CDT Montana 2016

Day 31, August 5, Friday

Start near 23-455M along Straight Creek, 12.9 miles from Benchmark Trailhead

Stop beyond 24-093XX, 9.8 trail miles inside Bob Marshall Wilderness

Miles on CDT: 22.7

The trail continues along Straight Creek for a bit.

An alternate trail to Benchmark continues along Straight, and, looking back, that should have been my route.

Instead we zig-zag up a different path. Rock bluffs look down on the trail.

Ford that river.

Arriving at the intersection to depart the CDT and walk a few miles to Benchmark Ranch, I met some backpackers finishing their section hike who offer me a ride.

That makes them certified trail angels.

Benchmark Ranch is located near the one stretch of CDT that is too far between trail towns. Hikers really do not want to carry more than six or so days of food at a time.

Benchmark Ranch, which operates a hunting/fishing/cabin/trail-ride business at the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offers a for-pay service to let hikers mail them boxes which are brought up to the cabin.

Hikers come to the cabin and find their boxes in the metal box on the porch.

Several boxes were waiting with mine.

A hiker box held extra supplies for us to investigate.

On the way back to the trail, hiking along road, I pass an air strip.

The trail angels say the airfield is open to anybody, but gets heavily used by Forest Service during some fire operations.

Back to the CDT, it is time to enter the vast Bob Marshall Wilderness.

A fancy bridge symbolizes entrance into the Wilderness.

On a mountain, lines of alive and dead trees mark the advance of bark beetle.

Got my supplies. Get to start a rugged and amazing section of trail. Good day.

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.