Cruising through the Ninemile Valley

Vida and I decided to take a quick cruise through the Ninemile Valley (located west of Missoula) to hike the Grand Menard Discovery Trail (actually more of a stroll) and fly the DJI Phantom 4 over a few of the picturesque meadows of the valley. The meadows were covered with common camas, meadow buttercup, and American bistort. Perhaps the best discovery of the day was a Putnam’s Cicada (I was over-excited, dad-boner moment)

Common Camas – Camassia quamash

American bistort – Polygonum bistortoides

Meadow Buttercup – Ranunculus acris

Common Camas – Camassia quamash

Lone tree from a long ago homestead

Lone tree from a long ago homestead

Grand Menard Discovery Trail

The Grand Menard Discovery Trail is a short nature trail through ponderosa pine forest. The trail is wide and gently rolling with a gravel surface. At the farthest end of the outer loop is a view of Stark Mountain and the Ninemile Valley. The best moment of the stroll was sighting a Putnam’s Cicada.

Total distance: 1.28 mi
Max elevation: 3501 ft
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Grand Menard Dsicovery Trail

Grand Menard Dsicovery Trail

Putnam's Cicada - bio-nerd moment

Putnam’s Cicada – bio-nerd moment

Elegant Mariposa Lily ~ Calochortus elegans

Elegant Mariposa Lily ~ Calochortus elegans

This is where to put smelly shoes according to Vida

This is where to put smelly shoes according to Vida

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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