Your Timely Guide to Western Montana Huckleberry Picking
Huckleberries and Montana go hand in hand. As a matter of fact, we have officially made the huckleberry the "Official State Fruit of Montana". If you are planning on heading out and picking huckleberries in Western Montana, the season normally begins mid-July and runs through the beginning of August. There already have been reports of huckleberries ready for picking in some areas of Western Montana.
Where to Find Some of the Best Huckleberries in Western Montana
The Flathead Valley may be best known for their cherries, but you can find huckleberry bushes there too. Glacier National Park has some prime huckleberry picking areas. Around Missoula you can find huckleberries in Pattee Canyon and on the way to Snowbowl Ski Area. The Bitterroot Valley has some quality huckleberry picking areas including the Kootenai National Forest. If you are planning on picking in the Kootenai National Forest there are some rules they would like you to please follow.
Things to Remember When Picking Huckleberries in Western Montana
- Be safe. You are in bear country and bears also have a taste for huckleberries. Bear spray is an important accessory to take with you, don't forget to check the expiration date on your bear spray.
- Long pants are recommended. The huckleberry bushes can scratch your legs up pretty good.
- Bug spray. Mosquitos are having a "banner year" this year. Just make sure you don't spray the bug spray on the huckleberries.
- Hydrate. The huckleberry season in Montana coincides with the hottest time of the year. Take a water bottle, you may thank me for that later.
- Containers to gather the huckleberries.
- Some of the huckleberry picking spots may take you off the beaten path. Having a "trail app" can help to make sure you don't get lost.
Huckleberries Make Food Better
Huckleberries can make so many foods taste better. You can add huckleberries to things like lemonade, pancakes, ice cream and milkshakes. You can sprinkle some on a summer salad for a refreshing update. If you want to put in some effort you can make a huckleberry pie, jam, or cobbler. No matter how you enjoy them, be safe out there when picking Montana's state fruit.