Friday, July 25, 2014

Johnson Canyon, North of Bozeman Montana

I'm visiting Bozeman Montana and brought my KTM.
Yesterday, I had a great ride at Johnson Canyon! It was about 25 miles there and back, and the loop at Johnson Canyon is about 10 miles. The loop starts pretty easy, but near the top becomes pretty rocky and narrow. Again, a bit tougher than I like, being alone and traveling far from home (San Diego), but it was a fantastic ride. The meadows near the top were covered with flowers. And at the very top there was some kind of butterfly bonanza going on, there were hundreds of them flying around. An incredible experience. Frankly, I'd rate the whole experience as one of my best rides ever.
The deceptively easy beginning of Johnson Canyon:

This is a shot at a camp spot early on the Johnson Canyon loop:

Near the top the path became very narrow. Not single track, but tight for an atv and very rocky. What's with all these rocks in Montana?! Stuff like that scares me as going down is much harder than going up, at least for me. A couple turns were tight and there is are drop off at the edge of the path where recovery would be impossible. Somehow I never think to take pictures of the hardest stuff... I guess I'm too busy being scared!

Then there is this is a meadow near the top of the loop. Just a fantastic field of flowers! Still some snow in the peaks in the background. This is near 8000 feet.

I didnt take any pictures at the very top, what I now call "Butterfly Peak". I didn't think I could capture the experience like that, so I just enjoyed it.

From the top down was a workout for me. I just don't have the confidence to let any speed build up going downhill, and those trees on the side of the trail look unforgiving!
And, uhm, are those scratches on the trees bear sign? Gulp. I'm hoping those were made by a passing atv, but many of them seemed too high and not really on the trail side. I ate my energy bar quickly and go moving again.
Another shot of the trail:

Once out of the canyon it's an easy ride through the farmland back to Bozeman:

Here is a link to the track: on google maps

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