• A summer virga over the Little Belt Mountains and Middle Fork Judith River WSA.

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Photo by Patrick Colleran
Looking out over Frenchman Breaks (photo by Tyler Courville)

Looking out over Frenchman Breaks (photo by Tyler Courville)

The prairie reveals its startling beauty to those who go in search of it. 

Searching for fossils at Sand Arroyo (photo by Mark Good)

Searching for fossils at Sand Arroyo (photo by Mark Good)

The rocks almost came alive as we discovered petrified wood, viewed patterns on rocks that at one time were turtle shells, and turned up porous rocks that upon closer examination turned out to be fossilized bones from a Triceratops.

David Creek Trail (photo by Mark Wetherington)

David Creek Trail (photo by Mark Wetherington)

Between the famous and splendid landscapes of Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks await a lifetime of less heralded mountains and wilderness areas to explore. 

Teacup Lake (photo by Tyler Courville)

Teacup Lake (photo by Tyler Courville)

A few short and steep climbs brought me into the heart of the rocky backcountry of the East Pioneers. 

On the trail to Pine Creek (photo by Annelise Weinmann)

On the trail to Pine Creek (photo by Annelise Weinmann)

With the celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, Yellowstone is bound to be crowded this summer. 

Looking out over the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness (photo by Anthony South)

Looking out over the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness (photo by Anthony South)

It may have been summer everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, but it sure didn’t feel like it here.