Gene and Joyce have lived in Bozeman for 35 years, so they have a wealth of local knowledge. So, when Gene asks if we're up for a hike, we know we are in for a treat. His hikes have never disappointed. Joyce was unable to join us, so on Saturday, Gene, Bill and I headed out to hike to the top of Ramshorn Peak in the Gallatin National Forest, just outside the north entrance of Yellowstone.
The fall colors are at their peak in this area. Fall is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the Yellowstone area, provided the nice weather holds.
Today's hike began just beyond this fence.
The aspen were a vibrant gold. This hike starts out climbing...we will climb 3,000 feet in four miles.
It wasn't long before we began to have beautiful views.
And the trail continues to climb. I let Gene and Bill lead the way, while I took my time following behind them.
We finally made it to the pass. At this point, we were just beyond the half-way mark. We took a nice, well-deserved, break before continuing the climb.
And up we went.....
And here's Bill in the final push to the top....
When you see a mountain goat along the trail, you know you're way up there. This was a first for us...very exciting! We also saw a herd of Big Horn Sheep, but they were too far away for a picture, and a Mountain Lion track along the trail, which was very cool. (At this point, if a mountain lion came after me, he could have me without a fight...I was about worn out!)
After climbing 3,000 feet, we made it to the top, and here's the picture to prove it! We are at 10,296 feet elevation.
We had lunch, relaxed, and enjoyed the 360 degree views around us. As far as we could see were mountain ranges (Gene could name ten) without one sign of civilization.
Of course, what goes up must come down. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "you get tired going up, but you get hurt going down." Thank goodness, we completed the hike with no injuries, although all of us were slipping and sliding on the steep and rocky terrain.
The views going down were nice too.....
Here we are heading back to the trailhead...
One last break before getting back to the truck.