. It took a few tries and some fast moving on my part but we finally got a decent group picture.

Genna, Abram and I

The Upper Falls (see top picture) are beautiful and if I hadn’t had Abram on my back I would have loved to explore around the area a bit more. There is a really soft green moss that grows all around on the rocks at both the Upper and Lower Falls which makes everything you step on extremely slippery. After a short rest we headed back down the trail to the Lower Falls.
 
Once we got down to the Lower Falls we once again messed around with the sticks and timer to get another group picture. There is a nice platform built to view the Falls from which became a very handy camera stand.
 
 

Genna, Abram and I – Lower Falls
Again after a short rest we headed back to the car. The trail just happens to be all the way down hill to the falls and so that means we got to walk up hill all the way back to the car! Genna wanted to be able to cut the trail in a few spots so at the switchbacks she climbed up the “shortcuts” then stood around waiting for Abram and I to get there! 

Wild Strawberries
 
 
Along the way we found wild strawberries and wow were they good. We picked flowers and ate strawberries all the way back. Abram tried one strawberry which ended up going down the back of my shirt and being squished in by the pack… That was the end of him having strawberries.
 
 
Lower Snow Creek Falls

 

Round trip: 1.8 miles

One of my many favorite activities is to Geocache. With a Smartphone (that isn’t so smart) and a Garmin GPS with us pretty much constantly, we can Geocache anywhere we find ourselves. This was the motivation for heading up Clifty, that and the new hiking boots I had just bought myself earlier in the day. We took Abe’s little truck since the road is a little rough and we didn’t want to waste time trying to avoid the rough spots with the car. The easiest way to get to the Trailhead is to take Twenty-Mile Rd and follow it up quite a ways till it splits off to go to the Black Mountain Lookout Tower. The Trailhead isn’t quite to the tower so if you want to visit the tower you’ll have to continue on up the road.

Clifty Trail – Abe, Genna & Abram
The trail is really nice all the way from Black Mountain to Clifty Mountain. There were still a few trees across the trail since the Forest Service hadn’t gotten the Trail Maintenance Crew up in that area yet. From the parking area to where the trail Y’s it is 1 mile. Here you can decide to continue on to Katka Mountain (which I understand then continues down to come out on the road to Boulder Creek) or you can go up to Clifty Mountain. From the parking area to the Y the train is pretty easy, a few hills but nothing terrible. Once we reached the Y the trail starts to climb with 7 switchbacks before we reached the top. Genna is a great hiker and did so well all the way to the very top although we did have to stop and rest a few times once we really started to climb. 
 

The view from the top

Looking out over the edge is amazing! Of course a few rocks had to get thrown too.

Looking over the edge
Genna

After enjoying the view and a short rest it was time for some serious Geocaching! For those not familiar with Geocaching, it is basically treasure hunting with a GPS. There is a website where you can find all the coordinates for geocaches in any area and off you go! We were exited about this particular cache as it was the first MultiCache we had gone after. However after looking around for about 30 minutes it was obvious that the cache was gone.

Abe and Abram made quick work of getting back to the truck, while Genna and I took our time. There were many different flowers to look at and we found some Huckleberry bushes that had berries just starting to develop. We also had to watch a Squirrel for a bit, who wasn’t all that pleased with us for interrupting his day.

Round trip: 3 Miles

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