August 15, Day 74: Located in the Madison Range of SW Montana near Big Sky, Mount Cinnamon sits at 9,235 feet with expansive views in all directions. AllTrails rated this as moderate, but given the elevation gain and starting altitude, it was anything but that for us!
Maybe it was the wine the night before…
A notice at the trailhead warned of grizzlies, with a second post about 50′ up the trail. We weren’t too worried… But I ran back down to the Jeep for a spoon and tin cup. Tied together on our daypack, they would clink and clank to give bears fair warning of our approach. We also carried bear spray should any be overly friendly.
Mount Cinnamon was tough. We had not done a hike this grueling since Broke-Top Mountain in Lassen National Park. Up, and up, and up for 2,700 feet over 4½ miles. This hike was much more pleasant than Broke Top, with deep wooded shade broken by sunny meadows.
Our Little Friend
Huffing and puffing, we made our way to the top, then dropped on a rock to catch our breath. Our little chipmunk friend didn’t offer much sympathy, especially when he found we had no food to share. But so glad we had him for company instead of larger wildlife.
We lingered, soaking up the sun and the mountain air, the rewards of our long struggle up the hill. Then, reluctantly, we started the 4½ miles back down to the Jeep. Our spoon and cup must have done the trick, as we saw no bears. In fact, we saw no wildlife aside from the indifferent chipmunk and one squirrel.
I was fine with that… no bear spray needed!