Valley of the Flowers

Welcome to our website – Wildflower Hikes in Montana.

Our first offerings are wildflower day hikes within an hour’s drive of Bozeman, Montana.  From the first yellowbell (Fritillaria pudica) to the last common harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) we will tell you where you can expect the best wildflower show from April through September. Keep in mind that as the spring flowers fade at lower elevations, they are at their peak at higher elevations, even on the same trail. We will be updating the information as needed. Check out the blogs at the end of each trail for our list of flowers seen on our hikes over the years. Every year is different; sometimes the wildflowers seem to come out all at once—other times they take their time.

Information that you can expect from our pages: Descriptions of hikes, wildflowers you will see, degree of difficulty, length, and driving distance from Bozeman, Montana. We will be including features other than flowers that contribute to your enjoyment of the hike. You can expect to see hundreds of varieties of flowers during your summer saunters through fields and forests. We will be highlighting those flowers that we feel are a particular feature along each trail.

 

Our site will include links to general hiking information regarding safety on the trail and trail etiquette. While we are happy to be sharing information about the beauty of flora in the forests and fields, we wish to convey that it is important that those flowers be there for all to enjoy. Take away pictures and memories – not the flowers. They may appear hardy, but some will take many years to reestablish, if at all, once they are dug up or pulled out. The information on our site is currently based on seven summers of hiking in the Gallatin Valley, Montana – the Valley of the Flowers – and we are excited to be sharing these mountain gardens with you.

We welcome suggestions from our readers about trails with wildflowers that we may have not yet explored either in or near Gallatin Valley or farther afield. Wildflowers are our passion and we are always willing to pack up hiking boots and go exploring. Trail information is as up-to-date as we can make it. If you find that it has changed, please let us know so we may be as much help as possible to our site visitors. Get ready to dust off your boots, the snow will be melting and uncovering the yellow bells and shooting stars soon. Please check back regularly as we will be adding new hikes during the season. PLEASE DON'T PICK THE FLOWERS.

The Bibliography lists several good references for more information on specific wildflowers and their ranges in Montana. A new reference from Whitney Tilt is an app for cell phones or notepads that lists all the flowers in his book, Flora of Montana's Greater Yellowstone Region. Over
390 species (flowers, grasses) are listed  by name, color, leaf characteristics, and location.

 

 

Photos on this page (Top to Bottom): Yellowbell, Few-Flowered Shooting Stars, Lupine spp., Arrowleaf Balsamroot. Click to enlarge.

Photos by Carolyn K. Hopper

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