Day Hikes in The Beartooth Mountains  by Robert Stone

Day Hikes in The Beartooth Mountains Guide Book

by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
Day Hikes in The Beartooth Mountains  by Robert Stone
Fantastic hiking for every level of experience! The beautiful Beartooth Mountains rise dramatically from the tawny plains of south-central Montana and stretch to the northern reaches of Yellowstone National Park. These day hikes travel through wooded canyons, valleys enclosed by snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, creeks, alpine plateaus, and stunning mountain panoramas. Hikes range from treks across 10,000-foot alpine tundra in remote wilderness to gentle trails along the Yellowstone River as it stretches through broad valleys. Trails are located within a 120-mile radius of Red Lodge, including Billings, the Beartooth Highway, Boulder Valley, Paradise Valley, and the north end of Yellowstone.

© 2012 Robert Stone/Day Hike Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Day Hikes in The Beartooth Mountains" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 122.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 122.

The Bannock Trail is a short section of the Bannock Indian route once used to reach bison hunting grounds in Lamar Valley. The trail begins at Silver Gate in the North Absaroka Wilderness. The near-level terrain parallels Soda Butte Creek, a major tributary of the Lamar River, into Yellowstone National Park. The trail crosses several streams through open meadows and forest groves.
Cooke City, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.8
Upper and Lower Basin Creek Lakes sit below the Silver Run Plateau just outside the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Lower Basin Creek Lake is a picturesque 2.5-acre tarn partially covered with lily pads and surrounded by forest. Upper Basin Creek Lake, 600 feet above the lower lake, rests at the base of a majestic mountain bowl that fronts the Silver Run Plateau. Snow melting within the glacial cirque fills the 6-acre lake and forms the headwaters of the creek, a tributary of the West Fork of Rock Creek. The trail to the lakes is an old logging road from the early 1 900s. It steadily climbs into the Basin Creek valley along the beautiful cascading stream, passing a waterfall less than a half mile from the trailhead. The trail winds through evergreen forests and includes log creek crossings.
Red Lodge, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
Just below Beartooth Lake is Beartooth Falls, a spectacular waterfall on Beartooth Creek. The 1 00-foot cascade plunges over granite rocks with a tremendous volume of water. The short trail to Beartooth Falls is not a designated or maintained trail. It is, however, a hike you will long remember. The trail in this area is vague and there is a short scramble over large boulders to the brink of the falls. The falls can also be spotted from a small pullout along the highway, a quarter mile west of the trailhead.
Beartooth Mountains, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
The Beartrack Trail (Sheep Creek Trail) climbs nearly 3,000 feet from Rock Creek Canyon to the 1 0,000-foot Silver Run Plateau. Along the way are great views up and down the Rock Creek Canyon, including the surrounding peaks of Mount Maurice, Tolman Mountain, and Black Pyramid Mountain. The hike begins just west of the burn area from the 2000 Willie Fire. The trail then crosses the windswept alpine plateau and connects with the Silver Run Plateau Trail into the West Fork drainage—Hike 1 8—an optional 8-mile shuttle hike. Bring warm clothing and be prepared for changes in weather. The hike across the plateau to Timberline Lake (Hike 21 ) is a popular 1 7-mile overnight shuttle hike.
Red Lodge, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
The Beauty Lake Trail begins at Beartooth Lake where the grandeur of Beartooth Butte towers 1 ,600 feet above the lake. The 1 0,51 4-foot sandstone butte was submerged under an inland sea hundreds of millions of years ago. Clay Butte (Hike 50) and Beartooth Butte are the last remnants of exposed sedimentary rock in the Beartooth Mountains. The trail winds through forests and meadows at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet to Crane Lake and Beauty Lake. Both picturesque, highmountain lakes have natural rock benches and are surrounded by granite domes, alpine meadows, and conifer groves. This trail can also be hiked as a 5-mile shuttle hike to Island Lake (Hike 46).
Beartooth Mountains, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Beauty Lake is a gorgeous high mountain lake that sits in a bowl of forested rock cliffs. Scenic mountains, sloping alpine meadows, pockets of evergreens, and several sandy beaches surround the sinuous 90-acre lake. Crane Lake is a smaller 1 0-acre lake surrounded by forest that is fed by Beauty Lake. The hike begins at Island Lake just below the Beartooth Plateau. This trail can be combined with Hike 47 for a 5-mile shuttle hike to Beartooth Lake.
