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 92ยบ.)

July 20, 2011


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:10 pm

Shrubby Penstemon

Shrubby Penstemon, Bush Penstemon ~ Penstemon fruticosus

July 18, 2010

Cabin Lake (2)

This is the second set of photos of the Cabin Lake trail as we continued upwards.

Shrubby PenstemonShrubby penstemon, Penstemon fruticosus

Shrubby Penstemon

Shrubby Penstemon

Bear Grass

Cabin Lake trail

Cabin Lake trail sceneTrail 450 to Mt Headley starts here and is hidden by the ground cover.

Cabin Lake trail scene

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