We found a wildlife viewing area about 15 miles north of Seeley Lake on highway 83 called Rainy Lake. There is one nice site for an RV with 4 tent camping sites. This is the view walking down to the lake. No trash pickup or water but you can’t complain since its free.
This is the view looking up valley. Those are the Swan mountains. This lake is part of a chain of lakes on the Clearwater River. The lake is about 85 acres or so. We watched an osprey do its thing, diving into the water trying to catch a trout. He never did catch one while we were watching. Several fisherman tried their luck over the several days we stayed here, to no avail. Loons were occasionally singing from another lake not far away. We just LOVE listening to loons.
A fisherman told us about the fish ladder about 1/4 mile down the small outlet stream. Here it is. Small fish were trying to jump over the ladder. None made it. He said that this lake is about the only one on the Clearwater River that does not have pike in it. This ladder stops them. He said pike are ruining the lakes in Montana by eating all the trout since pike is a non-native species. No fishing was allowed at this spot, and the the sign said there “maybe” video surveillance.
Another shot…pretty damn nice. This lake has persuaded us in getting inflatable kayaks. The water was SO inviting. During the winter the snow just piles up with little wind. That fisherman I talked to earlier said he has seen the tops of fence posts piled six feet high with snow. Don’t see that happening in Iowa!
We took a drive on a loop closer to the Swan mountains to get this shot. If you look closely you will see dead trees, the beetles are beginning to take a toll. This is looking down-valley into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, which extends east over the mountains too. The “Bob” supports the largest concentration of grizzly in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Speaking of bear, we recommend the Hungary Bear Restaurant up the road near Condon, MT. Excellent food and probably the best apple pie that Carla has had in a long time.