Monday, July 04, 2005

Hiking on Hellroaring Plateau

Here are some great shots from our 4th of July family hike on Hellroaring plateau! Click here to jump to the bottom and then scroll up to see them unfold sequentially...

Just about back to the car. Rebekah looks beat! But all is well and everyone had a great time. Wonderful way to spend the 4th of July!

Peeking into the bluebells.

Jack says, "Hey, I want some love too!" [Micah took this shot as well...pretty impressive for a 12 year old!]

Breaktime back on top (hiking out of the canyon is always a bear) [BTW, Micah took this shot! Not bad, son!]

By this time, Jack's feeling a little bit tuckered out.

Yeehaw! Skiing down a snowfield (minus the skis).

More forget-me-nots.

Wide angle view, looking up from Snowbank Lake.

After lunch, a few quick casts at Snowbank Lake and then it was time to pack up and head out (we needed to be home early).

Of course, if you catch fresh fish, you've got to have them for lunch. So we did!

Well whaddya know - we actually caught some fish, all cutthroats! That big one there in the middle is a nice 15-16 incher.

And here's a nice view of Hairpin.

Hey, there's the fisherman! Sitting below Hairpin next to the little shallow afterbay.

Finally, arriving at Hairpin Lake (el. 10160), which sits way back at the far end of Hellroaring Canyon (below Sliderock Lake). This lake has really nice cutthroats, but can often be tough fishing.

Very wet, very cold.

"Hmm...Dad keeps saying, 'Dry feet are happy feet' - Wonder how I'm going to negotiate this one?"

This is just a pretty shot of trees, rocks, snow, and sky.

Marilyn, Micah, and Rebekah. Once again, Malachi has no time for such loitering - there's fish to be caught!

After hiking about 2 miles across the plateau, you begin to drop down into Hellroaring canyon, which contains something like 12 or 13 different lakes, most of which contain trout (either brookies or cutthroat) - they're not real big, but there are a lot of them, which makes this a great place to take kids fishing.

Malachi the fisherman.

Looking up Hellroaring Canyon from the plateau above.

And Bluebells.

Please don't forget me (Forget-me-nots).

The entire plateau is covered with wildflowers. It's a lot different than the Pryors, though - much higher altitude (well above tree line), much smaller flowers. Just as beautiful though.

Any guesses what Marilyn is thinking right now? My bet: "Why am I here when I could still be in bed? Where's my latte?!?!")

When you hike into the Hellroaring Lakes, you start at about 9700 feet above sea level, and a nice leisurely walk to the southwest, up the plateau. To the northwest, you can see Mount Rearguard (el. 12204) - the Hellroaring lakes are in the canyon between you and the peak. So far, there's not a cloud in the sky...

Here's a nice view of the Beartooths in the background. Marilyn and Micah are strategizing; Rebekah is busy being photogenic. Malachi has no time for pictures - he's busy digging out the fishing gear.

Here we are at the trailhead, unloading the car. It's 6:23 and chilly, but it looks to be a gorgeous day. Rebekah is notably chipper.

Near the top of the plateau, just a few minutes later. East Fork of Rock Creek Drainage is in the background (a couple of steps back and you would take a very long tumble!)
Here we go! Our family outing on the 4th of July, 2005!

On the road to Hellroaring Plateau outside of Red Lodge, Montana. In order to get here by 5:48 AM, we had to leave Billings by 4:20. Marilyn wasn't exactly pleased to be leaving so early, but she was a trooper nonetheless!