Montana Outdoors

July 26, 2017

A short hike on USFS trail 223 ~ July 11, 2017

Sometimes it’s nice to begin a hike with a pleasant scene.

Clark Fork River

USFS trail 223 starts along the river at an elevation of about 2,400 feet, climbs up and over a small hill then proceeds up the river for another 7 or 8 miles. In their seasons, wildflowers along it are diverse and plentiful. Those included in this post are the late-season ones.

Trail 223

Common Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose (Oenothera villosa): the first one I had seen this year.


These bluebells are everywhere this time of year and I can seldom pass up a chance to photograph them.

Trail 223

As the trail enters the lower and most dense part of the forest, the color is intense.

three-leaf foamflower

The shade-loving Three-leaf Foamflower ~ Tiarella trifoliata 

Devil's Club

The berries of the Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridus) are just beginning to turn red.



I did mention that I love these bluebells, didn’t I?

Slender Hawkweed

Slender Hawkweed

Slender Hawkweed ~ Hieracium triste

Western Blud Clematis

The seed head of the Blue Clematis, (Clematis occidentalis)

Trail 223

Trail 223

I love the steeper parts of this trail: there is a small stream below.

Pearly Everlasting

Another flower which grows at just about all elevations, Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea).

Clasping Twisted-stalk fruit

These are the fruit of the Clasping Twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius) which is a plant that I have seen in only two locations. It is interesting because the flowers and fruit appear on the underside of the leaves.

White Sweet-clover

White Sweet-clover ~ Melilotus albus


  1. The trail looks well traveled and inviting as well, especially the cool shade although from your comments it hasn’t been that cool lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Ron Mangels — July 26, 2017 @ 11:23 am

    • I think the southern end of that trail gets quite a bit of traffic, but I don’t think most go up very far. The shade on it is nice and there is the river close by and a nice little stream near the trail head.


      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2017 @ 4:11 pm

  2. The river looks trouty, and the trails look beary. I’ve never seen the clasping twisted stalk. What an interesting set up it has.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 26, 2017 @ 12:04 pm

    • You are right on the river and the trail. Several years ago I hiked there in winter when the snow was deep and nearly walked right into a cougar who was coming my direction.
      The twisted stalk is really a strange plant.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2017 @ 4:14 pm

  3. Lovely pictures from a really lovely trail.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bentehaarstad — July 26, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

    • These trails are fascinating to hike on. There are so many very pleasant things to see.


      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2017 @ 4:15 pm

  4. The Clasping-twisted Stalk looks like it has its own Christmas ornaments. Love that dense forest.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — July 26, 2017 @ 1:56 pm

  5. That looks like a great trail to do some mushroom hunting on too!
    I love the blue of the bluebells too. They remind me of balloon flowers in a way.
    I’ve never heard of the three-leaf foamflower but I’ll bet those flowers are tiny if they’re anything like our foamflowers.
    The clasping twisted stalk is an interesting looking plant. It reminds me of Solomon’s seal.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — July 26, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

  6. What a great trail to hike and I love the late season wildflowers too, Especially the Clasping Twisted-stalk, which reminds me a little of one species of Abutilon I’ve seen in the Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne. Your Blue Clematis also looks like our Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba ? I think it is). So many wonderful wild flowers to see in the summer in Montana. Thanks for sharing, Terry.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — July 26, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

    • It is a very nice trail. It runs along the border of the 13,472 acre (5452 hectare) South Siegel roadless area which is very wild country. Each trail has its own inventory of wildflowers during the various seasons, and many mini ecosystems adding to the diversity.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2017 @ 6:37 pm

  7. Looks like heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by de Wets Wild — July 26, 2017 @ 8:20 pm

  8. Thank you for sharing these excursions, you are actually taking us along by showing us examples of the landscape and then little discoveries on the way … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by paparadu — July 27, 2017 @ 7:39 am

    • That is precisely what I intend to do! I’m very happy that you enjoy these posts! Because of health problems, my wife was never able to accompany me on my trips into the mountains and forests, and so about a decade ago I bought a small digital camera so I could bring back photos of what I saw and those became very important to her. Soon after, I started to post photos and descriptions on the internet for other folks who might enjoy seeing the beauty of the wild country also.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 27, 2017 @ 8:27 am

  9. A wonderful post!! The shots of the bluebells are superior.
    There were also lots of bluebells in my forest today. Cannot remember to have seen that many before. Probably due to the changing weather we have at the moment. But I don’t know for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hanna — July 27, 2017 @ 1:26 pm

    • Thanks Hanna! There are lots of bluebells here too, probably more noticeable because most of the other flowers are through blooming.


      Comment by montucky — July 27, 2017 @ 3:22 pm

  10. Beautiful, especially the bluebells! I also love the Clasping Twisted-stalk – what an unusual plant, with its own home-grown Christmas decorations!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — July 28, 2017 @ 4:16 am

    • The bluebells are among the most photogenic flowers! I guess the twisted stalk is not rare, but I don’t come across it every year. There are so many fascinating plants out there!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 28, 2017 @ 7:38 am

  11. Those colours are intense .. wonderful pics! That river sure does look like it would be a trout haven 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — July 28, 2017 @ 1:27 pm

    • These were in a shaded area where the summer sun hasn’t burned the leaves. There are a lot of trout in the Clark Fork river. This area is about 25 miles upstream from my house. On a late summer evening I can fish a section of the river (in deep riffles) and come back home with a couple pounds of trout, perfect for the BBQ grill.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 28, 2017 @ 4:40 pm

  12. Hi Montucky, So pretty. What a great walk. Glad you took the pictures. I think you are right about those Bluebell blossoms – very beautiful! Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — July 28, 2017 @ 7:51 pm

    • Thank you wildlifewatcher! You have a great weekend too!


      Comment by montucky — July 28, 2017 @ 9:29 pm

  13. That is MY kind of trail! Beautiful images, Terry…..thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by seekraz — July 29, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

    • I thought you might enjoy this trail too, although it is not one of the high mountain trails.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 29, 2017 @ 8:05 pm

  14. I love always Your hiking tours, because they offer stunning surprises, which You see. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — August 1, 2017 @ 12:19 am

    • I’m glad that you like seeing these photos. There are always some interesting things to see in the forests.


      Comment by montucky — August 1, 2017 @ 7:03 am

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