Click on the links below to download an album of photos from each trip.
Hike to the 'M'
On Saturday, June 14th we hiked to the 'M', a large white letter 'M' (for Montana State University) located on the side of a mountain in the Bridgers.
Drinking Horse Trail
On Monday, June 23rd we hiked at Drinking Horse Mountain, across the road from the 'M'.
We went backpacking in Big Sky, Montana the weekend of June 21st and 22nd. We rode a bus from MSU to the start of the trail. We then hiked and camped in Gallatin National Forest. We got as far as Bear Basin, which at high elevation was still cold enough to have a lot of snow on the ground. We made camp in a valley at lower elevation, and the next day continued our hike. We ended the trip at Big Sky Mountain Village, where we caught a bus home to MSU.
An Independence Day Rodeo on Thursday, July 3rd in Livingston, Montana.
Camping above the 'M' and at Hyalite
On Friday, July 4th we went camping on top of the mountain which has the 'M' on it. The 'M' itself is only about halfway up the mountain, and much of the trail to get to the top was very steep. Hiking up and down the mountain with packs made this trip the most physically demanding of all the trips we have taken. It was worth it, though; from the campsite we had excellent views of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. That night there were dozens of July 4th fireworks displays across the county that we could see from our vantage point. The next morning we hiked to a neighboring peak in the Bridger Mountains, and then went to Hyalite Reservoir where we spent Saturday night.
Yellowstone National Park
The weekend of July 18th - 20th we visited Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming (portions of the park extend into Idaho and Montana but the vast majority is in Wyoming). We rented a car so that we could drive around the park. We camped for two nights at Madison Campgrounds in the western portion of the park, which we arrived at Friday evening. On Saturday we completed the southern loop of the park. We saw such sights as the geyser basins, Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, the Mud Volcano, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The canyon also includes falls which we visited as well. On Sunday we went to the northern portion of the park, stopping at Norris Geyser Basin, the Artists Paintpots, and Mammoth Hot Springs (park headquarters). Just outside of Mammoth Hot Springs we swam in the Boiling River, a location where a boiling hot spring meets the cold Yellowstone River. This was our last stop before leaving through the North Entrance of Yellowstone.