Easy Day Hikes
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Beartooth Mountains, Red Lodge
If you’re traveling along Highway 212 (The Beartooth Highway), and need a quick stop to stretch your legs, stop by Gardner Lake. This trailhead is one of the highest in the Beartooths, at 10,550 ft above sea level, so be prepared to be winded on this short trail. In addition to the altitude taking your breath away, the view certainly will as well. Gardner Lake sits at the bottom of a bowl, and the hike down to the lake allows you to see Tibbs Butte and Littlerock Creek. The scenery is beautiful any time of the year, but it’s wise to hike to Gardner Lake in the late summer, due to the rampant mosquitoes. Leaving the trailhead, and hiking straight down, your quick hike to Gardner Lake begins.
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12 Feb 2018
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Gallatin Range, Hiking Trails in Yellowstone National Park, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Gallatin Range, Yellowstone National Park
Fawn Pass Trailhead
Fan Creek is possibly the most popular hike along the Yellowstone National Park boundary. With the trailhead located just off of Highway 191, Fan Creek is a quick drive from West Yellowstone and Bozeman. It’s also an easy hike, gaining only 50 feet in the 1.2 miles to the junction with Fan Creek Trail. The fishing along Fan Creek is great any time of the year. The scenery certainly won’t disappoint, either. Since Fan Creek is this accessible and beautiful, it’s easy to see why Fan Creek is popular in the summer and winter.
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09 Feb 2018
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Beartooth Mountains, Easy Day Hikes, geology, Red Lodge
Red Lodge Creek Trail #14
Red Lodge Creek Trail #14 is a quick day hike through a mature forest. This hike is mostly traveled by local residents, so the traffic is usually lighter than other day hikes near Red Lodge. The trail traffic is exceptionally light in the late fall (where about half of the upper trail is inaccessible), which makes Red Lodge Creek Trail a nice late season or early season day hiking trail. If you’re looking for the possibility of an uninterrupted day in the mountains, Red Lodge Creek Trail might have what you’re looking for.
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10 Nov 2017
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Beartooth Mountains, Red Lodge
Keyser Brown Lake
Keyser Brown Lake is a beautiful mountain lake that is easily accessible from Lake Fork Trail #1, in the Beartooth Mountains. This forested lake is at 8,700 feet, making it one of the easiest to access lakes along the Lake Fork Trail. The trail to Keyser Brown Lake only climbs 1,600 feet along the seven mile trail, which is what makes this lake so easy to reach. Keyser Brown Lake also excels as a base camp, supports a good brook trout fishery, and will help you escape the busy crowds on their way to Lost Lake. Leaving the paved parking lot, and crossing a sturdy bridge over the Lake Fork of Rock Creek, your trip to Keyser Brown Lake begins.
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27 Jul 2017
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Gallatin Range, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Easy Day Hikes, Gallatin Range, Hyalite Canyon
Grotto Falls, located in Bozeman’s scenic Hyalite Canyon, is a beautiful waterfall that can be reached within a half hour. Although the waterfall isn’t particularly tall, Grotto Falls makes up for that by its sheer volume. Hyalite Creek gushes over the falls into the pools below, creating perfect swimming holes to relax in after a hot day. Access to the falls is excellent, with the trail well groomed, and highly trafficked. Simply put, Grotto Falls should be on your must-see list if you are hiking towards Hyalite Lake, or even just in Hyalite Canyon for a day.
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02 Jul 2017
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Gallatin Range, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Gallatin Range, Hyalite Canyon, waterfalls
There are many hikes on this site that can last for days, test your physical strength, and require navigational skills to reach your intended destination. Fortunately, Palisade Falls is not one of those hikes. The hike to Palisade Falls is quite possibly the easiest hike I’ve ever written about. You don’t need a water bottle or a backpack for this hike, and you don’t even need hiking boots for this hike. Instead, Palisade Falls offers something that few trails do- accessibility for everyone. This short 1-mile out-and-back hike can be explored by toddlers, the elderly, and even people who require wheelchairs or crutches. Simply put, this is the easiest hike you’ll ever take, but don’t let this dissuade you from hiking the Palisade Falls Trail. The natural beauty that Palisade Falls provides will still awe you, even if the hike won’t.
