Sunset at Fort Owen

Red Barn Near Fort Owen Stevensville Bitterroot Mountains Montana K Dog and Dinah at Kootenei Creek Stevensville MontanaEither there is a God or luck tossed us the long end of the climate change stick, because spring came early last week and bringing with it temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s, it lured Dinah, Kelvin and I out of inversion-ridden Missoula. Under any other circumstances I would likely have been lamenting the lack of proper ski weather, however, as I’m still injured from an October car accident, I couldn’t be more stoked on hitting the hiking trails in a sweater and running shoes. The dogs agree (Kelvin hates ski season). So, as we often do, we headed south to Montana’s balmy Banana Belt: The Bitterroot Valley.

Dinah and Pit Bull Kelvin in Subaru Stevensville Montana

Perhaps it’s the 70 million year old jagged peaks towering majestically over a warm and winding valley, or the sharp contrast of the Sapphire Range’s rounded hills (i.e. the ones that slid off the Bitterroot range shortly after it rose from the ground), but for several years now, I’ve been unable to tear myself away from this piece of Montana.

GSD Husky and Pit Bull Kelvin at Fort Owen Stevensville Montana

Dinah at Historic Fort Owen Stevensville MontanaThe Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness stretches over 1,340,502 acres and is the third largest in the United States. Lewis and Clark first explored it with the Corps of Discovery on their way to chart the Louisiana Purchase and find a route to the Pacific. If you’re hankering to relive their Bitterroot adventures and otherwise, keep your eye out for HBO’s 6-hour Lewis and Clark miniseries, which begins filming Summer 2015.

Dogs at Kootenei Canyon Montana

First, we hiked old Kootenei Canyon.

Dinah in the Woods

Dinah and Kelvin Kootenei CanyonDinah GSD Husky PupKelvin and Dinah at Kootenei Creek Bitterroot Montana

Afterwards, we headed just slightly further south to Stevensville, Montana’s first community, where we stopped to catch the sunset over the Bitterroot from historic Fort Owen.

Dogs Hanging Out of Car Window Stevensville MontanaDinah at Fort Owen Stevensville Montana

Historic Fort Owen Information Plaque Stevensville MontanaJoseph Wagner Homestead Cabin Stevensville MontanaHistoric Cabin Fort Owen Stevensville Montana Bitterroot Valley

Husky GSD Mix Fort Owen Stevensville MontanaGSD Husky and Pit Bull Kelvin at Fort Owen Stevensville Montana

For more Bitterroot check out these posts:

Saint Mary Peak
Blodgett Canyon
The Lookout
Sweeney Creek
Kootenei Canyon
McCart Lookout
Somewhere in the Bitterroot

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