Monday, September 15, 2014

Blodgett Canyon Hike and a Night at Clark Canyon Reservoir


Beautiful Blodgett Canyon.


We wanted to do one more good hike before leaving the Missoula area, so when I read that Blodgett Canyon was Montana’s version of Yosemite, the 35 mile drive to Hamilton to get to the trail didn’t sound so bad.

From the parking lot, just a taste of the scenery to come.


Although the Blodgett Canyon Trail continues for many more miles and intersects other trails to alpine lakes, we decided to go for 3.5 miles to a waterfall. It was a gradual climb almost the entire way, but the rocky ground made some of the trail a little difficult to walk on.


Luckily there were lots of distractions, with the towering rock walls.




And the creek.



It was definitely worth the drive, and even more so since there is a great brewery in Hamilton, Higher Ground, where we stopped for a post hike beer and pizza. The Hurrah Scotch Ale and Flash Flood Milk Stout were some of the smoothest beers we’ve had. And they make good pizza, too. We also had a pleasant chat with David the bartender, who moved to Hamilton from Kentucky four months ago. He isn’t sure he will be able to handle the winters there.

It’s a good thing we didn’t drink too much, since when we walked out to the parking lot there were three Subaru Foresters the same model and color as ours, and all with bike racks. Only one with a Florida tag, though.


We left Lolo yesterday and drove 200 miles to Clark Canyon Reservoir, a wonderful spot 20 miles south of Dillon, MT and just a few miles off I-15. There are numerous Bureau of Reclamation campgrounds along the reservoir, all of which are free, and we’re the only ones here at Horse Prairie. Water, clean vault toilets with hand sanitizer, covered picnic shelters and fire pits. Hard to believe they don’t charge anything, especially with the proximity to the water and the beautiful views.


The cats enjoyed a nice walk, Debbie’s dogs had fun running around, and we went for a little hike.

From the hill behind our site.



Didn’t realize another campground was on the other side of the hill.


A very nice stopover on our way to Grand Teton National Park.




  1. What a beautiful hike in a place I knew nothing about. Love those rocks although it is hard to take in the views while watching your feet. LOL Very nice new spot too. You are giving me lots of reasons to want to come back to Montana. Sure hope you don't run into some "weather" there in the Tetons in almost October. You're a long way from Florida. :-)

    1. We've kept a close eye on the weather for the next week and it looks good other than a chance of thunderstorms a couple days.

  2. Gosh, you went from too many trees on the O P to no trees. It reminds me of Gunnison and Blue Mesa Reservoir.
    Box Canyon Mark…Primed and Cocked :))

    1. You are right, it does look similar to Blue Mesa Reservoir. We like it.

  3. How beautiful! And to have the camping spot all to yourselves ........ that's my kind of campground! So you are going to the Tetons. Good thing I didn't wait for you! ;-}

    1. See, I said you'd probably be back in AL before we made it there!

  4. Egads...those boulders you were trying to hike on look down right nasty. But the landscape looks gorgeous.

    Now what are the chances of three cars being the same make, model, color and with bike racks. Too funny.

  5. That was certainly a great place to hike.

  6. We hiked Blodgett Canyon last August, beautiful area! Did you see the arch way up in those pointy peaks on the South side of the canyon?

    1. Yes, we saw the pointed arch. We really enjoyed that hike!

  7. It used to be if there were several big rigs in the parking lot, the food was probably good. Now I guess we'll watch for several Subarus with bike racks for good brew! Looks like a sweet "last" hike. Love the wide open spaces of the reservoir. Safe travels to the Tetons.

  8. What a beautiful hike! That would be funny coming out and seeing other vehicles that looked just like yours. Tetons in Sept, you're brave, but should be just gorgeous! I'd still like to try that area in Sept/Oct some day.