Ramshorn Peak

I did not run a marathon on Sunday. Remember when I said I would? I trained, I really did. I even got up to 18 and 19 mile runs. On hills. But then my IT band started to be a jerk and blah, blah, blah, boring story, and it became clear that I wasn't going to run a marathon.

I trained for a marathon one other time when I was in my mid-twenties. I think I only made it to the twelve mile run that time before my IT band tweaked. Maybe by the time I'm 50 I'll be able to go the whole 26.2.

Let's not talk about what I didn't do this weekend, but rather what I did do.

On Sunday, Henry and I joined our friend Felicia and her friend David (now our friend, too!) on a hike up Ramshorn Peak in the Gallatin Range. You might remember Felicia from such blog posts as "I went to Peru." She owns the travel company Bella Treks, and put together a fun little thing called "Three Peaks in Three Days." We joined her for the last day, and the shortest hike.

For several years, Henry and I have been talking about getting someone to watch the kids while we hike. And we talked about hiking Ramshorn when that magical day arrived. Everything finally lined up and Big Henry came over to watch the boys while we walked with friends. (By the way, it's "Rams Horn," not "Ram Shorn.")

Ramshorn Peak is located in the Gallatin Range. While not particularly high in elevation at 10,289 feet, it's location makes it fairly prominent. Ramshorn is the tallest peak along the crest of the Gallatin Range between Electric Peak and Hyalite Peak.

We accessed it from Tom Miner Basin out of the Paradise Valley. It's been a very green summer and this trail proved that true again. There were wildflowers from the top to the bottom. Lupines, paintbrush, sticky geranium, sulfur paintbrush, gentian, penstamon, phlox, and so many more. I tried not to drool too much.

The hike was made even better by the sweeping views and the great company. We saw the Spanish Peaks, Lone Mountain, The Sphinx, The Taylor-Hilgard area, Electric Peak, Mount Cowen, and even the Tetons off in the distance.

Another cool thing about Ramshorn is that it is flanked by a petrified forest.

At Buffalo Horn Pass
Henry and I on the way up.
Lupine and paintbrush.
Strolling along enjoying the view.
Petrified trees.
Almost to the top.
Up, up, up.
At the top!
View from the top.
Mountain goats chomping on the yummy green stuff.
Our first kid-free hike together!
Did I mention the flowers? Outstanding!
Another view from the top.

Plan Your Own Trip

What: Ramshorn Peak is an 8.4 mile hike (roundtrip). It's a walk-up, no climbing or mountaineering skills needed. Watch out for grizzly bears and lightning. Why: Great views, amazing flowers in season, getting to the top of a peak. Where: From Livingston drive south on Highway 89 about 37 miles (16 miles north of Gardiner). Turn west on Tom Miner Creek Road and cross the bridge. Turn left at the T intersection. Follow the signs about 10 miles to a campground and the trailhead. The trailhead is signed "Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail." Who: Strong hikers, dogs who don't need much water and like the heat, petrified tree enthusiasts.