July is wild huckleberry picking season in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. Never successfully grown in cultivation, Mountain Huckleberries are a treat reserved for those who take to the mountains. Fortunately, for those living in or visiting the Bitterroot Valley, Montana, picking wild mountain huckleberries requires a little effort.
Where to Pick Huckleberries
In the Bitterroot Mountains, huckleberries are generally found above 4000 feet. Most Bitterroot National Forest hiking trails will have some huckleberries nearby. One such Bitterroot hiking trail is the Sawtooth Creek Trail. Huckleberry patches begin about 2 miles from the trailhead and most of this area seems to go unpicked.
Mountain huckleberries grow on bushes similar in appearance to blueberry bushes.
When to Pick Huckleberries
Huckleberries in Western Montana usually begin to ripen in mid-July. Lower elevations will ripen first.
What to do with Huckleberries
The options are almost endless:
- Syrup (great on ice cream or pancakes)
- BBQ Sauce (add some chipotle and make a killer steak sauce)
If you've never been huckleberry picking,give it a try. You'll be happy you did once you pop a few into your mouth.