Beartooth Mountains, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.5
This diverse and scenic hike crosses open meadows, passes through aspen and pine forests, fords streams and creeks, and leads to overlooks of the majestic Beartooth Mountain Range. The trailhead is located by the small town of Dean and heads to East Fishtail Creek, a tributary of the Stillwater River. A loop leads to Island Lake, a scenic 4-acre tarn, and the Twin Lakes, which reside within the West Rosebud Creek system.
Red Lodge, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
The “Golf Course” is a sprawling 9,200-foot grassy plateau that lies below the north end of the Stillwater Plateau, nearly a mile above the Stillwater Valley. The vistas from this flower-filled subalpine tableland are stunning. The hike begins at Benbow Mine, an abandoned chromite mine dating back to the early 1920s. The mine is named for Thomas Benbow, who homesteaded in Absaroka in 1892 and discovered chrome deposits in 1 905. The trail follows an old dirt road that weaves up the mountain, with views of the Fishtail Plateau, Chrome Lake, Black Butte, and Cathedral Peak.
Absarokee, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
Bridal Falls (unofficially named) drops out of steep granite cliffs to a ledge. From the ledge, the water shoots out horizontally, dropping more than forty additional feet into a misty pool. Ferns and moss grow along these sheer rock walls. The trail is a short and easy path that parallels Wyoming Creek through the forest.
Cooke City, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.6
This top-of-the-world hike leads past cascading water, open meadows, and trees to majestic high country lakes, all with relatively little elevation gain. The trail meanders through scenic Broadwater Meadow along the east side of the cascading river to Curl Lake and Broadwater Lake. The lakes are actually one huge 1 24-acre lake strung together by the Broadwater River, a tributary of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River. A wooded valley with open meadows surrounds the lakes. The trail begins from the Clarks Fork Trailhead and Clarks Fork Canyon Falls, where the thunderous cascade is forced through a narrow gorge.
Cooke City, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.5
The Clarks Fork Trail (also known as the Lewis and Clark Trail) is an extensive pack trail that leads eight miles to the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River. There are scenic vistas into the deep river canyon. This hike follows the first 2.5 miles on an easy meandering path to a footbridge over Beartooth Creek, a tributary of the Clarks Fork. The trail crosses through the rolling hills, rocky meadows, and subalpine forested knolls north of the Clarks Fork. The pack trail continues several miles along the Clarks Fork to the Morrison Jeep Trail.
Hurricane Mesa, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
The Clay Butte Overlook Trail begins at the 9,81 1 -foot Clay Butte Fire Lookout perched on the south tip of the butte. The butte consists of sedimentary rock left by an ancient inland sea. (Clay Butte and Beartooth Butte, directly to the east, lie adjacent to each other.) The trail crosses the expansive alpine plateau, rich with wildflowers, to the north edge of the weathered cliffs, offering a unique view of the backside of Beartooth Butte. The panoramic views are as spectacular as you will find anywhere. The Beartooth Mountains, Beartooth Butte, the Clarks Fork Valley, the twisting highway, and the peaks of the Absaroka Range are all visible from this high mountain overlook.
Beartooth Mountains, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
Native Lake sits in a deep cirque on the north end of Beartooth Butte, an ancient 3.5-mile-long outcropping of sedimentary rock. Granite erratics—boulders that were transported and deposited by retreating glaciers—are scattered along the butte’s northern slope. Three trailheads lead to Native Lake: the Beartooth Highlakes Trail by Island Lake (Hike 46), the Beauty Lake Trail by Beartooth Lake (Hike 48), and the Upper Granite Loop Trail by Clay Butte (this hike). The trail begins at 9,550 feet, just below the Clay Butte Fire Lookout, and crosses expansive alpine meadows with wildflowers and groves of Engelmann spruce, whitebark pine, and subalpine fir. Throughout the hike are fantastic vistas of Pilot and Index Peaks and the snow-capped peaks of the Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges.
