A 1905 Horseback Ride to the Top of the Kootenai Mountains


Margaret MacDonald visited her Aunt Isabelle and Uncle Dr. Robert Gordon in August 1905 at the Gordon Ranch. In a letter to her mother, Margaret eloquently described a horseback ride to a mountain pass Margaret refers to as Gordon Pass in the Kootenai Mountains, present-day Holland Pass in the Swan Mountains.

The current trail, USFS trail # 42, ascends the face of the Swan Range above Holland Lake; the approximate route Margaret and her companions followed in 1905 leading to Sapphire Lakes, just over the pass. The current trail is a steep ascent, with over 25 switchbacks. Margaret aptly...

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