Awesome Spring Hike – Bear Creek Falls

Taking full advantage of the terrific spring weather on Saturday, we hiked to and beyond Bear Creek Falls on the Bitterroots. Only a short and relatively easy 1.5 miles from the trailhead, Bear Creek Falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. I have made the trip to this falls on numerous occasions and always found my images wanting for something. That is until this weekend when I flew the DJI Phantom 4 over the falls for a perspective that (to my knowledge) no one has captured before.

The understory was largely still flower-free, but we did happen upon a western yew that was releasing its pollen to the air. The tiny cones resemble beige berries, which is why they often go unnoticed. Mourning cloaks and Joary commas were quite numerous with the butterflies battling it out for territories.

Bear Creek Falls from high above...ever seen this view?

Bear Creek Falls from high above…ever seen this view?

Western yew releasing its pollen

Western yew releasing its pollen

Centuries of running water has smoothed the boulders and cobbles of Bear creek
Vida chilling over Bear Creek

Vida chilling over Bear Creek

Bear Creek roils and rambles

Bear Creek roils and rambles

Looking back down into the Bitterroot Valley

Looking back down into the Bitterroot Valley

The upper portions of the trail are still largely snow covered

The upper portions of the trail are still largely snow covered

Always a welcome sign, entering the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

Always a welcome sign, entering the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

Bear Creek Falls splits around a massive chunk of granite

Bear Creek Falls splits around a massive chunk of granite

The upper portion of Bear Creek Falls

The upper portion of Bear Creek Falls

Bear Creek Falls splits around a massive chunk of granite

Bear Creek Falls splits around a massive chunk of granite

Cascading through a split in solid granite

Cascading through a split in solid granite

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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