No Snow this Time on Second Try for Windy Point Pass
We raced out of work and then raced to the: trail head, over very pot-holed roads, to get a quick start on our evening hike to the top of Windy Point Pass.
We arrived at the campground around 6 p.m. (left GF at 4:50) and after we geared up, we hit the trail around 6:20. The flowers along the trail didn't disappoint as we saw over 20 varieties (see sidebar).
We used the trailhead at the end of the campground, which was closed when we visited last month and found ourselves in a spring snow storm. Using this trail head, threw Katie off a few times in the directions since it is not usually the way she and her husband travel up to Windy Mountain. But we made it.
But not without the 10 stream crossings or Briggs and Thain Creeks, which got our feet wet this time, unlike the April hike when the waters were lower. Plus the first stream crossing on this side, which was the one that was deepest and widest, is avoided by using the other trail head.
Besides flowers, we also spied a cow elk, who spooked up the trail ahead of us as we disturbed her drink at the stream.
We arrive at the top of the pass around 8 p.m. and enjoyed a very quick dinner/snack and headed back down the trail. The 2.5-mile hike down only took us one hour as it was mostly downhill. We did make it out by dark and arrived back in Great Falls around 10:30, taking a bit longer to get out of our wet and muddy boots and taking a bit more precaution driving at night along the narrow, bumpy road.
We saw many people had parked their trailers and tents to stake out camping spots prior to the Memorial Day weekend all along Thain Creek. The green right now is so beautiful but with the early spring this year, many of the wildflowers were already starting to die out and go to seed.
The HIghwoods are a good place to hike early before the cattle over run the trails in July and August.
Who went: Susan, Catherine, Chrissy, Colette, Doris, Katie
False Solomon Seal
Oregon or holly grape
Prairie Smoke (Old Man Whiskers)
Wild Lily of the Valley
Violet (blue and Canada white)
See Katie's Wildflower site for pictures of each of the above
Girls in Glacier and Katie Kotynski