Lance Cherry and Odette Grassi joined Alden Wright for a hike up Sheep Mountain via the Gold Creek trailhead. To get there, take the Gold Creek turnoff on Highway 200 about 9 miles from Bonner, and in less than a mile take the heavily traveled road to the left. (The sign was unreadable.) If you follow the most traveled road, you will get to the trailhead in about 8 miles (rather than the 10 miles on the sign.) After about a mile on the trail (which is an abandoned road), you come to the junction with trail 513. Then it is 2 miles to the summit of Sheep Mountain.
The hike to the top was easy to follow and a good, doable climb even for a novice. While there were several vehicles in the parking lot, we only crossed paths with a couple of other hikers and happy dogs along the way. The huckleberry leaves ranged from yellow to bright red and were spectacular. The views from the summit were sadly hampered by smoke in the air but even so they filled us with the grandeur of Montana’s space.
Reaching the summit was lovely and the stacked stone remains of an old lookout was a great spot to sit and enjoy our lunch. On the top we met Christy who had hiked up from the Woods Gulch trailhead. We had a good conversation getting to know each other a bit and enjoying the 360 degree views. She was receptive to participating in Rocky Mountaineers activities.
We didn’t see much animal activity along the way but did have a couple of good bird sightings and enjoyed the company of a single butterfly high up top. It took turns landing on each of us. The hike down was fairly quick, we could sense the changing of the temperature as the sun was turning directions. Very happily for us, the light rain in the forecast held off until we were almost back to the car. We started a little after 10 and got back to the car about 3:30.
We all had a good time and agreed that it was a good hike. One that we would like to do again, especially on a clear day!
This post was co-authored by Odette.
Leader: Alden Wright