NORTH COTTONWOOD CREEK

 

North Bridgers

Springtime is finally upon us and that means that it is time to get out and enjoy the beauty of our surroundings. With the snow just starting to melt in the higher elevations, and the lower meadows putting on a spectacular wildflower display, it’s a great time to get out and explore. From May on into June you want to look for south exposed trails that have had a chance to dry out, and even then you should be prepared to run into snow, especially the further you go back into the higher elevations.
Looking out across the Meadow
 
One great trail to check out at this time of year is the North Cottonwood creek trail, located off of Rocky Mountain Road North of Bozeman. This trail winds up through the foothills of the west side of the North Bridgers, and eventually hooks up with the foothills trail system that traverses across the Bridger Mountain Range. The trail starts out in a beautiful meadow full of native plant life and animals. As you walk up through this first meadow during the months of May and June you will see Balsam Root, Shooting Stars, Larkspur, Woodland Stars and countless other wildflowers putting on a colorful show.
Balsam Root carpet the hillsides
 

This hike offers a lot of great views for the first mile and a half or so, off to the south you can see more of the Bridger range and you get a nice view of the Gallatin and Madison Valleys. Towards the top of the first meadow you will encounter a couple of stream crossings, at this time of year the stream is rushing madly, but you can find a few spots that are easy to cross. As you continue across the second meadow you start to enter the trees and here the vegetation starts to change. the further you go back into the higher elevations.

Springtime is finally upon us and that means that it is time to get out and enjoy the beauty of our surroundings. With the snow just starting to melt in the higher elevations, and the lower meadows putting on a spectacular wildflower display, it’s a great time to get out and explore. From May on into June you want to look for south exposed trails that have had a chance to dry out, and even then you should be prepared to run into snow, especially the further you go back into the higher elevations.

 

 

 

Shooting Stars are out in force this time of year
 

 

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