The Hidden Waterfall
Growing up in the mountains of Montana, there are many memorable wilderness experiences to be had. The wilderness has so much to offer and is something that everyone should be able to experience. Backpacking, camping, hunting, fishing, berry picking, and horseback riding all have something to offer for a great wilderness experience. Embracing my sense of adventure is something I am constantly trying to do, throughout the summer, especially. It is hard to pick a single most memorable wilderness experience, and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to experience so much.
One of the more memorable wilderness experiences I’ve had would have to be during the summer of 2022 when I hiked Revett Lake with a friend. Revett Lake is right on the Montana/Idaho border.
My friend and I are both great adventurers and like to explore everything around us. Along the hike to Revett, we heard the sound of a creek and wandered off trail to check it out. It was incredible how gorgeous, clear, and pretty this creek was. As we got higher up, more water began running across the trail. There was one section where you had to place your feet on rocks to cross the stream, and another part where pieces of wood had been laid across to bridge the gap.
We were hoping to find a waterfall. As we jumped over logs, walked through bushes, and ducked under fallen trees, all we could talk about was what we might find ahead. As we hiked, we passed my backpack back and forth to get through some questionable terrain, and ahead was just what we had hoped for. The waterfall was not insanely large, but mesmerizing enough to invite us explore further. There were areas where we could climb up to get a mist and not get soaked, so we took advantage of that on this summer day.
Soaking in the beauty of what we were seeing, we saw that the waterfall went higher and agreed to continue our exploration. After a good struggle of a climb, jumping rocks, and stepping over fallen wet trees, we saw what we were hoping to find. The waterfall opened up into an astounding cascade. Sitting there looking up and the waterfall, then down where we came from was worth the struggle to get there.
After a good while of admiring the beauty of nature around us, we headed back down to the trail to continue on our way to the lake. Once we reached the top, we settled to eat lunch at Revett Lake. While we ate, we discussed the beauty before us and throughout the whole hike. After eating and looking around for a while, I came across a box, not hidden, but not out in the open either. In the box were snacks and a journal along with markers and pens. In the journal were names and dates of those who have visited the lake and we got to put ours in also.
This entire hike was the definition of a true wilderness experience for me. From the waterfall, to the journal, the whole experience was amazing. I was never disappointed with taking an alternate path to discover the natural beauty around us. I will always remember this hiking trip as one of my most memorable and beautiful wilderness experiences.
Chesney is a graduating Senior from Thompson Falls High School. They submitted this essay for FSPW’s high school scholarship contest. Stay tuned for more winning essays from students across Idaho and Montana.