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When he moved to the Bitterroot valley during 2004, Michael was astounded to discover that not only were the guidebooks available for trails in the Bitterroot Mountains very out of date, but there were absolutely no guidebooks which covered the Bitterroot Mountain summits.  He found this appalling and, being an outdoorsman with experience as a photographer and some writing skills decided to rectify the situation.

Published in 2010, Hikes and Climbs to Bitterroot Mountain Summits was his first guidebook. The ready acceptance of that endeavor prompted him to continue his research, photography, and writing.

Bitterroot Mountain Trails, Volume 1, published in 2014, was the result of those efforts.  It is the first of a 3-book series which, when completed, will cover the entire Bitterroot Mountain trail system more thoroughly than has previously been attempted.

Michael continues his exploration of the Bitterroot Mountain trails and summits with an eye to finishing the work necessary to complete the other two volumes required to cover the extensive trail systems in the Bitterroots.

The uncountable hours while hiking and climbing in the wilderness of Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains, offered Michael time to contemplate humanity’s appropriate place in the environment.  Growing increasingly disgusted with civilization’s pitifully inept record of caring for Mother Earth, he decided it was time to take action.

Ranger, directed at one segment of environmental mismanagement, percolated in the author’s head for many years.  A fictional narrative for young adults, this novel is an account of compassion, empathy, and unintended consequences.

A dedicated and long-time wilderness mountaineer, Michael Hoyt has carefully documented his climbs with photographs, notes, and route maps.

Although this guidebook contains information even advanced hikers and climbers will find useful, it was written specifically for those who consider themselves to be at beginning or intermediate levels.

This guidebook includes descriptions needed to reach 50+ mountains using  60 different routes.

*****

"The Bitterroots are among the few places left in America as wild as when explorers and pioneers first came west.  More than just mountains, the Bitterroots are an echo of the untamed past, a gesture of raw nature.  To climb them offers a brief sharing of the world of the eagle, the wolf, and the great bear." – Bob Sihler, major contributor to the world's most popular mountain climbing web site, Summitpost.org.

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This guidebook is the first of a 3-book series which, when completed, will cover the entire Bitterroot Mountain trail system.  It was written with the hope it will help more people enjoy the backcountry.

Included in this book are trails which begin from trailheads between Highway 12 on the north (Lolo Peak) and Printz Ridge on the south (Mill Creek Canyon).  The remaining trails in the Bitterroot Mountains will be covered in Volumes 2 and 3.

Useful trail information for hikers, mountain bikers, runners, equestrians, and families with small children is included with each trail description and in an easy-to-use table of trails.

*****

"Finally, the book long needed for the Bitterroot Mountains!  Nothing else—and there have been several attempts—even comes close!  A truly remarkable accomplishment.  Mike has given us that rarest of guidebooks—both informative and enjoyable." – Vernon Garner, known as "Saintgrizzly" in western Montana's Climbing Community.

This guidebook is the second of a 3-book series which, when completed, will cover the entire Bitterroot Mountain trail system. It was written with the hope it will help more people enjoy the backcountry.

Included in this book are trails which begin from trailheads into Blodgett Canyon (on the north) and Soda Springs Canyon (on the south).

Trails which begin from trailheads between Highway 12 on the north (Lolo Peak) and Printz Ridge on the south (Mill Creek Canyon) are covered in Volume 1.

The southernmost trails in the Bitterroot Mountains will be covered in Volume 3.

Useful trail information for hikers, mountain bikers, runners, equestrians, and families with small children is included with each trail description and in an easy-to-use table of trails.

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Ranger, a gripping tale of magic, wolves, ravens, compassion and empathy in the wilderness of Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains.

Ranger is a young wolf, the only survivor of a murderous attack on his family.  He must deal with the tragic loss of his pack while learning to harness his newly-discovered magical powers.  The desire to be readily accepted by his peers and using his unusual abilities to help protect their wilderness home from human encroachment, provides complications and unintended consequences.

Told from the viewpoint of a wolf, this tale may help people who have sufficient imagination to experience the existence of another being and begin to understand the shortsightedness of many human actions.

The cover for Ranger was designed and illustrated by a young Swedish artist, Elvira Hammarstedt.  Her boundless fascination with animals, reflected in much of her work, is obvious in her cover design for this novel.  Continuing to develop her technique by working in numerous and diverse mediums and styles, Elvira is following her lifelong interest in painting, design, and illustration.

Many dream that someday soon, the majority of humankind will understand how important every living thing on Planet Earth is to our continued existence and wellbeing, and that the killing and disenfranchisement of beings we do not understand is not a viable long-term solution.

Given the importance that wilderness and wild things play in our survival on this planet, it’s far past time to end our misdirected attempts at reshaping nature for the sole purpose of satisfying human demands.  It is time to begin learning how to moderate our way of living to fit smoothly into the biophysical limits that nature and the Earth provide

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We are very happy to add Bitterroot Grizzly by Michael Dax, to the books available from the Bitterroot Mountains website.

Michael Dax grew up in upstate New York, but was drawn west after finishing college.  He worked at the south rim of the Grand Canyon before moving to Yellowstone National Park where he spent three years as a tour guide, cross-country ski trail groomer, and ski instructor.  He earned a masters degree in history from the University of Montana with a focus on the American West and environmental history.  His work has since taken him between Montana, North Dakota and New Mexico. In his free time he enjoys backpacking, fishing, skiing and gardening.  He currently resides in Santa Fe.

*****

“Michael Dax expertly probes the economic, cultural, and political divides spawned by recent efforts to reintroduce grizzly bears into the Bitterroot Range. . . .  This is a first-rate environmental history that will enlighten environmentalists, legislators, natural resource users, and others engaged in deciding the fate of public lands in the modern American West.” — Mark Harvey, author of Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act.

Environmentalists and the timber industry do not often collaborate, but in the years immediately following gray wolf reintroduction in the interior American West, a plan to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana brought these odd bedfellows together.  The partnership won praise from diverse interests across the country and in 2000 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved a plan for reintroduction.  When the Bush Administration took office, however, it promptly shelved the project.

In Grizzly West, Michael J. Dax explores the political, cultural, and social forces at work in the West and around the country that gave rise to this innovative plan but also contributed to its downfall.  Observers at the time blamed the project’s collapse on simple partisan politics, but Dax reveals how the American West’s changing culture and economy over the second half of the twentieth century dramatically affected this bold vision.  He examines the growth of the New West’s political potency, while at the same time revealing the ways in which the Old West still holds a significant grip over the region’s politics.  Grizzly West examines the great divide between the Old and the New West, one that has lasting consequences for the modern West and for our country's relationship with its wildlife.