Twenty-two Steam Crossings Create Trout Creek Obstacle Course
There probably wasn't a dry foot after we finished our 6.5-mile hike in the Trout Creek Canyon by York, as the creek was running high. We had 22 stream crossings, some of which were tricky: see-saw logs, slippery rocks and muddy shorelines. A few of the gals wondered what they had gotten into.
But the creek wasn't the only obstacle of the day; we also had ice and snow as well as felled trees to maneuver over and ticks to pick out of our clothing and hair.
The day started at 7 a.m. We arrived at the trailhead by 9 and hit the trail at 9:20 after a quick bathroom break at the Vigilante campground.
Of course, no spring trip to Trout Creek would be complete without looking for the Kelseya uniflora rose. We saw some great blooming specimens above the entrance kiosk (which were too far away to see well) and also at the end of the main trail, about one-mile down the road. This spot, however, requires an off-trail, through the bushes, trek for a good viewing; several of us ventured for a close-up look of the dainty flowers; however, those who did picked up a few ticks in the process.
The rest of the Kelseya mats we saw were not flowering yet.
We only saw a handful of people and two bikers on the trail. When we started, we were the only vehicles in the parking lot.
On the way back through the canyon, several of the gals gave up on rock hopping and simply walked through all of the crossings, preventing any falls. At the very end, we came across a solo climber working his way up one of the rock faces. He did have a rope anchored at the top. We watched as he ascended and clapped when he reached the top of the pinnacle.
After our hike, we had a discussion about where to eat, the York Bar of the Grubstake. Decision was the Grubstake, so we headed past York toward the Lincoln exit in Helena for our late lunch/early dinner. We were so happy to fit in a hike with an impending blizzard on the way. We had only had a few sprinkles; we were able to drive back without much precipitation too.
Although we had canceled a trip to Glacier as the weather had already turned for the worse to our north, we weren't disappointed in our canyon obstacle course.
We arrived back in Great Falls around 5:30.
Who went: Brenda, Susan W, Viki, Judy, Paula, Amber, Susan C,Maria, Beth, Katie