In Hiking

I have been in Bozeman this summer and have done a few hikes. I thought that a comparison between my hiking experiences in Aspen and Bozeman would interest fellow hikers. I am choosing the five topics of trails access, trails, altitude, scenery and wildlife.

-Trails access. Bozeman is surrounded by several mountain ranges. We are very blessed in Aspen to be close to trailheads. In Bozeman, it is not uncommon to have to drive 60/90 minutes or more to reach a wilderness area. It often includes some miles on a dirt road.

-Watch your trail! I have learned my lesson here in Bozeman when a motorcycle or Atv came up the trail…Not all trails are alike. A good map will help you discern between a multi-use trail, allowing engines, a trail allowing mountain bikes and horses, but my choice is the trail which is only for hikers. I have fund good signs on the trails I have been on.

-The altitude. I hiked Mount Blackmore this week end at 10,154 feet. It is the highest peak in the Bozeman area. The hikes I have done have started around 6000 feet and ended at 9500 feet, so I don’t feel any altitude effect at all.

-Scenery. So far I have especially enjoyed the Spanish peaks area between Bozeman and Big Sky where I found nice lakes and peaks, although nothing as spectacular as Colorado.  The flowers are more or less the same. They make me feel home… My favorites here have been the Glacier Lilies. There was a profusion of them a few weeks ago. They grow after the snow melt, just like the white Marsh Marigold do in Aspen.

-Wildlife. This has been my favorite part of hiking here. Without being in Yellowstone National Park, I have seen more animals: Elks, moose, bisons, coyotes pups, eagles and other raptors. No grizzly yet but I do carry a bear spray at my belt…

Still exploring…

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Independence Pass, Aspen