Email mecontact me

B-17 Crash Site Hike

It's been a while since we've done a real hike, so we wanted to get into the mountains and get back in the groove of things. The weather this weekend wasn't very cooperative, but we decided to go out and risk it anyway. The area that we wanted to hike in, Pingree Park, had a chance of rain all day but only 0.06" of rain was predicted, so we figured we would risk possibly having to end up hiking in the rain.

The drive to Pingree Park takes almost 2 hours from our house, mostly because the last 10 miles are on a dirt road. we got to the trailhead around 11 am and started on what would become a three-and-a-half-hour hike that took us through a beautiful area of Rosevelt National Park. The last time we were here (and the only other time I've been in this area) we were planning on doing this hike to the B17 crash site but we ended up taking the wrong turn and did a different hike instead. Ever since that hike last year I've wanted to come back to this area because it's such a peaceful area. Since it's so far from any city, most people don't hike up this way, which showed since we only saw three groups of people on the hike.

The hike started in poor weather. It was in the low 60's, quite windy, and starting to spit rain a little bit. We threw on our rain jackets and started the hike knowing that the weather would clear up since it was pretty light in the Western sky. It didn't take long for the weather to change from almost uncomfortably cold to hot with the sun beaming down on us. That's just part of the fun of hiking is having to take some risks when it comes to the weather. Luckily, the sun didn't stay out during the entire hike, but instead, it was partially cloudy the whole hike. The temperatures grew about 10 degrees during the hike and the wind stopped, making the start of the hike slightly uncomfortable from it being too chilly to being slightly uncomfortable from being too hot.

We got to the crash site around 12:30 and saw and ate our packed lunch. After lunch, I wandered up higher to get a better view of everything. There were quite a bit of airplane parts scattered around the area. There were 3 engines, both landing gear wheel assemblies, a big chunk of the deck that runs through the center of the plane, and a few other random assemblies and parts scattered here and there. There wasn't enough metal scattered around to make up a whole plane, so I speculate that after the crash some parts were air-lifted out of there to prevent things like oil and gas from leeching into the ground. Even though I was hoping to find more parts, it was still fascinating to see the carnage so spread out and to see what assemblies survived the crash and what didn't.

Trailhead Location
The map failed to load!
6.3 mi 3.6 hrs 10,294 ft 1,240 ft
View Graph
Start of the Hike
Purple Fring
Twin Lake Reservoir
Boulder on the Lake
Sun Washed
Path Along the River
Landing Gear
At the Crash Site
Uneven Rusting
Main Engine
Rotting Rubber
Landing Gear Cylinder
Orange Peel Fungus
Green Aspens