Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers
Early Adventures in Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park

by John Fraley

published by Farcountry Press

  • The North, Middle, and South Forks of the Flathead River drain some of the wildest country in Montana, including Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. In Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers, John Fraley recounts the true adventures of people who earned their living among the mountains and along the cold, clear rivers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here are the stories of the intrepid Glacier Park Ranger Clyde Fauley and his young family using a cable bucket to reach their isolated cabin across the Middle Fork, trapper Slim Link s fateful meeting with a grizzly bear in the deep woods of the North Fork, and the life and times of Henry Thol, the ranger s ranger, who happily snowshoed hundreds of miles through deep snows and minus-40 cold to patrol the South Fork wilderness. Tragedies and near-misses abound: a fatal shootout, tangles with bears and packrats, a devastating train wreck, and a missing airplane. But these are balanced with tales of courage, endurance, and remarkable personal achievement. Fraley tells all in intriguing detail wrested from primary sources.

280 pages, 6 x 9 , 32 softcovers per case, Perfect Bound

ISBN 10: 1560377321
ISBN 13: 9781560377320


Wild River Pioneers





Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers
Early Adventures in Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park

"John Fraley has obviously done his homework in presenting these deeply human (and true) stories.  In the process of connecting past people to the Forks of the Flathead River, John encourages us to form our own enduring relationship with this wild landscape.  A master storyteller, indeed!"

Chas Cartwright, Former Superintendent - Glacier National Park

"...there is something for everyone to be found in...the new collection of historic accounts from longtime Montana Fish & Wildlife Biologist John Fraley.  His painstaking and extensive research has made it possible to share tales that were previously undiscovered, as well as to shine new light on and correct common misconceptions about some of northwest Montana's more well-known campfire stories.  Fraley manages to transport the reader along to a place where a once hardscrabble life has certainly changed, and at the same time revel in what has incredibly and wonderfully remained the same.  In the spirit of the many trailblazing men and women featured in this collection (as well as the very spirit of the author himself), Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers makes the reader yearn to have similar adventures themselves."

Jacob Thomas, Executive Director - Northwest Montana Historical Society

"In Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers, John Fraley brings to life the people who lent their names to the iconic geography of the North Fork and Bob Marshall Wilderness, including Bob himself.  He reveals tales of Forest Service rangers past to present who patrolled on snowshoe and by air, unravels mysteries of trappers who disappeared into the vast wilderness, and tracks down missing facts about plane crashes, rescues, and the hearty folk who homesteaded in places so remote that they are only reached by horse or foot even today.  Wilderness lovers, history buffs, adventurers, residents, and visitors to northwest Montana will all love this book."

Carol Treadwell, Ph.D, Executive Director - Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

John Fraley came to Montana as a teenager to attend the University of Montana, where he received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. He continued his education at Montana State University and received an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management. John worked for the state wildlife agency for nearly forty years, mostly in the forks of the Flathead; he retired in 2017. For thirty-two years he has served as an adjunct instructor at Flathead Valley Community College where he teaches wildlife conservation and other courses. John has written two previous books on Flathead pioneers within Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness: A Woman’s Way West, in 1998, and Wild River Pioneers, in 2008. Over the years, he has written numerous magazine articles on the history of the Flathead. John’s wife, Dana, and children, Kevin, Heather, and Troy, continue to share with him a love of wandering around the backcountry of the three forks of the Flathead.

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263