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01 Jul 2017
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Gallatin Range, Hiking Trails in Yellowstone National Park, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Gallatin Petrified Forest, Gallatin Range, geology, Yellowstone National Park
Petrified Wood on the Gallatin Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail
If you’re interested in the geological forces that shaped the mountains outside of Yellowstone National Park, or simply enjoy viewing petrified wood and semi-precious gems, the Gallatin Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail is an amazing trail. Although this trail is short, it gains 625 feet of elevation along the way (most of it during the last half mile). This gives a great calf stretch on the way to Yellowstone National Park, and is an excellent introduction to Yellowstone’s unique geology. Once you’re ready to hike this beautiful interpretive trail, drive down Tom Miner Rd for a dusty 11 miles, and begin your quick geologic adventure.
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28 Jun 2017
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Gallatin Range, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: bozeman, Easy Day Hikes, Gallatin Range
Rat Lake, located just outside of Bozeman, MT, is a day hike that attracts many hikers, anglers, and tourists. The quick hike, combined with the close proximity to Yellowstone, Bozeman, and Big Sky, draw in many locals and tourists each year. The high traffic on this hike shouldn’t discourage you, though. Anglers will appreciate the trout fishing, hikers will be encouraged to hike further down the trail, and tourists will love the quick chance to stretch their legs. This trail even offers a chance to stay overnight in a US Forest cabin- Rat Lake Trail #416 offers everyone a quick trip into the Gallatin Range.
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12 Jun 2017
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in Yellowstone National Park, Montana Hiking Trails
Bacon Rind Creek
If you’re looking for a quick day hike near West Yellowstone with beautiful scenery, look no further than Bacon Rind Creek. This short hike is great for small kids and adults alike, since the trail gains only a little over 300 feet in 2 ½ miles. Hikers looking for an adventure shouldn’t be worried about the trail’s easy grade– just because this is an easy hike it shouldn’t turn you away from Bacon Rind Creek, this grassy valley harbors some of Yellowstone’s famous wildlife; bears, moose, and rainbow trout all thrive in this valley. Once you’ve found the trailhead (refer to the directions below), you can begin this quick hike.
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20 Dec 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Gallatin Range, Hiking Trails in Yellowstone National Park, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Easy Day Hikes, Gallatin Range, Yellowstone National Park
Tepee Pass is a scenic day hike that is located just barely outside of Yellowstone National Park, and although the trail isn’t technically in the park, you can still see vistas of the park and the surrounding mountain ranges. Tepee Pass provides one of those rare moments when you can see two mountain ranges in all of their glory- the Gallatin Range to your left and right, and the Madison Range in front of you. While you’re on this hike, you also have the opportunity to see some of Yellowstone’s famous wildlife- bears, moose, and deer. If you’re not afraid of hiking up a large hill, the hike up to Tepee Pass is worth your time.
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29 Nov 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Madison Range, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Easy Day Hikes, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, Madison Range, Spanish Peaks
Tumbling 40 feet into a narrow gorge, Falls Creek creates the dramatic display that is known as Pioneer Falls. Pioneer Falls is mesmerizing to watch, as gallon upon gallon of pristine water tumbles its way towards the southern fork of Spanish Creek. Standing here, you have to appreciate the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, and the need for wilderness areas in this country. To be humbled by nature’s creation, you only have to hike a few miles from civilization. Many trail guides list this hike as a 7.5 mile hike, but that is not correct- the hike to the falls is only 3 miles, making the total trip length 6 miles.
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07 Nov 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Black Hills | Tags: Black Hills
Little Elk Creek Trail
Conveniently located just 20 minutes from Rapid City, South Dakota, Little Elk Creek Trail offers the ability to quickly hop on a scenic trail, and start exploring the woods. This easy trail is a quick detour from I-90, and is close enough to Rapid City for a quick walk in the woods after work. Little Elk Creek Trail is 6 miles long, and gains only 500 feet in the first three miles, making it an easy trail for kids and older adults. Mountain bikers will enjoy the easy trail grade, and will especially appreciate the few boulders on the trail. If you’ve got a few hours to spare, head towards interstate exit 44, and the Black Hills.
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22 Oct 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Front Range | Tags: Eldorado Canyon, Front Range
Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is a quick 3 ½ mile hike through some of the most scenic views in Eldorado Canyon. This trail is full of natural beauty, with sheer quartzite and granite cliffs surrounding the hike, and vistas of distant mountain peaks. The trailhead is also close to Denver International Airport, making it a convenient detour for travelers in the area. Finding the trailhead is easy, although it does involve a fee; the Eldorado Canyon Park requires a $8 charge for those wishing to hike or climb in the canyon. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail, however.
