Little Rock Creek


I ❤️ GYE
May 31, 2015
July 2-3, 2023

I've got a backlog of a few trips to work through, and here's the first one. This was the first backpacking trip I went on this summer. Was supposed to be for two nights, but ended up only being one for me due to dog issues.

We usually do a trip around July 4 so we can avoid having to deal with dogs and fireworks, and also because it's often a nice time to be out before the mosquitos get too bad. This year it was just going to be me and our Australian shepherd, Walter. Yes these photos are going to be very dog centric.

We set out for the Bitterroot Valley in the morning and got there around lunch time. We were meeting my friends Andrew and Kirstie for a trip up Little Rock Creek to Little Rock Creek Lake and environs. We got there around the same time and set out. Weather was warm and sunny, pretty dry already for early July.


Lake Como (not the Italy one) down below.

Dude was stoked to be out. Great guy to hike with because his recall is awesome and he'll never let you out of his sight.

Big fan of cooling off in the creek. Fortunately there was a lot of water running along the trail from springs and such.

Andrew and Kirstie as we got up higher.

Photogenic boy

We got to the lake and found a good spot. Then a family of like 10 people rolled up and camped probably 50 yards away. There was a little terrain variation and a lot of trees, but they were all over around our campsite for much of the time we were there. It was pretty busy up there in general. Several other groups of backpackers and day hikers were around. Can't blame them. Nice scenery, not a hard route, and it was a holiday weekend.

We got tents set up, had a snack and relaxed, then we crossed over to the north side of the lake and Andrew and Kirstie did some fishing while I threw sticks into the lake for Walter to get. He doesn't love swimming, but he'll do a little bit of it to get a stick.

Outlet from the lake

Walking along the log jam at the dam.



Looking back at the log jam.

We headed back to camp and had dinner.

Outlet at sunset.

Was hard to get a good shot of the camp site since it was tucked into the trees and not super open.

We had a little fire and hung out until it got dark. And that's when my problems began. I tried to get Walter into the tent, and he was not having it. Went into freak out mode and did almost everything he could to get out. He found where the zippers meet a few times and nosed his way out. I had to keep dragging him back in and trying to keep him in. He pawed at the mesh and circled and circled. I figured he was going to end up destroying the tent and we'd have to cowboy camp or sit around the fire all night. I eventually got him on the leash, back in the tent, and ended up just sleeping with the leash in my hand. It took him a long time to calm down a little. And I decided that I wasn't going to be dealing with this again the next night and I'd be hiking out the next morning. It was surprising because he's slept in tents before, but I guess this one was small enough to bother him, plus the mostly mesh walls probably confused him. I ended up taking him car camping a week after this and he did fine in the bigger tent with less mesh. Dogs...

Sunrise at the creek.

Ponderosas back above Lake Como

Tired boy back at the trailhead. He didn't sleep much the night before (neither did I).

So there you go. Short trip, had a great time during the day, but it was not the most pleasant night. I guess I'm glad he didn't destroy my tent. I'd really like to do more in the Bitterroots because this trip put into perspective just how huge of a range it is.
Love dogs, but I draw the line at being licked in the ear! :lol:
Too bad about the dog and tent issue, one of our previous retrievers had a hard time settling down in a tent, but not quite to the extent that Walter did.
I think in her case, it was just that there were too many intriguing sounds and smells in the night air.
Maybe he felt he couldn't adequately do his job of protecting the camp from inside a tiny tent. Good boy! BTW, he's gorgeous, as are your photos.
Love dogs, but I draw the line at being licked in the ear! :lol:
Too bad about the dog and tent issue, one of our previous retrievers had a hard time settling down in a tent, but not quite to the extent that Walter did.
I think in her case, it was just that there were too many intriguing sounds and smells in the night air.
Yeah the amount of stimuli definitely make it hard for some to calm down too! I figured because he's an Aussie he'd be smart and figure it out, but I guess he's just got too much anxious energy as a herding dog. Haha. I'll try him out in my other backpacking tent with a lot less mesh next time. I really think that was the primary issue, being thrown off by being able to see through it but feel it touching and bending around him. Makes sense when you can't comprehend what it is! My other dog, Penny, goes right in and lays down in whatever tent I bring haha.
Maybe he felt he couldn't adequately do his job of protecting the camp from inside a tiny tent. Good boy! BTW, he's gorgeous, as are your photos.
Could very well be, because he doesn't really like any tent. But the Tarptent on this one was just intolerable I guess. Haha.
Good looking country, and a fine looking dog. Great shot of you and your trusty companion. Sorry you had to bail a day early.
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