South Spencer Report
The first wildflowers of the season have emerged on the Whitefish Trail, and South Spencer is the perfect spot to get away from town for a quick afternoon hike. Located off Rifle Range Road, the South Spencer trailhead has parking for about 6-8 cars. This section of the Whitefish Trail has a different personality because the trail corridor utilizes a mix of logging roads, historic trails, and newly built sections. The current timber sale will be completed by next winter and more improvements to the Whitefish Trail at Spencer Mountain will be completed at that time. This summer, Montana Conservation Corps will be working to mitigate several sections of steep, unsustainable trail. If you see them out working, give them high fives and say thanks for the hard work!
The West Loop trail gently climbs through mixed forest and gains ridge top views about 2 miles from the trailhead. There are some great spots to picnic along the ridge overlooking the Stillwater Valley, high above Two Bear Farms. Pending DNRC approval this spring, we hope to add a licensed East to West connector trail that will shorten the eight-mile loop into two smaller four-mile loops, making the options at South Spencer even more attractive.
Signature Rock on the East Loop section is a great spot to explore, set high above the landscape with mature trees overhead.
Logging from last winter and horse traffic has caused some changes to the trail in South Spencer. Overall, the trail is in great shape for walking, running, or riding, and South Spencer is surely a place to escape the crowds. Photos below are from last week before all the rain. Give the trails a little time to respond to the moisture, and even more wild flowers will emerge! Get out on a section of the Whitefish Trail today!