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23 Sep 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains | Tags: Beartooth Mountains, Easy Day Hikes
For a quick hike to a beautiful mountain lake that’s near Cooke City, there’s no better place than Becker Lake. The trail to Becker Lake is a bit lengthy at 9 miles, but the flat trail and numerous nearby lakes will work hard to help you overlook the distance. These 9 miles are also the flattest in the Beartooth Mountains, making the hike to Becker Lake a perfect hike for kids, and older adults. As such, you can expect to see other hikers on this trail. Thankfully, a few extra hikers won’t detract from the alpine beauty of this hike.
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27 Aug 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Beartooth Mountains, Easy Day Hikes
If you’re seeking a lake less than 3 miles from a popular trailhead, while at the same time looking for isolation from others, look no further than Margaret Lake. Although the trail isn’t as easy to follow as others (the last quarter mile is hard to follow at times), the fishing and solitude more than make up for the quarter mile of stumbling though brush. Located just a few minutes from Cooke City, you’ll pass many hikers on the way into Margaret Lake, but you’ll be almost guaranteed solitude once you arrive at the lake. This trail does lead through an area that is notorious for its bear population, so be sure that you know how to safely hike in bear country, before you leave the trailhead. This hike starts from the busy Clarks Fork Trailhead, easily accessible from Highway 212.
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19 Jul 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains | Tags: Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Beartooth Mountains, Easy Day Hikes
Located just 2 ½ miles from the Clarks Fork trailhead, Vernon Lake is a perfect day hike for travelers on their way to Cooke City, or Yellowstone National Park. The trail gains very little elevation, and offers the opportunity to see wildlife such as deer, moose, and yes- bears. Finding the trailhead is incredibly easy, since it is both well signed, and next to Highway 212. Although you’ll pass many hikers on the first mile of this hike, once you turn onto the Vernon Lake trail, the traffic diminishes greatly. Another feature of this trail is a side trip to the Flume Trail at the beginning of the hike, which offers an educational opportunity about the now-defunct hydroelectric dam that was built in 1916. This “trail” is wheelchair accessible, while of course the hike to Vernon Lake is not.
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11 Jul 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Beartooth Mountains, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Beartooth Mountains, Easy Day Hikes
Meyers Creek Trail
Meyers Creek Trail #27 offers a chance to enjoy the outdoors on a well established trail, without the crowds. This trail is great for any hiker’s skill level, or physical condition. Rockhounds will be satisfied with the fossils and metamorphic rocks that are easily found on the trail, and hunters will find no shortage of wild game. For some, the trailhead is scenic enough, but to fully appreciate the trail, you’ll want to stretch your legs.
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01 Jun 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Absaroka Range, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Absaroka Range, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Easy Day Hikes
East Fork Boulder River
South of McLeod, MT, lies the East Fork Boulder River, a popular trail that leads to less than popular destinations. The trail runs 3.5 miles to the bridge over the East Fork Boulder River, where many hikers choose to fish, camp, or hike onward to the Lake Plateau. The camping at the East Fork Boulder River is excellent, with both firewood and trout in large supply. For a novice backpacker, the low elevation gained on this hike make it a good choice. In fact, the hardest part of this hike might be driving to the trailhead itself.
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08 May 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Madison Range, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Easy Day Hikes, Madison Range
Ouzel Falls, located in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for a quick hike to a scenic waterfall. The South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River (which is a mouthful, to say the least) plunges over the falls, on its way to the Gallatin River. Ouzel Falls is located just .75 miles from the trailhead, making it a short hike after a long day of skiing, or an attractive detour on the way to Yellowstone. The low grade of the trail is easy for most hikers, although there are many side trips along the way if you want to stretch your calves. In winter, the trail to the falls, and the falls themselves, are the most scenic.
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01 May 2016
Author: chris | Category: Easy Day Hikes, Hiking Trails in the Pryor Mountains, Montana Hiking Trails | Tags: Easy Day Hikes, Pryor Mountains
Cottonwood Road BLM
Most people think of a beautiful lake or a scenic alpine view, when they think of hiking. They imagine a beautiful drive to the trailhead, where they might see a cascade of water rushing down the valley, or evergreen forests that surround the road. Most people overlook the Cottonwood Road area, which is equally beautiful in its own right. Covered only with sagebrush and a few juniper trees, Cottonwood Road’s beauty is something you have to hike away from the road to appreciate.
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01 Apr 2016