Early June in Montana
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Mark Mendell
(mmendell) - M

Locale: Midwest
Early June in Montana on 04/15/2014 16:54:10 MDT Print View

A buddy and I are headed explore and pay our respects in Mann Gulch, north of Helena in the Gates of the Mountains. We're expecting to be there June 6-7. Knowing full well that this is early for Wyoming and Montana, especially with the larger than normal snowpack, we're looking for somewhere to spend the following week. Unfortunately, for this trip the dates aren't negotiable.

I've spent my fair share of time post-holing through the Winds in June, but I'm hoping to find something in the area what might open up a bit earlier. According to Snotel everything in NW Wyoming looks pretty socked in right now.

Any suggestions? We don't mind a some snow, but a week of post-holing would not be what we're looking for.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Early June in Montana on 04/16/2014 05:53:38 MDT Print View

You could access the North and/or South Fork of the Sun River from Gibson Reservoir. Those valleys will be snow-free, though making a good loop is harder. The northern reaches of Yellowstone (in the park) would also be a good option.

Mark Mendell
(mmendell) - M

Locale: Midwest
Re:Early June in Montana on 04/17/2014 15:37:32 MDT Print View

I hadn't considered Yellowstone...we'll take a look at it. Thanks for the suggestions!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Early June on 04/17/2014 16:32:34 MDT Print View

How soon do you think the Bob Marshell and Absaroka Beartooth areas would open up? Since I'm trying to work packrafting in I'm planning trips around water levels. I can hike in August but I can't paddle small creeks.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Early June on 04/17/2014 17:29:38 MDT Print View

Quite a few loops in the bob could be done in early June, but it really depends on how warm may is. Also, rivers are often really high in early June. Scary high. The bear tooths will likely still be frozen.

Susan D
(susand) - M

Locale: montana
Beartooths on 04/18/2014 00:59:40 MDT Print View

The north side of the Beartooths (via Roscoe and Nye) opens before the southern reaches (off the Beartooth Highway) because the elevation is considerably lower. I went up to Mystic Lake in June a few years ago, although I think it was mid- to late-June. Depends on May weather, as well as winter snowpack. Three years ago, most of the Beartooths were inaccessible until late July/early August. The Beartooth Highway is always scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend, so theoretically you can access the AB from the road. However, I think people tend to do more skiing from the highway in June than backpacking.