Montana Outdoors

June 2, 2017

East of Big Hole

Today a friend and I hiked several miles on an old road on the east slope of Big Hole looking for a trail that has been decommissioned by the Forest Service and abandoned for many years. We found it in pretty bad shape with a large number of trees down over it. It would be nice if we could convince the Forest Service to revive it because it would complete a nice loop that would be good for horse people as well as an occasional hiker.

I’ve included a few photos showing what the old road looks like, followed by some of the things that are in bloom at 5.600 feet. The road was cleaned up last year to allow some heavy equipment to get up to work on the Copper King fire so it will be in good shape for a few years before the Alders again close in over it.

Road 7578

SE slope Big Hole

Road 7578

These tiny flowers (about 1/8 inch across) caught my eye but I can’t positively identify them. I think they may be Western Wood Anemones (Anemone oregana) but I’m not positive.

Western Wood Anemone

Western Wood Anemone

Sitka Alder

Sitka Alder ~ Alnus viridis

Utah honeysuckle

Utah Honeysuckle ~ Lonicera utahensis

Huckleberry

Huckleberry ~ Vaccinium membranaceum

Northern Black Currant

Northern Black Currant ~ Ribes hudsonianum

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June 9, 2011

Alder

Filed under: Montana, Outdoors — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:43 pm

It grows in disturbed areas, sometimes where other shrubs cannot establish themselves. I’ve seen dense thickets of it cover old forest roads, establish itself on burned hillsides and provide green growth in avalanche tracks.

I know that it improves soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen in nodules on its roots.

I’ve had it make me extremely uncomfortable when I had to push my way through its dense growth that completely covered a back country trail while hoping that the bear who left a fresh pile of scat and minutes-old tracks on the trail was not still in its almost impenetrable thicket.

Yet it was only recently that I realized that there is also beauty to be found in the tiny flowers in its long and drooping male catkins.

Sitka Alder

Sitka Alder ~ Alnus viridis 6/5

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