Backpacking Bonanza Lakes

On September 20, 2019, eight Scouts and seven leaders embarked on a trek into the wild, high at the divide between Montana and Idaho. The first night, we set up camp at Missoula Lake campground. We endured fog, constant rain, and near-freezing temperatures the night before our trek.

In the morning, we awoke to soaked tents and frozen toes. But a smart campfire warmed the soul and we packed our soggy tents and headed on a trek into the clouds.

After a few miles and a couple of hours, we reached the campsite on the shore of Bonanza Lake. We lit a fire to dry out our feet, and did some fishing. Shortly after dinner, it got dark and we headed to bed as the fog rolled in again.

Sunday morning was glorious! We woke up to crystal clear skies and sunshine. The morning light on the cliff backing the lake was magical. Eric H threw a line in the water and caught fish on each of his first three casts! After a hearty breakfast, we headed back home again, covering the same ground as the day prior, but seeing much different views in the clear day.

In the end, this was a challenging hike for our Scouts, especially the youngest amongst us. However, persevering to the end, cheering on your fellow hikers, surviving in the wild with only what was carried on your back, practicing leave no trace, and bonding with comrades instilled these young men with the values, skills, and the self-confidence that Scouting is all about. Well done, Scouts!


Group picture at Bonanza Lake
Leo shows off his hammock sleeping quarters
Mushrooms were out in full force
A hike into the cloud
Fishing for the big one
A campfire to dry out the socks
We caught small but beautiful trout in the lake
The sunrise illuminates the cliff behind Bonanza Lake
Oatmeal breakfast with fresh huckleberries
Ready for the return home
A well deserved rest along the trail
Last glimpse of Bonanza Lake