This hike was somewhat easier than our last two hikes in these mountains; it was "only" about seven miles round trip and "only" about 1,000 feet of elevation gain...but we did have to contend with lots of cows (and their byproducts) and cow trails interfering with actual trail!
|We chose to park up on the bluff overlooking our trailhead, instead of making the drop down to the creek.|
|Here's a picture of the actual end of road/start of trail (taken at the end of the hike).|
|Off we go across the meadow...|
|The trail took us up to a ridge and the elevation and terrain change brought all sorts of pleasant changes...|
like ripe strawberries!
|...and pretty flowers!|
|Long Lake did not disappoint.|
|But even more fun was following the glacial rock deposits down stream from the lake.|
That's Hans rock hopping at center of photo.
|Oliver Creek made an appearance through the rocks and provided a perfect spot for lunch and lounging,|
|The water flowing off the surface of the lake was not too cold.|
|And we saw several small trout darting among the rocks.|
|On the way back down we had pretty views over the tops of young lodgepole pine growing back from the 1988 Lost Fire.|
|And more delicious strawberries!|
|We seemed to be hiking through a Christmas tree farm!|
|I think this is a Hairy Woodpecker.|
On this day we only saw three other people, two were camped at the trailhead, one was fishing at Long Lake. In general, we've found the Bighorn Mountains to be lightly traveled, one of the reasons we chose to spend a month in this area. Another great day on the trail!