I haven't chimed in with a blog in a while as I have been busy traveling for client meetings and spending time with my family to celebrate my daughter's 1st birthday and baptism. But I am back in the office for at least a few weeks so I am getting back in the saddle, so to speak.
For most people in our country, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer and this holds true for our office. Starting this week we switch to our summer schedule where we only work until 1 pm on Fridays. This gives our staff the ability to get out and enjoy Montana. We have all chosen to live here for a reason and most of those reasons have something to do with recreation. So as we continue to carry out our "Work Hard, Play Hard," motto, here are a few spots that I am looking forward to hiking this summer.
If you've spent any time in Bozeman, you have probably heard about the Hyalite Recreation Area south of town. This is a mountain reservoir that collects Bozeman's water supply. Around the reservoir are trails, waterfalls and climbing spots-- all popular to Bozeman's outdoor crowd. Overlooking the reservoir is Hyalite Peak, which stands 10,298 feet above sea level. The hike is seven miles to the summit with a little over 3,000 feet of elevation gain. It's a popular hike, but one that I have yet to do. I've been up to the lake at the base of the peak but I've never ventured on to the peak.
The 'M' Trail
This is probably the most popular trail in Bozeman because it overlooks Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. It's a pretty easy hike and the parking lot is usually overflowing on the weekends. This is a trail that I usually avoid except for early mornings. I did a couple of sunrise hikes this last summer and it was a great way to start my day. This year I've gotten one 'M' hike in with family in tow and look forward to a few more.
Deer Park Chalet - Bridger Bowl
Five years ago I stood on the deck of Deer Park Chalet at Bridger Bowl and said "I Do," to my best friend. Every year we make it a point to hike up there at least once to relive the memories of that day. Five years and two daughters later, life looks a little different, but our love for Bozeman and each other is stronger than ever. This is a bit of a nostalgic hike but it's still fun to explore our local ski area when there is no snow on the ground. Maybe I will talk her into going all the way up to the ridge this year.
I actually attempted to hike up to Emerald Lake on Memorial Day but spent most of the time hiking through 4-5 feet of snow. Got about 3/4 of the way up and decided the wet feet and cold temps weren't worth the cloudy view that we could expect. This is one of the hikes that is better explored in late June and July, once the snow has melted out of the basin. At that time, the surrounding cirque is very green and the ice is melted off of Emerald and Heather Lakes so you can catch some Artic Greyling. Hiking to Emerald Lake is about 9 miles round trip with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain.
Mount Blackmore is one of my favorite hikes. At the top you can find mountain goats clinging to the cliffs or just hanging out along the ridge. You can also look down across the Gallatin Valley on a clear day or into Hyalite Reservoir. Mount Blackmore is one of the prominent peaks you can see from town standing 10,154 feet above sea level. The hike from Hyalite Reservoir is about 11 miles round trip. You can also get to it from the South Cottonwood drainage, which is the route that I want to do this year. I've only been up there from the other trailhead.
Here's to a great summer in Bozeman. We hope that you take the time to find your own adventures this summer or just simply experience something new.
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