Sheep Lake Hike

Sheep Lake, Gallatin National Forest, Montana

Nice one today.  Up at four, dawdled 'til 5:30.  Decided that the feet might be up for a hike.

I've been wanting to get a look at Sheep Lake in the Lionshead country for a long time. It's a nice drive along the Madison River to the trailhead near Raynolds Pass. Hit the trail by 7:45 a.m.

Last nights rain left the trailside vegetation pretty drippy.  It wasn't long before I was thoroughly soaked.  My boots squished audibly with each step.  I wouldn't have been any wetter had I hiked naked.  But, the sight of a skinny white guy high stepping it up the trail clad only in hiking boots would likely have traumatized the local wildlife.  Common sense, along with the fact that I haven't yet lost my mind, dictated that the hike continue in sodden clothing.

Seriously though, it's a pretty hike.  There are a few stream crossings.  Several bridges span the creek, so one needn't get wet feet.  The exception is the aforementioned drippy vegetation.

There are a couple of sets of switchbacks, one down low, one up high near the lake.  In between, the trail passes through open timber and meadows.

As I said before it's a nice hike and more than worth it just for the wildflower show.  There's a nifty little waterfall too.

A blue penstemon

Buckwheat and Paintbrush, Montana wildflowers

Parry Primrose

Footbridge over Sheep Creek, Gallatin National Forest, Montana

Waterfall on Sheep Creek, Gallatin National Forest, Montana

The fishing at the lake is just so-so.  There are a few rainbows to be had.  I'm not sure if this one is on the list of lakes that get stocked periodically.  If it is, then I think that it may be time for another plant.

The area has been well used by people and pack stock.  So…. tread lightly and treat it with care.