Best Backpacking in Montana

This list represents the most popular backpacking in Montana. Use this list to plan your next Montana backpacking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. The Beaten Path (Backpacking)


The most popular trans-Beartooth route. Many people who know the Beartooths say the East Rosebud is the most scenic valley of all. It’s filled with lakes and waterfalls that would be major tourism att…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Roscoe, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 26 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Fifty Mountain (Backpacking)


A long trek through the alpine heart of Glacier National Park. The first 3 miles of the trail go along the Garden Wall directly above Going-to-the- Sun Highway. Some of this is on ledge, which can be…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Columbia Falls, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 30.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Three Passes in Glacier (Backpacking)


A fairly short backpacking trip through outstanding mountain scenery, mostly above timberline. The name Two Medicine comes from the Blackfeet history that refers to two medicine lodges built in the ar…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
East Glacier, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 18.8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Nyack Loop (Backpacking)


This is a long backpacking expedition for experienced hikers into the most remote section of Glacier National Park. Many trails in Glacier Park are heavily used. Others receive surprisingly little use…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
West Glacier, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 37.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Boulder Pass (Backpacking)


A long, scenic shuttle starting in Canada and ending in the United States. Boulder Pass is a truly classic trip and has achieved some widespread popularity because of it. The NPS limits use with the n…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Columbia Falls, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 30.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. The Jewel Basin Complex


The Jewel Basin Hiking Area is widely known for its numerous small lakes set among charming alpine meadows and miniature fir forests. The trailhead is at 5,760 feet elevation, providing one of the few…
From the guidebook "Hiking Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness"
Bigfork, MT - Backpacking, Hiking
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Glacier Lake


A rugged, alpine environment accessible with a short (but steep) hike. Although this route could be done as an overnighter, the Glacier Lake area seems nicely suited to a long day of exploring, fishin…
From the guidebook "Hiking Montana"
Red Lodge, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Jewel Basin (Backpacking)


An easy trip into a popular hiking area in the Swan range in the northwestern corner of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Jewel Basin isn’t a designated wilderness, but the Forest Service manages it li…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Bigfork, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Lake Plateau (Backpacking)


A week-long backpacking vacation into a popular hiking area with a myriad of side trip opportunities. Nicely suited to backpackers who like to set up a base camp. Most locals consider the Boulder Rive…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Big Timber, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 34.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Rock Lake


Rock Lake offers a relatively easy access to a remote and scenic high alpine mountain lake just inside the border of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. Most of the trail is outside the wilderness and s…
From the guidebook "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest"
Noxon, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 10 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#11. St. Regis Lakes


High and easy access off Interstate 90 makes this a popular weekend trip to a scenic mountain lake area. The hike is easy, except for the fairly steep last 0.5 mile up to the main St. Regis Lake. Th…
From the guidebook "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest"
Saint Regis, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 6 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#12. Crazy Mountains Crossing


Rugged mountain scenery along a transmountain range route. The Crazy Mountains stand majestically above the plains near Livingston and Big Timber. Severe glacial scouring has produced the enchanting v…
From the guidebook "Hiking Montana"
Big Timber, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 23 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Sundance Pass (Backpacking)


A fairly rugged, two- or three-day hike for experienced hikers. This well-maintained and heavily used trail is not only one of the most scenic in the Beartooths, but it’s only a short drive from the B…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Red Lodge, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 21 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Granite Lake


Granite Lake is but one of many “destinations” along this route. Just 2 miles up the trail, hikers can enjoy scenic Granite Falls. The trail winds through heavy timber of the Cabinet Mountains Wildern…
From the guidebook "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest"
Libby, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 12 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#15. Blue Lake


A fairly accessible alpine lake basin below Crazy Peak in the Crazy Mountains. Blue Lake and four other beautiful lakes are nestled in a high basin in the shadow of mighty Crazy Peak, the highest poin…
From the guidebook "Hiking Montana"
Big Timber, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Hilgard Basin (Backpacking)


A popular trip into the southern Madison Range. Of all the Madison Range’s natural wonders, the Hilgard Basin is one of the most beautiful and popular. This could be an overnighter or even a long d…
From the guidebook "Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies"
Ennis, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 16 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Leigh Lake


It’s almost sinful that such a stunning area is so easy to reach. Leigh Lake is a spectacular alpine area accessible to virtually anyone who can negotiate a 20 percent uphill grade for nearly 1.5 mile…
From the guidebook "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest"
Libby, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 3 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#18. Sky Lakes & Hanging Valley


A pair of pretty mountain lakes at the base of an unnamed 7,700-foot peak near Sugarloaf Mountain attracts more than a thousand visitors a year to this part of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. The…
From the guidebook "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest"
Libby, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 13 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#19. Cedar Lakes & Scenery Mountain


Hikers who don’t mind the likelihood of skipping over a few horse muffins consider this one of the prettiest hikes in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. Cedar Lakes are nestled in the midst of toweri…
From the guidebook "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest"
Libby, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 11 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#20. Gordon Pass - Koessler Lake


Gordon Pass is one of the easiest routes over the Swan Range and into the wilderness beyond. The pass itself also has outstanding scenic value, and leads to several lakes that provide excellent fishin…
From the guidebook "Hiking Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness"
Swan Lake, MT - Backpacking, Hiking - 15 miles
Published by Falcon Guides