Larch Peaks in Whitefish Range

By Beacon Staff

Take a drive or a hike this weekend through the Whitefish Range for the larch is at its peak. Unlike other needled trees, the western larch loses its needles every fall. But before it drops them to carpet snow with gold, it turns them to raging yellow, lighting up slopes like they’re on fire.

Pockets of golden larch reflect in Upper Whitefish Lake. –Becky Lomax, for the Beacon

Larch turns gold on the slopes of Diamond Peak along the Whitefish Divide. –Becky Lomax, for the Beacon

Roads, such as Red Meadows and Graves Creek, are still open, providing gorgeous fall drives to enjoy the larch. Lower trails are still snow free, but a few inches of white covers paths in higher elevation just in time for hunting season, which opens Sunday, Oct. 26.

Kjell Petersen of Kalispell and Stacey Bengtson of West Glacier hike the Whitefish Divide Trail Thursday above Hay Creek. –Becky Lomax, for the Beacon.

For updates on roads and trails through Stillwater State Forest, call 406-881-2371. For routes in Flathead National Forest, call 406-387-3800.