Day Hikes in The Beartooth Mountains
by Robert Stone (The Globe Pequot Press)
© 2012 Robert Stone/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.
Definitely prepare for a challenge over the first mile to 1.5miles as the switchbacks are steep and there is very little shade to be had on a sunny day. Still not really passable much past Bear Track Trail as the snow is about 4 feet deep and very soft.
Spectacular. A fire burned everything in the first 3.5 miles of this hike relatively recently (possibly in 2007 or 2008?) so the majority of the hike is through the alien land of charred trees and ash. This can make for a hot hike on a sunny day; shade is hard to come by. At about 3.5 miles you reach the fire line; beyond that the trail is gorgeous, green, and increasingly wet as you approach the lakes at the top. The contrast between the burned out moonscape and the lush mountain habitats could not be more stark and you'll appreciate the alpine sights, scents, and sounds all the more for having spent the last hour or more walking through the burned out forest remains below. Be prepared to cross a few streams by walking over logs that have been tipped across them for that purpose, and then prepare yourself for a jaw-dropping vista when you top the last rise and the high mountain cirque opens up before you around Timberline Lake. This hike requires a bit of effort because you're climbing for a good 4 miles before you get this reward, but it's definitely worth it!
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