Evening hike along Bass Creek

O! Bass Creek, how I love thee? Is that flowery enough? But seriously, I love hiking the Bass Creek drainage with its proximity to my home and the vistas that abound on this trail. On this evening, I was joined by my two favorite hiking partners, Vida and Jeff. They are my favorites because they graciously make allowances for my constant photography stops and video breaks (it has to be annoying). So, I make sure to get them in on the action. On this evening, Swainson’s Thrushes and Veery were singing en masse with Evening Grosbeak (what an outbreak we have had this year) and Golden-crowned Kinglet. We scoured the lower section of the Bass Creek trail for Northern alligator lizard and Western skink, they both alluded us. Upon reaching the log dam pond at 2 miles, several Pileated Woodpeckers were actively drumming on the numerous large snags. Being overly goal oriented (okay, Vida is goal oriented), we continued to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness as our turn-around spot. Coming down the trail, I spotted a nice patch of Spotted Coralroot in my continued love affair with wild orchids. Although mushrooms were not numerous, we managed to find Crocodile Agaricus and peeling puffball. A nice 5-mile hike on Bass Creek on a Wednesday evening was followed by the obligate pizza and craft beer on the deck at home.

Total distance: 5.39 mi
Max elevation: 4629 ft

Vida chilling on the Bass Creek Trail

Love it when she is laughing and giggling

View to the blue skies overhead

Moving fast along the trail

Very lush this year

White Sweet-vetch – Hedysarum sulphurescens

Queen’s Cup – Clintonia uniflora

Green-flower Wintergreen – Pyrola chlorantha

Thimbleberry – Rubus parviflorus

Vida having a contemplative moment

She insisted on walking out on this log for a better view

Bass Creek never disappoints

Agaricus crocodilinus

Spotted Coralroot ~ Corallorhiza maculata

Peeling Puffball – Lycoperdon marginatum

Oxeye Daisy – Leucanthemum vulgare

Late afternoon sun streams the scene

Fly agaric – Amanita muscaria

Water birch standing in Bass Creek

Me and Sweets – Favorite hiking partner

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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