Vipond Park Montana -- High Mountain Color

June 18, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

After reading a Montana Standard article about the wildflower potential of Vipond Park in Montana's Pioneer Mountains, Mary and I drove up there on June 12, 2020 to check it out. We found the park to be gorgeous and home to thousands of small flowering plants. USFS signs at the park's northern edge suggested that we were likely early for the wildflower season and that the park will be even more beautiful in a couple of weeks. The road was dry, and there were no snowbanks to traverse.

Spring MeadowsSpring MeadowsVipond Park, Pioneer Mountains, Montana. June 12, 2020.

(Click on the image to see a full size view.)

The photo above shows Vipond Park near where the Quartz Hill road enters from the northeast. To get here, turn south onto Quartz Hill Road off of Montana Highway 43 just west of Dewey, Montana. Stay on Quartz Hill road until you come out on top and enter the park's open areas. (Quartz Hill Road becomes USFS Road 187 in Vipond Park.)

USFS signage about the park's flora is just to the right of this photo and the high glaciated peaks of the Pioneer Mountains are in the distance.

An Avalanche  of LiliesAn Avalanche of LiliesAvalanche Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum). Vipond Park, Pioneer Mountains, Montana. June 12, 2020.

(Click on the image to see a full size view.)

USFS road 187 led us generally west-southwest through the park's meadows. As we drove, we saw extensive areas of yellow Avalanche Lilies (see above) and purple pasque flowers. 

A Little ColorA Little ColorVipond Park, Pioneer Mountains, Montana. June 12, 2020.

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The main road circles south, than east, and travels down Buffalo Head Gulch. Shooting stars (pink) add contrasting color to yellow and white flowers.  Long MeadowsLong MeadowsVipond Park, Pioneer Mountains, Montana. June 12, 2020.

(Click on this image to see a full size view)

USFS road 187 continues east leading out of Vipond Park. The park seems to go on forever with the meadows and flowers broken up by isolated groves of fir. A few miles beyond this point, road 187 encounters the north edge of the glaciated Canyon Creek Valley, swings abruptly west, and drops sharply down into Canyon Creek.

When you reach Canyon Creek road, turn left and drive east (you will soon pass the Canyon Creek charcoal kilns) until you join the Trapper Creek road near Glendale, Montana. Turn left again to go east towards Melrose, Montana, and Interstate 15.

Thanks for reading!


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