Montana’s Paradise Valley in Bloom and in Color: A Hike Around Merrell Lake

Last week, we traveled to Montana for the wedding celebration of our two great friends. The festivities took place in Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park in the southwestern part of the state. According to many of the regular residents, we arrived just in time.  Just in time for warm and sunny weather, blooming flowers, and a green landscape.

Merrell Lake: Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge | Wildtalesof.com

To get to know the area around Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge, the wedding venue, Slaed, Bergen and I went on a quick 1-mile hike around Merrell Lake.  The lake, just beyond the lodge, is a fisherman’s delight with tempting and rather large rainbow and brown trout as well as cutthroat swimming around. We didn’t care so much about the fish though.  I was more interested in the views of the valley and investigating all of the wildflowers that lined the trail.

We started off our hike thinking Bergen (21 months) would be able to handle the trail on his own two feet.  We figured he could toddle along with us, and if worse came to worse, one of us could through him on our shoulders for the remainder of the journey.  We quickly realized that though the trail was not steep, it’s tough on little feet with a lot of rocks, roots, and other obstacles to work around. Luckily, we hadn’t gotten very far when Bergen uncharacteristically reached his hands up to us to pick him up.  I ran back to the car to retrieve the backpack carrier, and away we went.

Hike around Merrell Lake: Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge | WildTalesof.com

It’s like Bergen knows an exciting adventure awaits him no matter how small or simple.  When he sees that carrier, he gets giddy, and giggles with glee as he is lifted up on the shoulders of one of us.  Along our journey, we spotted beautiful whispering aspen trees, the bright yellow flowers of arrowleaf balsamroot, wild purple lupines, and another purple flower that I have yet to identify.

Wildflowers: Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge | WildTalesof.comWe also took in views of the valley, which is situated between the Gallatin mountain range to the west and the Absaroka mountain range to the east. We were lucky to get to the witness the landscape decked out in it’s green attire for spring.  Just a few weeks before, while still spectacular, our outlook would have been more of a winter brown.

Merrell Lake: Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge | WildTalesof.com

Back at the lodge where lunch awaited us, we really learned the meaning of the phrase “big sky country” in reference to Montana.  No buildings or structures other than picturesque barns stood in our way as we followed the Yellowstone River winding along with the mountains in the distance.

Paradise Valley view: Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge | WildTalesof.com

Have you traveled to Montana? Where have you explored? Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Paradise Valley including a visit to Yellowstone National Park.

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.

This post is linked up with Friday Daydreamin’ at RWeThereYetMom? and Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.

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6 thoughts on “Montana’s Paradise Valley in Bloom and in Color: A Hike Around Merrell Lake

    • Yes, it was 🙂 I hope you get to Montana someday too, Lisa! It’s a huge state of course, but everywhere I’ve gone so far is spectacular.

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