Field Trip Friday: Suce Creek

During the summer our field trips tend to be along a trail somewhere. The season is fleeting around here, maybe six or eight weeks at best, so we have to take full advantage of the season. I find myself trying to cram every fun, summery activity into these short weeks. There is no time to be inside.

Suce Creek will look familiar to anyone who has spent much time here. It's the closest trailhead to our house, and our go-to short hike. With wildflowers, a creek, a couple rickety bridges, and plenty of shade, it's a kid (and mom) paradise. This year the flies were pretty bad, but rumor has it that's the case all over southwest Montana.

In addition to walking, identifying flowers, and playing in the creek, we collected rose petals for a couple projects I am planning. So far all I have done is dry them and get them prepped for tea and lip balm. We also lugged the flower press along to "squash flowers." I need a good project for those. Last year we pressed flowers and then let them sit in the press for nine months (whoops). When we finally took them out we enjoyed looking at them for five minutes, but that was the end of it.

Last summer we picked bee balm and Saskatoon berries. Good thing I have this blog, I forgot all about the berries. Looks like we'll need to get back up there in a few weeks.

Mostly, we sat by the creek. The boys are really into (ineffective) dam building, so I let them go to town while I kick back and soak in every minute of summer.

Plan Your Own Trip

What: An up to 5 miles round trip, and 1090 feet, hike in the Absaroka Range Why: Because a mellow, pretty walk next to a creek is just what you need sometimes. Where: From Livingston, head south on Highway 89 for 3 miles. Turn left on East River Road and continue another 2.7 miles. Turn left again, on Suce Creek Rd, marked by a street sign as well as a brown National Forest sign. Follow the dirt and gravel road 1.5 miles to another Forest Service access sign and turn right. Drive 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Maps: Beartooth Publishing, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, USGS Livingston Peak, and Brisbin Who: You, your dogs, your mom, and your friends. Take your dad, too.

Need a book? Day Hikes Around Bozeman is pretty good and covers a lot of trails. Or you can check out my trail description.