The Beaten Path

Columbus, Montana 59019

The Beaten Path

The Beaten Path Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The most popular trans-Beartooth route and perhaps the best opportunity to really experience the austerity, breadth, and diversity of the Beartooths."

The Beaten Path Reviews

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9/18/2010
My wife and I did this right at the end of the season and happened to catch it when the weather was cool but not cold. The difficulty was moderate in places but the trail was easy to follow. For our trip, we did not have anyone to pick us up or drop a car on the other side so we started from Elm Lake (East side) and went to Fossil Lake and back. This was by far the most beautiful hike that we've done. Every few miles the geology and vegetation change...all stunning in their own way. We highly recommend it!
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8/21/2009
Completely spectacular! Long and strenuous but worth every step! I recommend doing it in 5 or more days so you have time to relax and fish. We did it in four days and spent most of our time hiking. Lots of wild raspberries between Elk lake and East Rosebud in late August! Most beautiful part of the hike is between Fossil lake and Lake at Falls, but it's all spectacular!
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8/6/2006
I did this trip about three years ago, and never got around to posting about it. It is a very spectacular trip. There was quite a bit of other people on the trail, and so if you want to get to a place where you feel like you are way out there, this is probably not the place. The lakes were very beautiful, but the most beautiful part of this hike is the scenery you end up seeing after you start descending from Fossil Lake. We had pretty good success fishing. I would suggest spending 5 days in the area, so you have time to explore some trails/lakes that are off of the main trail (which I regret that we didn't do...we spent 4 days and stayed on the main trail). This is definitely a trip worth going on!
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The Beaten Path Photos

Trail Information

Columbus
Nearby City
26
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
Day hike or backpack
Duration
USGS Alpine, Castle Mountain, and Fossil Lake; RMS Cooke City–Cutoff Mountain and Alpine-Mount Maurice; and at least 1 wilderness-wide map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018