Out My Back Door and Up the Mountain

My favorite part about living right in town is that I can pretend that urban sprawl has skipped Helena, Montana.  It hasn’t, but the old downtown part of Helena butts right up against hills and mountains that are protected from development.  The city stops and open space begins.     No big housing developments, just mountains.  The mountain that has defined Helena since the town was founded during the gold rush is Mt. Helena.

Mt. Helena above downtown Helena

Mt. Helena is actually a city park, thanks to the foresight of the Helena Improvement Society, who started buying the land in 1903.  By 1906 they’d purchased 360 acres; today the city owns close to 1,000.    I’m on the mountain at least twice a week, pretty much all year long, so I’m plenty grateful to those long ago city improvers.

I hiked to the top a couple of days ago and thought I’d share some pictures from that hike.

Remains of lime kilns at the start of the trail

I headed up the Prospect Shafts Trail on the south side of the mountain.  The trail is lined with old adits (exploratory holes) that the miners dug more than a hundred years ago.

The view of the National Forest lands to the south.

Trail to the top

Amost to the top

Views from the summit, 5,468 ft., 1300 feet above town:

About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Hiking, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Out My Back Door and Up the Mountain

  1. sonjarosas says:

    Wow, that’s awesome! What kind of animals do you see up there?

    • westerner54 says:

      Thanks! I always see deer and birds (bluebirds, ravens, vultures, woodpeckers). Sometimes a fox or a coyote, too. Some folks have seen black bear and mountain lions, but I haven’t.

  2. Mind Margins says:

    Very nice. Helena is such a pretty location. I always loved going there when we drove to our spot to put the boats in to float down the Missouri to Great Falls.

  3. beechcreekproject says:

    Awesome views from a lovely part of the country. Wish I had that right outside my backdoor. I have to drive a little ways but luckily not too far. Stay safe.

  4. Alaska Girl at Heart says:

    What a lovely day you had for your hike. The scenery is breathtaking.

  5. ldsiebs says:

    Wow, what a great backyard! I’m jealous. As always, I love your posts! Thank you for sharing.

  6. FeyGirl says:

    Oh just lovely… I so want to be there.

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