Marshall Canyon March 19, 2023

Marshall Canyon, Sun. Mar 19th, 2023
Participants: Steve Schombel, David and Julie Kahl
This was neither an epic or even strenuous snow hike, exploring what the GPS labeled as “Woods Road,” going from the head of the Rattlesnake’s Wood Gulch, down across the north face of Mt. Jumbo, but it was a glorious spring day, sunny with temperatures in the 50’s/10c and it was nice just to be out. The surprise of the day was that the road from its Marshall Canyon Road start was snowed packed all the way. The first mile/1.61k, before it turns into Woods Rd. at a junction with roads coming down from the face of Mt Jumbo and the trails there (now seasonally closed for elk security) it was widely packed with some icy spots in the more used places. The ground around it was mostly snow free with some snow patches. We were looking for the first signs of buttercups, but didn’t see any. At the road junction where Woods Rd. goes west-or to the right, it gradually became less used, and there was a ski track wide groove into packed snow -which was silently turning into sparkley corn snow as the day progressed. Now on the Woods Rd., immediately it goes under the power line that runs down from behind Woody Mt., across the north ridge of Mt. Jumbo and up into the Rattlesnake Rec. area. That open area gave some good views down in the Clark Fork Valley and the Marshall Cr. drainage to the east. The snow groove became less used, narrower and as the snow in it near the ground melted, choppy to walk on. In some spots we could walk on the snow surface or in the dirt edges of the road that had melted clear. The road had been a steady climb, not quite as steep on the Woods Rd. part, but the snow pack was gradually growing deeper and now the forest around us had a lot of snow left. Just short of 2 miles/ 3.22k we stopped at a melted clear bank to eat lunch and figuring we were about a mile from where the road crossed over to the Woods Gulch/Rattlesnake side decided to go on. But we didn’t go far as the groove had pretty much disappeared and trying to walk on the snow pack resulted in post-holeing. Not what we had signed up for -we turned back and on the way back out ran into a lot of people -most with dogs, as dogs aren’t allowed on the Marshall Mt. trails, also enjoying the day. The only bummer to the day was almost constant staccato from the firing range across the Clark Fork Canyon on the Deer Cr. side. We didn’t see any buttercups but no ticks either.  
Leader: Julie Kahl jawkal@alden-admin

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