For the 7th spring in a row, the National Bison Range wowed us with its wildlife and scenery.
The drive south on Hwy. 93 along Flathead Lake was stunning. The weather was perfect and we stopped to find a few geocaches along the route. The caches were fun and unique and aren’t likely to fade from memory any time soon.
One of the hides was on a sprawling ranch under horse poop while the other was a charming novelty cache hanging on a branch.The weather was perfect and we stopped to find a few geocaches along the route. The caches were fun and unique and aren’t likely to fade from memory any time soon.
Upon entering the range, We were greeted by a curious deer. After taking a few pictures, we drove to the visitor’s center where we paid the five dollar entrance fee. After chatting with the ranger about flooding and bears, we began our tour on the 5 mile Prairie Drive/West Loop where we saw some bulls grazing.
Next, we crept along the steep one-way, 19 mile Red Sleep Mountain Drive. For the first time, dogwood was blooming along the road.
A sign at the Bitterroot Trailhead cautioned hikers of a black bear in the area. It was rather ironic considering all of the hiking we do in grizzly country, but it made the girls and I a bit uneasy to think of a bear out there.
David spotted the bruin in the distance on a western facing slope opposite us on the Bitteroot trail.
I had gotten my wish. I had planned to see a bear at the range this year. With the exception of the elusive mountain goat, we have seen all of the large mammals that roam the 18,000 acre refuge.
A storm blew up on the High Point Trail and a light rain fell which made for a different experience this year as well.
Then, a brilliant rainbow came out over the rolling hills making the trip even more extraordinary.
The views of the Mission Range never fail to please with their 10,000 ft snow-capped peaks.
|Somewhere over the rainbow.
Our annual visit to the National Bison Range is like watching a favorite movie over and over; more of it is revealed each time it is viewed.
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