(Mostly) camping in Red Lodge

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to pack up two boys and two dogs and go camping. Henry was in Glacier National Park for three days (filming) and he left the truck with us. I couldn’t let it sit idle.

It seems like most of my time was consumed with feeding or dealing with poop, but there was a lot of fun thrown in, too.

Would you like to be the manager and servant for this crew?

We stayed at the Sheridan Campground, a nine-site Forest Service campground along the West Fork of Rock Creek. It’s less than 10 minutes from Red Lodge, but feels farther away.

Enjoying the fire.

Anders contemplates the deliciousness of a s’more.

On our evening stroll we ran into a F.S. fire crew cutting up some dead wood in one of the campsites. One of the guys came over and asked the boys if they wanted to spray the hose. Yes please, thank you very much.

“This is so cool.”

Finn wanted to spray the dogs (and me!), but fortunately this firefighter kept him line.

Hanging out along West Fork Rock Creek.

The next morning we drove up the Beartooth Highway. It’s high and it’s winding and I wrote all about it a few years ago.

We stopped at the Rock Creek Overlook to stretch our legs, use the bathrooms (it’s all about elimination with this crew) and take a short walk along the paved path.

Peering over the edge.

Several people stopped to compliment Finn on his outfit.

Jumping off of rocks and running down the trail.

Overlooking at the overlook.

It’s hard to overlook this beauty.

Why yes, we are quite photogenic…just never all at the same time.

Hats, sweatshirts and bare feet; fall in Montana.

As we were sitting on the wall, eating cheesey puffs a couple of Henry’s buddies came over. They were up there filming for a show about whitebark pines (an important food source for grizzlies, birds, squirrels etc. and a species that isn’t very happy about global warming).

John and Dawson look for Clark’s nutcrackers. http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/HTML/articles/portraits/nutcracker.htm

Our next stop was the trailhead to Gardner Lake. It was cold and super windy, but we decided to brave the elements for the short, but steep hike down to the lake. It’s kind of crazy that you can drive into the alpine zone like this. Any other time I’ve been at a lake like this one, I’ve had to hike for half a day or longer to get there.

0.75 miles down to Gardner Lake.

Anders at Gardner Lake.

Drinking and wading at the same time.

The trail back up.

Finn was simply exhausted from all that riding in the backpack.

We continued up the road a bit to the Top of the World store. Don’t be fooled, it is a total tourist trap selling a bunch of crap. I love places like that. We got a cookie and a puzzle and tried not to get blown away between the truck and the store.

We are having so much fun; we are on top of the world!

On the way back we had a quick picnic at Island Lake. It was starting to rain, so we didn’t walk around too much. We were already cold and some of us were getting a tad grumpy. Luckily, I hiked here about four years ago with my mom and baby Anders, so you can relive that fun day.

Island Lake

The next day we played at one of the parks in town. There are no bathrooms here, so if you are traveling with someone who is finally learning to use a toilet, but isn’t very good at it, you can plan on running across a soccer field and around a caboose to get to a couple of outhouses. You’ll probably have to do this more than once since the new toilet-user seizes up during the sprint to the potty. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Watch out for dogs on the track when you are driving a caboose.

Lovely flower gardens.

Also, on our Red Lodge itinerary was a visit to the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. But, you’ll have to wait for my Field Trip Friday post for that.

The highlight of our trip to Red Lodge was the candy store. We went twice! The first time the boys each got three pieces of candy. They were thrilled; they don’t know that’s a paltry amount. The second time they got something like eight Jelly Bellies each. Again, thrilled.

Delighted at the candy shop.

On our final night we stayed at the Yodeler Inn. Since it was the start of Labor Day weekend, all the campsites were booked up. It was nice to be somewhere with a bathroom.

Oh yes I did.

Breakfast in bed.

Other Red Lodge posts

(Mostly) camping in Red Lodge

Red Lodge Road Trip–Are we there, yet? from Montana Parent magazine

Hike the Silver Run Ski Trails Near Red Lodge, Montana

Hike South Fork Grove Creek Near Red Lodge, Montana

Hike to Island and Night Lakes in the Beartooths

Drive the Beartooth Scenic Highway from Red Lodge to Cooke City

Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary: Red Lodge, Montana

Field Trip Friday: Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

4 thoughts on “(Mostly) camping in Red Lodge

  1. Debi

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me to take my boys outside – in spite of their crankiness, wildness & general grumpiness. There’s really no where else I’d rather be. 🙂

  2. Mel Post author

    @Debi- The admiration is mutual! It’s nice to have each other (and all those other outdoor parents out there) to inspire each other!

    @Lindsey – Montana is pretty much the greatest place on earth 😉 At least come for a visit and let us show you around!

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