This weekend, Alex and I drove his big truck to the other side of the Bridger Mountains to Fairy Lake, which is a high altitude mountain lake with ultra-clear water, ringed by pine trees, and towered over by the mountains of the Bridger range. The scenery could not be beat.
After setting up camp, we took a walk around the lake, and I began to notice an absurd amount of wildflowers of many varieties. There was still snow in many places around the lake and on the mountains towering above. Halfway around the lake, we came to a rope swing by a deep section of the lake. I was going to go off of it, but then I noticed pieces of ice and frozen snow floating by in the water. Most people in Montana don’t go swimming until August.
Wildflowers by Fairy Lake
After a short struggle with the truck the following morning, we started out on a hike up to the ridge overlooking the next valley over, known as Fraiser basin. The field we were walking through had easily a hundred different varieties of wildflowers, and the types of wildflowers changed as we gained altitude. It was a botanist’s dream. The entire valley was just full of color, and this was July! I can only imagine what it must be like in the spring. It turns out the the Indian name for the Gallatin Valley means “Valley of the Flowers.” Any time of the year that is green, the valley is just chock-full of wildflowers.
At the top of the ridge we could see the basin below and Fraiser lake. Most of the large patches of snow had ski tracks coming down them, and we ran into many people that day carrying skis. The next time I’m in Montana, I’m going to have to remember my snowboard.