Huckleberry picking all over the northwest is sporadic this year due to the early season and the fires.
Pincher Creek Echo reported the lack of berries at the Castle Mountain Resort in British Columbia:
For some huckleberry picking on Castle Mountain is a long standing tradition … . Despite the lack of berries to pick, the Castle Mountain crew were expecting around 1,000 visitors for the festival this year.
Big Rock Brewery parked their van full of kegs, Castle Ford handed out berry buckets, and a pig roasted in the corner as people made their way to the chairlift and up the mountain.
Spirits remained high, even though there weren’t any huckleberries to be found, and the normally brilliant view was clouded by smoke.
“We’re two weeks to late,” said some visitors, while locals said there weren’t many berries this year in the first place.
Shirley Smith, a seasoned berry picker from B.C. said she could tell by the colour of the leaves that it was too late in the season.
But the chairlift was busy all day with huckleberry hopefuls, cold beer and live music waiting for them when they made their way back down.
According to the video posted by the Global News, picking on Castle Mountain, in previous years, yielded an abundance of berries for pickers.
The Flathead Beacon reported better news for huckleberry pickers in the Glacier National Park and the Great Bear Wilderness in Montana:
The Danny On Trail meanders through forests of Douglas fir, western larch and spruce while traversing grassy ski runs laced with dense patches of huckleberries that are still ripe for the picking.
The slight winter snowpack and historically dry summer has been tough on the huckleberries throughout the region, but bumper crops of hucks, while sporadic, still pepper the Big Mountain, particularly at higher elevations.
Carry a milk jug on your hike to Flower Point, or take the chairlift and walk to the prominence from the summit while keeping an eye peeled for berries.