|The blue Forget-Me-Not and pink Douglasia alpine flowers dominated the area around Rodgers Peak|
|Katie on top|
|Red Mountain to the north is still very snow-covered|
|We found caches of lady bugs clustered on the rocks at top|
|A bouquet of Forget-Me-Not flowers|
|Katie in a field of alpine flowers|
Katie and I climbed Rogers Peak to the east of the pass on Sunday, gaining about 1,500 feet over 2 miles, and were treated to a floral display of blue Forget-Me-Nots, pink Douglasia, and Yellowstone Draba on a windy day.
The trail on both sides of the highway is the Continental Divide Trail, a real treasure for those of us living near it in Great Falls --- only an hour away!
On the east side it switchbacks to the top of a red-green arguilite peak where the Continental Divide snakes to the east and south through short, alpine grass and occasional outcrops.
Views from here are exceptional and include the highest point in the Scapegoat Wilderness: Red Mountain to the northwest, the Front peaks like Caribou, and the buttes and foothills from the Plains and the Highwoods, Little Belts, Gates of the Mountains ranges.
Memorial Day seems always stormy and it was no exception this year. I didn't let that stop me from doing Pioneer Ridge to 7,000 feet. I would have done the traverse to the north that we did Wednesday, but on my way down that ridge it started to snow pretty hard, the ground covered with white quickly and I got a bit wet, having to change layers several times.
I saw plenty of flowers, got a chance to spend some time enjoying the roaring Belt Creek near the Belt Creek Ranger Station, and stretched my legs --- getting about 2,000 feet of elevation over four miles round trip.
There are years I ski on this day, but I was satisfied with this wet hike.