In Montana, you can reach the top of the mountain and the rewards are many. At 9,000+ feet in altitude, tiny alpine flowers manage to put on a show unlike anything you’ll see at lower elevations. Ok, that might be an exaggeration but it’s still mesmerizing to witness.
Indian Paintbrush coupled with Meadow Buttercups, it’s a color show that changes with each switchback up the mountain.
Many of the flowers at the top of this high altitude destination show up as miniatures. The wind, lack of water, and low temperatures don’t allow them to get more than an inch tall and some just become little mattes of color like the phlox and forget-me-nots.
From top left: Alpine Forget-me-not (Eritrichium nanum), Alpine Anemone ( A. drummondii) with the blue color under the flower petals, Sandwort, Indian Paintbrush with Elk Thistle and Stika Valerian, Aster, Moss Phlox (Phlox hoodii), Tufted Phlox (pink, P. caespitosa), Buckwheat (amazing coloration not seen very often), Lemhi Penstemon, and Cut-leaved Anemone (Anemone multifida).
There are some species that are specific to alpine areas so I’m still working on getting those named and I’ll update the list once I get them identified.
Meanwhile, be sure to find your alpine magic this summer!