Scotchman Peak roadless area, Idaho-Montana

Although tremendous Scotchman Peak is in Idaho, most of this 90,000 acres roadless area is in Montana. The Forest Service has only recommended 55% of this for wilderness protection by Congress.

Scotchman Peak at 7,009 feet may not sound impressive. Yet it towers 5000 feet over Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced "Ponder Ray").  It is a grueling hike to the summit. The roadless area in several places extends from the valley floor to the rugged, glaciated peaks far above.

A notable feature in the Montana Portion of the Ross Creek Cedar Grove which contains impressive 500 year old western red cedar.

Toward Blacktop Mountain from Scotchman Peak

Copyright George Wuertner

This roadless area is part of the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem, a home for a few grizzly bears as well as wolves which re-established themselves naturally from Canada (they were not reintroduced). Present also are rare birds and animals such as the fisher, pine marten, wolverine, and boreal owl.

While Scotchman Peak is pristine, as are the designated Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and the Cube Iron/Silcox roadless area nearby (inside Montana), the Kootenai National Forest is one of the most clearcut national forests in the United States.

The area is at the beginning (southern end) of the mighty Purcell Mountains.

Scotchman Peak roadless area, Idaho-Montana/ rev. Jan. 13, 2004