Black Butte of the Gravelly Range, Montana

/, Gravelly Range, Madison County, Montana/Black Butte of the Gravelly Range, Montana

Black Butte - An ancient volcanic coneBlack Butte – An ancient volcanic cone – Nikon D300, f13, 1/250, ISO 400, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 48mm, natural light

Last week I traveled the Gravelly Range Road of southwestern Montana which is north of the Centennial Valley and in part of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The views of the basins, tarns, meadows, forests, rock formations and other mountain ranges nearby were absolutely stunning. The road was in fairly good condition most of the way and suitable even for those with a fear of heights. Okay, maybe a little bit of white-knuckling at the highest elevation if another vehicle comes along.

I can say I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I should have but the 72 mile dirt road takes a long time to travel. Maybe I will do it again one day and take more photos but would do it as soon as the road opens on the first of July because the wildflowers would be better then. Sometimes I just need to drink in the beauty around me though and that was the case last week. I drank it up.

The highest peak of the Gravelly Range is Black Butte, an ancient volcanic cone, at an elevation of 10,542 feet.

Black Butte from the Gravelly Range RoadBlack Butte from the Gravelly Range Road – Nikon D300, f13, 1/320, ISO 400, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm, natural light

I was a little late for the peak of the wildflowers in the area but was delighted just the same to see the lush alpine meadows and if I had walked off the road just a tiny bit in some areas I could have planted my feet in snow. By the way, I traveled the road on a Saturday and on the Monday before it had snowed up top. Yes, in July.

The sky was mostly clear and bright as a bluebird.

I am so happy to have traveled the Gravelly Range Road and seen all of the beautiful sights. If you can make it to southwestern Montana I would highly recommend taking the drive, you won’t be disappointed.

Life is good.



  1. Elephant's Child July 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Oh my. How very, very beautiful.
    Thank you.

  2. April Olson July 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Beautiful, maybe one day I’ll make it there. I have such a list already. Thank you for sharing the beauty.

  3. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver July 21, 2016 at 7:05 am

    One more place to add to my must see and do list… hmmm… from the green jungles of Vermont.

  4. Bob McPherson July 21, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia. Especially scenic.

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