Spring Flora & Fauna; Riding; Exploring
This is an amazing early summer trip into the back country. We don't see many people this time of year, but we do see lots of wildlife and lots of wild flowers. Due to the nature of higher mountain valleys, spring comes a later than most anywhere else. Birch Creek has a lower elevation, so we won't have to cross any snowfields or passes. It's pleasant horseback riding in the valley, which is a lower elevation than the immediate surrounding peaks and ridges. In the South Fork valley snow is melted off, and the grass and trees are bursting with spring foliage. All manner of wildflowers are just getting started and you have a great opportunity to see the first part of summer all the mountain wildflowers are out in splendor. Additionally, the wildlife is commonly seen as they are moving from winter range to summer range, chasing the green grass as they go higher in elevation. The rivers and streams will be full with winter run off. There isn't much for fishing this time of year due to he murky nature of the streams.
This trip generally visits 1 or 2 campsites along the South Fork of the Birch Creek. There are many historically and geologically interesting side trips we can take in this area as we explore the upper Birch Creek and North Fork Teton River drainages. We may ride up to Bloody Ridge, the site of a fierce battle between the Blackfeet and Flathead Indians over hunting ground supremacy. Or we may ride up to Big Horn Mountain under the continental divide and view amazing vistas of the surrounding valleys. For those looking for some hiking adventure we can venture up to Lost Lake. Most of the area we visit is open with scattered timber areas, affording us fantastic views every day.
The weather is mild this time of year, though the nights will be cool. Anytime in the mountains we can get an occassional thunderstorm, but rarely experience sustained low pressure fronts with lots of rain. The bugs are also pretty low this time of year as it's typically cold enough at night to keep them at bay until July.
This is a great trip for experiencing beautiful country as remote and wild as it gets.