Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
Located in the Kootenai National Forest.
The Cabinet Mountains Wilderness encompasses 94,272 acres of mountainous, rugged terrain running north/south in the center of the Kootenai National Forest. High mountain peaks notably Snowshoe, A Peak, 8,634 ft., Bockman, 8,174 ft., Elephant, 7,938 ft., St. Paul, 7,714 ft., Treasure Mountain, 7,694 ft., Bald Eagle, 7,655 ft., and Mt. Snowy, 7,618 ft., provide a scenic backdrop for Libby and the surrounding area. More than 20 trails leading into the Wilderness give access to dozens of small lakes, ridge top panoramas, and alpine meadows. Some form of plant life is found on nearly every area of the Cabinets, ranging from the giant western red cedar in moist lower valleys to the stunted heath on windswept mountain ridges. Valley bottoms and lower slopes growing cedar, western hemlock, Engelmann spruce, western white pine and abundant streamside flowers resemble coastal forests. Drier midslopes are usually crowned with Douglas-fir, western larch and lodgepole pine. Subalpine fir, lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce are the dominant trees at elevations between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. Above 6,000 feet the vegetation becomes more scattered, with stunted and gnarled mountain hemlock, whitebark pine and alpine larch growing out of rocky rims and ledges, many with broken tops and twisted forms attesting to the tremendous volumes of snow. Snowstorms occur as late as June and as early as September limiting most backpacking and hiking to the summer months.
For more information contact: The Kootenai National Forest
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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