After leaving Glacier, our next intended destination was Colorado. But to get there, we had a few days of driving ahead of us, so we planned a couple of quick stops along the way. Our first stop was the tiny town of White Sulphur Springs, which we chose because it was about 4 hours away, and there is a Passport America park there that had great reviews – the Conestoga Campground. We stayed for a couple of nights and enjoyed the full hook-ups and got caught up on laundry. We spent our days exploring the city on foot and taking pictures of the historic rail road cars, old rusty trucks, farm equipment, and colorful shop windows. We even caught a lovely sunset from the campground.
Our next and final stop in Montana was Red Lodge. We found a nice spot at the Basin Campground (a NFS site) and settled in for 4 nights. The trailhead for Basin Lake was in walking distance of our campground, so we did that hike one morning…or at least we did part of it. The trail was nice and shaded and ran right alongside a creek with waterfalls. But after about a mile, you had to cross the creek. It had rained heavily the day before, and the water was deep and was flowing pretty fast. We didn’t feel like trying to get across with all the dogs, so we turned around.
A couple of days later we tried another trail – the West Fork Rock Creek Trail. This is an easy, meandering trail, but it goes through an area of forest that was burned by fire a few years ago. The upside was that you could see the mountains in the distance, the downside was that we were surrounded by dead trees.
I usually like to take sweeping landscape shots when we hike, but that wasn’t going to happen on this trail. So I focused instead on the wildflowers. Shorty wanted to get in on the action too.
And on our last day, we drove the Bear Tooth Highway. We drove the other side of the highway when we were in Yellowstone, and had to turn around at the top because of a snow storm. We didn’t get any snow this time, but it was a cloudy, overcast day. But it was still some spectacular scenery!
And with that, we bid adieu to Montana. All in all we spent six wonderful weeks there, and really fell in love with it. It was the first time either of us had visited Montana, but it will certainly not be the last!