Northern Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Map of a portion of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest displaying the roads in the Vipond Park area.

Vipond Park.
Vipond Park. Photo source: Carly Gibson.

Penstemon lemhiensis.
Penstemon lemhiensis. Photo source: Carly Gibson.

Townsendia parryi.
Townsendia parryi. Photo source: Carly Gibson.

Vipond Park

Forest: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

District: Wise River Ranger District

Description: A subalpine meadow between 7500 and 8000 feet elevation in the Pioneer Range of the Montana Rockies. Sixty seven species of trees and wildflowers occur in Vipond Park including two local endemic species, the lemhi penstemon and the sapphire rockcress. Metamorphosed limestone forms the soil substrate for the sapphire rockcress found only at 12 known locations in the state of Montana. Lemhi Penstemon is found only in four Montana Counties and one Idaho County. Historical charcoal kilns that served the Glendale smelter can be observed on the road leading to Vipond Park. Blooming usually begins in June and Peaks in early July.

Safety First: The area is accessible by gravel road that is fairly steep on the southern side with step precipices and no guard rails. Drive slowly and cautiously, Use turnouts for passing. Bring sturdy hiking boots, sun hat, and sunglasses and wear sunscreen at this high elevation site.

Directions: From Butte, Montana go west on Interstate 90 to intersection with I-15. Go South towards Dillon, MT. Vipond park can be visited by taking a loop leaving I-15 at Divide and going west on highway 43 to Dewey then South on forest road 187 to Vipond Park. Continue on forest road 187 to Canyon Creek and east to Glendale. From Glendale continue east to Melrose on I-15. Complete the loop by going north back to Divide on I-15. If coming from the south take Melrose exit to Glendale and Canyon Creek to Vipond Park. Vipond Park is approximately 11 miles west of Melrose, Mt and 5 miles south of Dewey. Melrose is 29 miles north of Dillon, MT and approximately 35 miles South of Butte.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest headquarters in Dillon, Montana, at (406) 683-3900; or Wise River Ranger District in Wise River, Montana, at (406) 832-3178.

Closest Town: Dillon, Butte, Melrose, and Wiser River, Montana.