Blue Lake Club Run this weekend July 31

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This weekend is our monthly Club run. We are going to run Independence Pass to Blue Lake (just south of Big Timber). We suggest running this overnight and camp at the top. It can be done in a day but it would be a LONG day. Last year we left Bozeman about 8am and got to the lake by around 3:30/4pm. This was with an hour stop at Natural Bridges to poke around and an hour long lunch as well.

This is a mild trail with a few technical spots. Last year the bushes were tight in spots so expect some pin stripping like most trails here in Montana. Nothing crazy, just a heads up.

The plan is to meet up at Natural Bridges, get the group together and air down.

This is a LONG out and back with about 20ish miles of washboard roads to get to the trail head. Once on the trail it is scenic and easy with a few technical spots. A few of us ran it last year and we got @AdventureFamily through with their trailer no problem. I would think any stock Toyota 4x4 with a good driver will walk right up the trail. Think Goose Lake views with 1/4 of the technical difficulty.

This is big bear country so everyone needs to be prepared to camp accordingly.

Closest gas is in Big Timber/Livingston . We had plenty on stock tanks last year with no need for extra gas. You can take the dirt road out of Livingston and it takes just as long.

The plan right now (depending on who's in) is to meet up at Natural Bridges at 10, air down and head out. Google says Natural Bridges is an 1hr 30min from Bozeman.

So...

Who is in!?
 
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for inspiration...
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It’s a good one. Will still be pretty even with the smoke. No immediate fires in the area so that’s a plus. And it’ll be cooler at elevation. Win-win.
 
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The Prospector and I ran this last year and spent some time looking over the mining buildings and stuff. Pretty cool.
I'm out to the Upper Missouri River Breaks this weekend, otherwise we'd run it again.
 
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Ahh man I wish I could come along for that one. That's my favorite trail. My wife worked at the last camp along the road for a few years. Some really incredible country out there.

Hopefully I'll have my Cruiser ready to go for next year.
 
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Just a heads up. Photos from this summer show that the trail to Blue Lake and Independence is VERY washed out. I'm taking like two feet deep of trail bed are gone. I'm told that there is now a rock or two exposed that will make part of the trail almost impassable for some trucks. This guy says he hit his transfer case trying to pass one rock without lockers.

All of this is BEFORE the mining camp.

Photos attached from the person who tipped me off. The section of trail in these photos is very early on. Used to be fairly flat. He says a stream got diverted and now runs down the trail itself which has washed out a lot of soil.

If you're familiar with this trail. These photos were taken at the beginning of the trail. There is a Y you get to and take a hard left up a switchback. That section immediately after that Y is where these photos are taken. So it's very early on the trail to Independence.

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Just a heads up. Photos from this summer show that the trail to Blue Lake and Independence is VERY washed out. I'm taking like two feet deep of trail bed are gone. I'm told that there is now a rock or two exposed that will make part of the trail almost impassable for some trucks. This guy says he hit his transfer case trying to pass one rock without lockers.

All of this is BEFORE the mining camp.

Photos attached from the person who tipped me off. The section of trail in these photos is very early on. Used to be fairly flat. He says a stream got diverted and now runs down the trail itself which has washed out a lot of soil.

If you're familiar with this trail. These photos were taken at the beginning of the trail. There is a Y you get to and take a hard left up a switchback. That section immediately after that Y is where these photos are taken. So it's very early on the trail to Independence.

View attachment 2744532View attachment 2744533View attachment 2744534
i know this spot. i dont think it looks bad. i know pictures never do it justice, but theres a ton of rocks there so you might just have to place a couple in clever spots. full disclosure im wreckless. we had to wench bryans trailer around a rock on this last year. sliders might be neccisary, but youll be fine. ;)
 
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Just a heads up. Photos from this summer show that the trail to Blue Lake and Independence is VERY washed out. I'm taking like two feet deep of trail bed are gone. I'm told that there is now a rock or two exposed that will make part of the trail almost impassable for some trucks. This guy says he hit his transfer case trying to pass one rock without lockers.

All of this is BEFORE the mining camp.

Photos attached from the person who tipped me off. The section of trail in these photos is very early on. Used to be fairly flat. He says a stream got diverted and now runs down the trail itself which has washed out a lot of soil.

If you're familiar with this trail. These photos were taken at the beginning of the trail. There is a Y you get to and take a hard left up a switchback. That section immediately after that Y is where these photos are taken. So it's very early on the trail to Independence.

View attachment 2744532View attachment 2744533View attachment 2744534
Yeah parts of the trail were pretty washed out. I thought it was farther up though. Maybe there are multiple washed out sections? I didn't need lockers in an 80 on 35's. I did drag a diff here or there but I'm a bad driver.
 
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Just a heads up. Photos from this summer show that the trail to Blue Lake and Independence is VERY washed out. I'm taking like two feet deep of trail bed are gone. I'm told that there is now a rock or two exposed that will make part of the trail almost impassable for some trucks. This guy says he hit his transfer case trying to pass one rock without lockers.

All of this is BEFORE the mining camp.

Photos attached from the person who tipped me off. The section of trail in these photos is very early on. Used to be fairly flat. He says a stream got diverted and now runs down the trail itself which has washed out a lot of soil.

If you're familiar with this trail. These photos were taken at the beginning of the trail. There is a Y you get to and take a hard left up a switchback. That section immediately after that Y is where these photos are taken. So it's very early on the trail to Independence.

View attachment 2744532View attachment 2744533View attachment 2744534
It was rough through there last year too. We ran a tire on the high side. Doesn't look bad, just washed out.

So right now, we have @James Hartly going :eek:

I am not sure any of the club's leaders are able to make this one...
 
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am i the only one ? may ask some jeep/scout friends.
James, for now yes.

Sorry man, I think we are bumping into the mid summer craziness... folks are traveling, vacations, other plans, honey-do lists.

For me, both my cruisers are down... I WISH I WAS playing this weekend, instead I am pulling my wiring harness and deep diving into my 100 series failing ABS system.

I think we should postpone for now.
 

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