Montana Outdoors

July 4, 2018

A hike with a climate change.

Yesterday morning I left early for a hike on USFS trail 340 to the top of Mount Baldy, determined to hike no matter what the weather might be (and was prepared for most anything). Near the trail head this Indian Paintbrush was bright with the color of full bloom:

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ castilleja miniata

By about 7:40 where the trail reached the first big switchback and cleared the heavy timber, I stopped to admire the first open view of the valley below. There were clouds overhead but the sky was open and bright blue over the valley and the valley floor was in full sun.

Clark Fork Valley from Mount Baldy

As I sat for a while enjoying the view of the valley and the Bitterroot Mountains about 50 miles to the south I could see heavy clouds rapidly moving in from the south and west and soon the expanse of blue sky was shrinking rapidly, the wind was picking up and the clouds overhead started dripping just a little on this Shrubby Penstemon beside the trail.

Shrubby Penstemon

Shrubby Penstemon ~ penstemon fruticosus

About an hour later as I reached the top, the sky was dark with heavy clouds, my fingers were getting numb from the cold wind and a light snow was falling.

Storm on Mount Baldy

It was time to go back down before the already slippery rocks on the top part of the trail got even more slippery and the clouds closed in completely over the trail. It was a good hike.

There is a moral to this story for those who hike on the higher mountain trails: always be prepared for all kinds of weather, even in summer, because you will probably encounter it. (Tomorrow’s forecast for the valley is a high of 92º.)

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June 28, 2018

Corona Lake

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:55 pm

With overcast skies today and a threat of rain, I was going to devote the day to doing things around the house, but in early afternoon I couldn’t keep from taking a little outing. It was a nice surprise that when I visited this small mountain lake up in the Cabinet Mountains there was a short break in the clouds, just long enough to take a few pictures.

Corona Lake

Corona Lake in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana

June 23, 2018

West from Baldy

West from Baldy

While contemplating a hike next week I was looking over some photos taken there a number of years ago and noticed this one taken on October 9, 2013 that I had never published. A storm was just sweeping in from the south but a window remained looking out over the clouds that filled the valley toward the west.

November 12, 2017

From a winter past

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:30 pm

Today the trail to Baldy Mountain called to me but heavy snow has already closed the road to the trail head. So because I couldn’t take photos today, here from the archives, are a few photos taken in September of 2008 on a cold day at the top of the mountain. Most of the trees are stunted and twisted from the blistering hot summer sun, the bitterly cold winters and the incessant winds across the top. The trees had been decorated during a storm during the night before my visit.

Winter frost on trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

June 10, 2017

Toward the northwest

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:32 pm

To the northwest

Photo taken from the Baldy Mountain roadless area in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana.

June 9, 2017

From today’s hike in the Baldy Mountain roadless area

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area — Tags: — montucky @ 3:50 pm

Happy dog

Happy dog

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