Nichols Creek Trail

Red Lodge, Montana 59068

Nichols Creek Trail

Nichols Creek Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Nichols Creek, a tributary of the West Fork of Rock Creek, flows through a beautiful side drainage from Grizzly Peak. The solitary trail parallels Nichols Creek on a rutted Forest Service road, winding through aspen, fir, and pine groves.

The hike leads to a couple of overlooks with vistas of the West Fork Canyon, Rock Creek Canyon, Mount Maurice, the limestone spires, and eastward to the Pryor Mountains."

Nichols Creek Trail Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon4 Total
Short version: Relatively intense and rocky switchback climb through charred moonscape of totally burned out mountainside leads to luscious mountain greenery and pretty little lakes. I hiked this just days after big rains and much of the first mile or more was like walking a dry, rocky creekbed. This was fine but be careful because some of the rocks are loose. The burned out forest leaves you completely exposed so keep that in mind if hiking on a hot or sunny day. When you reach the unburned forest after 1.5-2 miles you will rejoice at the shade and quiet beauty of it. From there the trail is well-maintained and still steep in places but well worth the effort.
This trail is about 2.5 miles of steady uphill. It is not wise to take small children. Part of the area was burned in a fire last year. It still is beautiful. Took us an hour and 45 minutes to go up and an hour down. Bring skeeter repellant. Pack lots of water and snacks.
Let me start by saying we took this hike with one four year old and two two year olds with us four adults. It was a bit of a challenge and we did only make it to the first lake after 2.5 hours(we were down the mountain in about an hour). The hike summary is right on, a very beautiful hike that I would highly recommend. Would I do it again with the kiddos? Probably not, but it was a great workout :-).
The trail was great. There are very clean rest rooms right at the trail head as well as a map of the area. The information provided about the trail was right on! I enjoyed myself very much and will make trip again.

Nichols Creek Trail Photos

Trail Information

Red Lodge
Nearby City
Trail Type
2 hours
Natural Bridge State park
Local Contacts
USGS: Red Lodge West
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018