Tag Archives: Easy Day Hikes

Calamity and Sentinel Falls- Beartooth Mountains

Calamity and Sentinel Falls- Beartooth Mountains

Calamity Falls

If you’re looking for a short day hike that allows you to see two spectacular waterfalls, look no further than Calamity Falls and Sentinel Falls. These two waterfalls are located a short distance from Red Lodge, making them a perfect short day hike. This hike is only 3.6 miles long, and gains only 511 feet, making it a good first wilderness hike for young hikers. The trail begins on the north side of the trailhead parking lot, which is clearly marked.

This is a well maintained trail, which you will notice immediately as you head down the trail. This trail is very popular in the Red Lodge area, and many boots have worn a nice trail. Try and do a good deed here, and pick up any trash that you might see on the trail. Although this trail is well groomed, it’s heavy use makes cleanup harder for the forest service. It only takes a little garbage to ruin the pristine appearance of the wilderness, which is reached after the first quarter mile of the trail.

Continue reading “Calamity and Sentinel Falls- Beartooth Mountains” »

01 Jul 2015

Rock Island Lake- Beartooth Mountains

Rock Island Lake

Rock Island Lake

Located near Cooke City on the famous Beartooth Highway, Rock Island Lake is an excellent choice for a day hike, or relaxed fishing in the wilderness. The hike is relatively short (6 miles round trip), on a trail that is mostly level (only gaining 270 feet at it’s highest point). The hike to Rock Island Lake also offers an excellent opportunity to view wildlife such as moose and deer. The trail is easy to follow, as long as you pay attention to the signs along the trail.

Continue reading “Rock Island Lake- Beartooth Mountains” »

08 Jun 2015

Kersey Lake- Beartooth Mountains

Kersey Lake

Kersey Lake

You will rarely find a lake that offers fishing, good wildlife viewing opportunities, and is close to a major highway. Kersey Lake, located near Cooke City, Montana, is a relaxed day hike with the all of these features. The hike is an easy hike (3 miles round trip), and gains less than 200 feet of elevation. This makes the hike a perfect first hike for small children, or a quick hike for travellers passing through the area. The road to the trailhead is paved, so any motor vehicle can make the drive- something that is rare for a lake next to the Beartooth Absaroka Wilderness.

Driving to the trailhead can be considered an adventure itself. Whether if you are headed from Red Lodge, Yellowstone National Park, or Cody, you will pass trout filled lakes along the way, scenic alpine vistas, and glacier fed streams. Access to the trailhead is possible most of the time from late May to early October, but it is always best to check the Montana Road Conditions Map before you head out. The well signed Clarks Fork Trailhead is located 58.1 miles from Red Lodge, or 3.4 miles from Cooke City, on US 212.

Continue reading “Kersey Lake- Beartooth Mountains” »

06 Jun 2015

Passage Falls- Absaroka Range

Passage Falls

Passage Falls

Passage Falls

Standing beneath the falls, a whirlwind of mist covers you. The mist clings to anything that isn’t already wet, and the roar of the falls deafens you. Looking up, it’s hard to imagine how many hundreds of gallons of water are pouring over the falls, or how this waterfall managed to drastically change the volcanic outcrops that you cling to. Passage Creek beneath the falls becomes a torrent, as the water rushes out of the narrow valley. This place is Passage Falls, a popular hiking destination in the Absaroka Range, and a great place for a short day hike.

Located South of Livingston, Passage Falls is an easy to find hike that offers a spectacular waterfall. The short length (4.2 miles), easy to follow trail, and low gain in elevation (490 ft) makes Passage Falls an excellent hike for hikers of any level. Although this is an excellent trail most of the year, the best times to visit are between mid-May and mid-June, when the water levels are at their highest. In addition, the trail is quite busy later in the summer, so spring tends to be my preferred season for hiking this short trail.

Continue reading “Passage Falls- Absaroka Range” »

26 May 2015

Glacier Lake- Beartooth Mountains

Glacier Lake

Glacier Lake



Glacier Lake offers an afternoon of fishing, hiking, and photography.  Located close to Red Lodge, Glacier Lake is also an extremely popular lake- so expect some company on the trail.  The trail is short (but steep), the scenery beautiful, and the trout willing.  Thankfully, the road to the trailhead (forest service road 421) helps limit the traffic on the trail.  To be sure, your car will take more abuse on the ride to the trailhead, than you will on the trail itself.

If your truck or SUV can handle the road, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to hike to four different lakes in the basin.  Anglers will love the fishing opportunities in these lakes.  Climbers will love the seemingly endless supply of boulders, spires, and peaks to climb.  Photographers will enjoy the stunning scenery.  All of these lakes are located near each other, so this makes for a great day of exploring an alpine paradise.
Continue reading “Glacier Lake- Beartooth Mountains” »

01 Feb 2015

West Boulder Meadows- Absaroka Range

West Boulder Meadows- Absaroka Range

Boulder Meadows

Boulder Meadows

Located south of Big Timber, the north end of the Absaroka Range is best described as a typical western mountain range.  Instead of the numerous lakes, and tall, jagged peaks of the Beartooth Mountains; the northern end of the Absaroka Range’s peaks are much lower in elevation, and few lakes are present.  The lakes that have formed in this part of the Absaroka Range are usually high elevation lakes, and usually involve quite the hike to reach.  For these reasons, most anglers and hikers in the Absaroka Range tend to hike and fish near streams and rivers.  A popular destination in all seasons, the West Boulder Meadows is an excellent choice for hiking, snowshoeing, wildlife photography, climbing, or fishing- whatever suits your fancy.
Continue reading “West Boulder Meadows- Absaroka Range” »

22 Jun 2014

Woodbine Falls- Beartooth Mountains

Woodbine Falls- Beartooth Mountains

Woodbine Falls

Woodbine Falls

Woodbine Falls is a fun hike for everyone!  It’s short length, low elevation gain, and well engineered trail all help to make this one of the most popular day hikes for small kids, elderly, and beginner hikers.  At .8 miles one way (1.6 miles out and back) and an elevation gain of only a couple hundred feet, it’s easy to see why this hike is so popular.  This hike is also rare in that it is relatively low (5,300 feet), so it is clear of snow early in the year.  Because of this, you can usually enjoy this trail from May until November.

Continue reading “Woodbine Falls- Beartooth Mountains” »

27 Jan 2014

Sioux Charley Lake- Beartooth Mountains

Sioux Charley Lake

Siox Charlie Lake

Sioux Charley Lake

If you’re looking for a nice lake to hike with the family to, it’s hard to beat Sioux Charley Lake.  Gaining a little under 600 feet over the course of three miles, the trail is relatively flat, and easy for children to hike.  Add in the low elevation (Sioux Charlie Lake is at 5,651 feet), and it’s easy to see why this lake is a popular early season hike. Continue reading “Sioux Charley Lake- Beartooth Mountains” »

13 Jan 2014