Snowy Range

Friday August 21, 2020

What an amazing area. This is one of the places SOULFLOWER suggested I stop for some hiking and the views. I didn’t realize I would be going over a high elevation pass. I make it to the campground I wanted to stay at for the night, but it was full. I travel just a little way further and pull over at an overlook area. I stay the night here even though it is illegal. I am the only one here and no one bothers me.There are some hiking trails here and I take Berkley for a short evening hike. It is a beautiful evening although there is a smoky haze from area fires.

The next moring we are up early for sunrise, but there is a lot of smoke in the air and the pictures don’t look that great. I hang out for a bit drinking hot chocolate and sitting in the sun with Berkley.After packing up we head on down the road and don’t get very far before we come to a trailhead  that is packed. There are cars linging the road of an overflowing parking lot. I figure with a parking area this full there has to be some good hiking and great views. I find a place to park and we start to explore the area. There are a ton of trails here and the smoke doesn’t seem as bad.I end up staying the night in the parking lot because there is a trail that climbs high up a mountain that I would like to do the next day. It is to narrow and crowded to do it today. I will get an early start tomorrow morning and go up it with less crowds.I don’t have any trouble during the night in my illegal camping spot again. It is a chilly start, but I warm up quickly going up the steep incline. Plus Berkley quit about half way up so I put him in his carrrier and continue on.  I make it 2/3’s of the way up before I quit and turn around. The top is all rock and I don’t feel like climbing on it.   On the way up while Berkley was still walking.Then the rocks… and this is where I turn around. The rocks are loose and hard to walk on.It’s a lot of rock.At my turn around point I do see a couple of pika for the first time. I have never seen them before. They are very cute little things.Pika gathering food for the winter. It was busy. I watch it make numerous trips. They store their grass in the rocks where they live.We head back down and find another trail to do some more hiking on. I come upon 2 marmots sunning themselves on a large bolder. I think that animal I saw while hiking in Yellowstone was a very small marmot. If that is what these animals are. Please correct me if I am wrong.This was an amazing stop. Thank  you, SOULFOWER.

12 thoughts on “Snowy Range

  1. OMG!
    While the photo is a bit fuzzy, I think the two mammals on the boulder may be black footed ferrets! The ears, head shape, coloration, and the more weasel- like body shape are quite different from the marmot, which would be more ground hog shaped. I’ve really enjoyed following your journey as it’s it’s been many decades since I’ve toured the western parks, and I wish you all the best on this grand tour and in the future.
    BTW – you may remember me, we met “on” the AT in MA (You, Soulflower & B.G. at Berkshire Motel) I gave you cashews as I was finishing a Nobo section hike at the ‘cookie lady’s’ house. We passed each other again just south of the Kennebec River.

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    1. Of course I remember you. I hope you are well and still hiking.
      Is it common to see ferrets? I have never seen one in the wild. Are they only out west?
      These western parks are mind blowing. I can’t believe I’ve never vacationed out here. I’m making up for lost time now!

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  2. Looking at the mammals on the rock, again, I’m suspecting they don’t have the face pattern of the ferret, which is quite rare, and they are more likely to occur on the plains. Perhaps the two mammals on the rock are martens?

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