Beartooth Mountains, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.6
The Corral Creek Trail climbs a narrow mountain drainage from Rock Creek Canyon, near Ratine Campground, to the 9,600-foot Line Creek Plateau. The beautiful but strenuous hike gains more than 3,000 feet up to the plateau. The trail parallels Corral Creek, curving past the west side of Sheridan Point to the headwaters of the creek atop the vast alpine plateau. The well-defined path has five creek crossings in the first mile. The hike can be combined with the Maurice Creek Trail (Hike 26 ) for a one-way, 13-mile shuttle hike.
Red Lodge, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
Crazy Creek, a tributary of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, is formed from a string of lakes that includes Fox Lake, Widewater Lake, Big Moose Lake, and Ivy Lake. Crazy Creek Falls, located near the confluence with the Clarks Fork, is a short 1 5-minute hike, but it is hard not to spend a few hours here. The falls is a massive cascade, plunging over slabs of granite rock. Along the edge of the thunderous cascade are flat, terraced rocks for sunbathing or exploring. Beside the cascades and waterfalls are cold soaking pools and even a bubble-filled “jacuzzi.” This natural water park is a favorite spot for those who know about it. The hike follows the first section of the Crazy Lakes Trail, a pack route to Ivy Lake and Crazy Mountain.
Pilot Peak, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Daisy Pass and Wolverine Pass lie above 9,000 feet in the Gallatin National Forest just north of Cooke City (back cover photo). Wolverine Pass is on the Absaroka- Beartooth Wilderness boundary and adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. This hike begins atop 9,750-foot Daisy Pass (back cover photo) and crosses several forks of the Stillwater River headwaters. The scenic footpath follows the base of the towering, jagged peaks to Wolverine Pass in a deep saddle between Wolverine Peak and Mount Abundance. Throughout the hike are spectacular top-of-the-world vistas of the surrounding peaks, including Crown Butte, Chimney Rock, Miller Mountain, Sunset Peak, Wolverine Peak, Mount Abundance, and Scotch Bonnet Mountain.
Cooke City, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
The Davis Creek Trail heads west out of the West Boulder Valley towards Elephanthead Mountain and Mount Delano, connecting with trails to Paradise Valley, the next valley to the west. The trail begins from the West Boulder Campground, crosses Davis Creek on a footbridge, then parallels the west side of the wide creek below Shell Mountain and Lyon Mountain for 1 0 miles to the Deep Creek Divide. This hike follows the first five miles of the trail to Blacktail Creek at its confluence with Davis Creek. The remote path weaves through intermittent timber, open meadows, and a quarter mile of private ranch land.
Livingston, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This string of six lakes sits at the eastern base of the Beartooth Plateau in a gorgeous sub-alpine meadow with wildflowers. The hike begins from a short dirt road between Long Lake and Little Bear Lake, but does not follow an actual trail. The route follows Little Bear Creek from lake to lake through open, tree-dotted meadows marbled with small streams and scattered with lichen-covered rocks. Throughout the hike, panoramic views extend across the Beartooth Plateau to the Absaroka Range.
Beartooth Mountains, WY - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.5
This trail in the East Boulder drainage parallels Dry Fork Creek, a perennial tributary of the East Boulder River. The Dry Fork Trail begins at the end of East Boulder Road and gains substantial elevation up to Meyers Creek Pass between the East Boulder and northwest Stillwater drainages. The pass lies on an 8,1 1 1 -foot saddle on the boundary of the Gallatin and Custer national forests, where panoramic vistas span across the remote backcountry. En route, the path leads through a scenic valley, meadows, and forests to Moccasin Lake, a beautiful oblong lake in a natural depression. The tarn is surrounded by meadows and backed by forested mountains.
Limestone, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
The Heritage Trail is comprised of a network of walking and biking paths linking the greater Billings area with the Yellowstone River, the Rimrocks, county and city parks, and open spaces. The Dutcher Trail is a segment of the Heritage Trail along the Yellowstone River. It was named for Jim Dutcher, who originally developed the trails in Riverfront Park. This hike follows the scenic Dutcher Trail from Two Moon Park atop the rims, then travels down the sandstone shelves to Coulson Park on the banks of the Yellowstone River. This stretch is also called the Metra Trail (due to its close proximity to Metra Park) and the Coulson Trail (from East River Bridge to Coulson Park).
Billings, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6