Spring Flora & Fauna; Riding; Exploring
This is a beautiful week long 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. We usually cross hardened snow drifts on the mountain passes, and often snow will linger in the shady areas quite a ways down the valleys. In the lower Sun River Valley, where this trip primarily travels, the snow is melted off, and the grass and trees are bursting with spring foliage. By far this is the most colorful trip of the year as all the mountain wildflowers are out in splendor. Additionally, the wildlife is more common at the end of June 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 2 or 3 campsites along the North Fork of the Sun River, and it varies a little year to year depending on which river crossings we can use to make our routes. We may ride up or down the Sun River in a loop, and if the snowpack is normal we make a loop coming out through Deep Creek. 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.
This trip offers a healthy dose of horseback riding and day-hiking adventures. Every campsite has tons of options for day hike or day riding activities. The rides between campsites are through mostly open meadows and average about 12 miles per day. We usually visit 2-3 different campsites, giving you great variety. The wildlife are abundant, and the wildflowers are amazing this time of year. Definitely bring your camera. If you are a professional photographer, or aspiring amateur, bring the appropriate lenses, etc as you'll find you are using them extensively.
Of particular interest, due to the absolute remote nature of the Bob Marshall, there is zero light polution, and near perfectly clear skies. The deep evening star gazing is intensely beautful, where you can see brilliantly our evening constellations, the Milky Way galaxy, and numerous shooting stars. This is a unique and rare opportunity to see our night time sky in a way you've not seen it before. The days are long out here, so plan on staying up late as sunset is about 10pm.
While this trip goes out in late June, the temps and weather you will experience is mountain spring-like conditions. Expect mild days with chilly nights. Layers are key to comfort, and you should always bring comfortable rain gear to ride or hike in. Comfortable hiking/riding boots are a must. Your sleeping bag should be comfortable to about 30F, though it rarely gets quite that cold. Daytime temps will be in the 70's, and we will not get days in the 80's in the mountains this time of year. Please take a look at the downloadable PDF below for additional detail.