The Beaten Path Backpacking

Roscoe, Montana 59071

The Beaten Path Backpacking

The Beaten Path (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide

"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 attractions anywhere else. Here, there are so many, most don’t even have names. The cutthroat-filled lakes bring a smile to any angler’s face, and climbers love the place because of the endless array of rock faces. Families and friends frequently choose the Beaten Path for that long-planned wilderness adventure. Consequently, the East Rosebud Trailhead is probably the largest and most heavily used in the Beartooths.

Along the way the route skirts dozens of trout-filled lakes and stunning waterfalls. It penetrates rich forests and wanders the treeless, lichen-covered Beartooth Plateau. This trail touches the true essence of the Beartooths. This is the land of rushing water. Waterfalls and frothy, cascading streams are everywhere. This trail has dozens of options for off-trail adventures—which is one reason the Beartooths can swallow up hundreds of people and leave the trail seemingly abandoned. Special attractions: Perhaps the best opportunity to really experience the breadth and diversity of the Beartooths."

The Beaten Path (Backpacking) Reviews

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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!
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!
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!

The Beaten Path (Backpacking) Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
About 4 days
Best summer and fall
Absaroka - Beartooth Wilderness
Local Contacts
USGS Alpine, Castle Mountain, Fossil Lake; USFS Absaroka - Beartooth Wilderness
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018