Hard to find trailhead. Take green creek road just before red barn/gas station. Go up road. When it divides take table mountain road. Do not stop at "trailhead" unless you need to park trailer. Keep going straight about 2 more mile across stream and up the hill.
Trail starts up hill and gets real steep. Overall about 3 miles to Cairn. Get out early if you also plan on doing ptarmigan peak. Would be a long day and would than go up to 12000. Ascends about 2000 feet. Good views from the top. Bear country. Do not hike alone.
Definitely a hard trail. We attempt to summit but did not make the top. We were camping further from the base of the mountain than we had anticipated. On the mountain one of the snow bridges collapsed while we were there it was definitely a bit late to summit. Part of the trail was washed out by glacial melt. But by far one of the best backpacking trips I have done. Bear spray and bug spray highly recommended. Mosquitoes and horse flies were thick. Saw about 25 people around the base of the mountain maybe 3 on the glacial trail leading to Gannett.
Well worth the hike for the many spectacular views that you will see!!! My husband and I hiked just over 30 miles in 3 days. We started by backpacking up to Lake Elaine and camped there our first night. Absolutely amazing view!!! We saw probably 8-10 lakes throughout our hike. The evenings/mornings were a little chilly but with good camping gear we stayed warm at night. We did about half of our trip on trail and half off trail. I would recommend a good GPS to explore some of the off trail stuff like we did. Plus with a good GPS we were able to tell when we were in Montana and able to fish which was very helpful. Over all total we hiked almost 6,000 vertical feet...we did it without a lot of stopping but are in pretty good shape. I would highly recommend this to someone who wants a good workout and a wonderful view!!!! :)
This is a nice and easy trail that starts up at the top of the Beartooth Pass so you even get nice views on the drive to the trail itself. The trail starts at a campground and follows around a lake (not sure the name). It does cross a stream where you have to rock hop across - just a warning you might get your feet wet! Hiking poles would have helped greatly, especially with a pack on. Bring an extra change of socks! You then head up into a meadow. Probably 2/3 into the way to Beauty Lake you see a river to your right, with a cool waterfall coming down some rock cliffs on the other side. We tried to find a way to get across the river to the waterfall, but couldn't find a way to cross without getting fully submerged. I will have to look into this more next time to see how to get over there. After a while, you come up to a fork in the path and you have to decide whether you want to go to Beauty Lake or Becker Lake. Both were recommended to me from a friend, but we chose Beauty because we heard it was prettier (duh). However, a lot of backpackers were taking the other route to Becker because I believe it's a better place to camp/fish and offers access to other chains of lakes. Once you are super close to the lake, you have to descend quite a ways to get to the lake shore. The views from the shore make it all worth it. Walking back up the trail to the meadow is the hardest part of the hike. It is short and steep though so not a big deal.