Cooke City / Kersey Lake / Rock Island Lake

Cooke City, Montana

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The ski trail to Kersey Lake and then to Rock Island Lake presents picturesque backdrops, a gentle backcountry experience, and the opportunity to ski into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, north and east of Yellowstone National Park. The Beartooth Mountains, with peaks over 12,000 feet, are the highest of Montana’s mountain ranges. Among the Beartooths is the state’s giant, Granite Peak, at 12,799 feet. Hundreds of glaciated alpine and subalpine lakes sit among the granite peaks. The beautiful Absaroka Range to the north is named for the Crow Indian word for crow. The 944,748 acres of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness gained its official wilderness status in 1975. Watch for wolves, moose, mule deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep in this region. Although the trailhead is only 3 miles from Cooke City on a summer road, it’s a good idea to arrange a snowmobile shuttle to the trailhead to avoid high-speed snowmobile traffic. However, skiers can take the road, Surface quality: Snowmobile-packed, skier-packed, and backcountry.
Winter Trails: Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Winter Trails: Montana

by Jean Arthur (The Globe Pequot Press)

The ski trail to Kersey Lake and then to Rock Island Lake presents picturesque backdrops, a gentle backcountry experience, and the opportunity to ski into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, north and east of Yellowstone National Park. The Beartooth Mountains, with peaks over 12,000 feet, are the highest of Montana’s mountain ranges. Among the Beartooths is the state’s giant, Granite Peak, at 12,799 feet. Hundreds of glaciated alpine and subalpine lakes sit among the granite peaks.

The beautiful Absaroka Range to the north is named for the Crow Indian word for crow. The 944,748 acres of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness gained its official wilderness status in 1975. Watch for wolves, moose, mule deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep in this region. Although the trailhead is only 3 miles from Cooke City on a summer road, it’s a good idea to arrange a snowmobile shuttle to the trailhead to avoid high-speed snowmobile traffic. However, skiers can take the road, Surface quality: Snowmobile-packed, skier-packed, and backcountry.

©  Jean Arthur/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing
Nearby City: Cooke City
Distance: 10
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: Day use
Trailhead Elevation: 8,036 feet
Top Elevation: 8,166 feet
Additional Use: Snowmobiling
Local Contacts: Avalanche Advisory, (406)-587-6981
Driving Directions: Directions to Cooke City / Kersey Lake / Rock Island Lake

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Apr 2018