• A woman rests on rock over looking Missouri River Breaks south of Malta. Photo by Tony Bynum/tonybynum.com

Butte-Big Hole Area Walks

Photo by Tony Bynum

  

6

Saturday, May 14

Humbug Spires

Location: Divide
Public Land Management: Bureau of Land Management
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6 to 6.5 miles, 1,100 ft
Difficulty: Moderately-Strenuous
Leaders: Jack Kirkley and Brenda Kirkley

This nice, low-elevation springtime hike will be a good warm-up for our hiking legs. This well-maintained trail varies in steepness, so hikers should expect some “huff-and-puff” sections as well as mellow stretches. The gorgeous vertical granite formations and creekside willow and aspen stands sustain a variety of birds and other wildlife. The leader visits this area yearly as part of his long-term study of northern goshawks, about which he will share a few stories. Rain gear is a must, as we will be at least an hour’s walk from our vehicles and hypothermia from an abrupt storm could pose a risk.

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7

Sunday, May 15

The Most Explosive Volcano in the World: Yellowstone’s Impact on Southwest Montana

Location: Dillon
Public Land Management: Bureau of Land Management
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 4 miles, 1,000 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Leader: Rob Thomas

The Yellowstone caldera is the world’s most explosive volcano. Over the last 16.5 million years, this stationary volcanic hot spot has moved relatively northeastward as the Pacific Plate moved to the southwest at an average rate of a couple of centimeters per year. As the plate moved over the hot spot, a record of its volcanic past was preserved in paleo-river drainages now exposed in the Sweetwater Range east of Dillon. We will walk through these deposits, culminating on the summit of Timber Hill, which was formed by a post-caldera lava flow derived from southeastern Idaho.

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56

Saturday, July 23

Mount Haggin

Location: Anaconda
Public Land Management: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 10 miles, 3,550 ft
Difficulty: Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Mark Phillip and Abbie Phillip

Starting on the backside of Garrity Hill, this hike is a loop that explores land east of the existing Pintler Wilderness. The hike ascends through forest fire regrowth, mature forest with Tamaracks, and an alpine meadow before climbing to the Mount Haggin summit. After a ridge walk, the trail drops into the Lower Barker Lake drainage for a stroll past avalanche chutes, tumbling streams, and abundant wildflowers. High clearance vehicles needed to access the trail.

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65

Saturday, July 9 - Sunday, July 10

Sawtooth Lake Jazz Backpack

Location: Polaris
Public Land Management: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 8 to 10 miles, 1,500 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: Kim Wilson and Wilbur Rehman

This gradual uphill hike travels into a subalpine lake in the southern end of the East Pioneers.  The lake is very scenic and surrounded by 10,000-foot peaks with lots of good scrambling opportunities.  The co-leader, Wilbur Rehman, will serenade the group after dinner with tunes from his saxophone while the sun sets.

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75

Saturday, July 2

Lost Creek State Park

Location: Anaconda
Public Land Management: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 3 miles, 600 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Leaders: Abbie Phillip and Sarah Luebke

Lost Creek State Park offers great hiking trails and spectacular sights of grey limestone cliffs and pink and white granite formations rising high above the canyon floor.  Lost Creek Falls offers a family-friendly hike on a paved path. We will continue on the trail north of the falls on US Forest Service Trail #81337. The trail leads uphill before leveling off through forests and meadows. This out-and-back trail allows your family to tailor the hike to fit your schedule and physical limits.

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101

Sunday, August 28

Baldy Mountain

Location: Dillon
Public Land Management: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6 miles, 2,500 ft
Difficulty: Moderately - Strenuous
Leaders: O. Alan Weltzien and Neal Straus

Beaverhead County features two Baldy Mountains, and we're hiking the more popular one, at the south end of the East Pioneer Mountains. The informal trail begins in a lodgepole forest.  Once we reach the saddle between Black and Baldy Mountains, we will aim northwest up to timberline and then switchback up the talus slope past the false summit to Baldy. We will be treated with superb views in all directions, far beyond giant Beaverhead County, including more than a half dozen mountain ranges.

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