{Hike} Storm Castle Trail

family hike up Storm Castle in the Gallatin Mountains of southwest Montana

After a lot of gray days and a bit of rain, we were blessed with a gorgeous, sunshiney day. The Harrison clan took advantage of it with a hike up the Storm Castle Trail.

The Storm Castle Trail starts in the Gallatin Canyon and climbs 2.5 miles and 1,715 feet to Storm Castle Rock. The trail winds through juniper, limestone formations, lodgepole pine, and spruce trees. Oh, and the wildflowers…so lovely.

Wildflowers and kids on the Storm Castle Trail

We chose this trail because we had a graduation party in Bozeman that evening, and it is one of the first trails to dry out in the spring. By summer, the south facing slope is too hot for me, and there is no water on the trail, making it too hot for doggies.

We don’t make it over the to the Gallatin Canyon very often. It’s about an hour’s drive and there are so many amazing places even closer, but back when we lived in Bozeman, we hiked there regularly. It was fun to go back.

Five miles isn’t the longest Anders has hiked, but this was the steepest adventure so far. Finn hiked about 3 miles without being carried AT ALL. We’ll make hikers of them yet.

While the boys were power hikers (very slow power hikers, in Finn’s case) the dogs were less hardy. About a mile and half in, we decided Rigby shouldn’t go any further. Diesel was laying in the shade and not too excited to keep going. Henry took the bullet and turned around. He, Finn, and the dogs hightailed it back down to the river and the comfort of the dog beds in the truck. Henry said Rigby fell off the trail twice on the way down. His legs are pretty wobbly these days. I guess we are done with hiking.

Family hike on Storm Castle Trail, Gallatin Mountains, MontanaAnders and I were summit bound, and kept going. We picked up the pace and made it to the top. From Storm Castle Rock we could see into the Gallatins, across to the Madison Range and down the Gallatin River. At 7,227 feet, it’s not even close to the highest peak around, but it stands out and affords a great view. Anders loved clambering around on the top. I felt a little like I was going to throw up when he got near the edge, but that’s just my vertigo and maternal instincts taking over.

There wasn’t a single meltdown on the trail and we all spent the day in good spirits. The boys were awesome hikers, making today feel like the start of a great summer.
And we saw a rainbow on the way home!
Rainbow over I-90 in Bozeman, Montana

What did you do this weekend?

6 thoughts on “{Hike} Storm Castle Trail

  1. Mel Post author

    Thanks, ladies! It was a fun hike and a nice achievement for Anders. I think Finn could have made it, too, but it would have taken a bit longer. And now we know that the dogs only go on flatish, shortish hikes near water. Old age kind of sucks.

  2. minor catastrophes

    This was always one of my favorite hikes with my boys when they were little. It’s a great challenge but not an impossibly long trail for little legs, and lets them experience getting up on a peak with a great view…Yay Anders!

  3. Mel Post author

    @minor catastrophe- it is a great hike, isn’t it? I always think of it as a quick jaunt or a little burst of exercise, but this experience had changed my perspective– it’s an all day outing 😉

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