Clay Butte to Native Lake Clay Butte Trail

Beartooth Mountains, Wyoming

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Native Lake sits in a deep cirque on the north end of Beartooth Butte, an ancient 3.5-mile-long outcropping of sedimentary rock. Granite erratics—boulders that were transported and deposited by retreating glaciers—are scattered along the butte’s northern slope. Three trailheads lead to Native Lake: the Beartooth Highlakes Trail by Island Lake (Hike 46), the Beauty Lake Trail by Beartooth Lake (Hike 48), and the Upper Granite Loop Trail by Clay Butte (this hike). The trail begins at 9,550 feet, just below the Clay Butte Fire Lookout, and crosses expansive alpine meadows with wildflowers and groves of Engelmann spruce, whitebark pine, and subalpine fir. Throughout the hike are fantastic vistas of Pilot and Index Peaks and the snow-capped peaks of the Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges.

Clay Butte to Native Lake: Clay Butte Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Native Lake sits in a deep cirque on the north end of Beartooth Butte, an ancient 3.5-mile-long outcropping of sedimentary rock. Granite erratics—boulders that were transported and deposited by retreating glaciers—are scattered along the butte’s northern slope. Three trailheads lead to Native Lake: the Beartooth Highlakes Trail by Island Lake (Hike 46), the Beauty Lake Trail by Beartooth Lake (Hike 48), and the Upper Granite Loop Trail by Clay Butte (this hike).

The trail begins at 9,550 feet, just below the Clay Butte Fire Lookout, and crosses expansive alpine meadows with wildflowers and groves of Engelmann spruce, whitebark pine, and subalpine fir. Throughout the hike are fantastic vistas of Pilot and Index Peaks and the snow-capped peaks of the Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Beartooth Mountains
Distance: 7.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Natural Bridge State park
Local Maps: USGS: Muddy Creek and Beartooth Butte
Driving Directions: Directions to Clay Butte to Native Lake: Clay Butte Trail

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May 2018