Explore the most popular birding trails in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
12 days ago

Love this hike to death. So much so that I plan to have my ashes scattered here. I’ve been coming here since I was a little boy. Nice 5 mile out-and-back scramble. Road to get here is doable in a stock Explorer or two wheel drive Ranger. I wouldn’t do this hike before mid June without snow shoes because the snow likes to linger in this sheltered region a little longer. Trout fishing is pretty good.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful. Very hard backpacking trip. Loved it! Recommend to everyone.

hiking
1 month ago

Really nice hike! Lots of switchbacks and decently steep, but nothing someone who loves hiking can’t handle.

We went on Sept. 1st and the trail was great. It got quite windy at the lake but a light jacket was fine for that. The trail was short enough that the rapid elevation didn't tire me as much as I'd anticipated. I think it's closer to 5 miles out & back though. Will do this hike again next year!

P.S. I was worried about the road driving out there from everything I've read, but my AWD Ford Edge had no problems reaching the trailhead.

backpacking
1 month ago

Climbed Granite Peak via Lady of the Lakes, Aero Lake. Camped above Sky Top Lakes. Beautiful on the way up. Gorgeous lakes and rivers.

hiking
1 month ago

The day I hiked this trail (Tues, 8/21/2018) it was very foggy and there had been a lot of rain, so the creek was quite full. Fortunately the only crossing was on an excellent bridge! The trail is wide, excellently groomed, and runs alongside the creek most of the way. It’s a lovely wooded trail and if my views of the lake were socked in, I really didn’t mind — it was beautiful in an ethereal way. Did meet about 20 other hikers on the trail so even in gloomy weather it’s a busy place. My favorite was the woman with a bell on her pack accompanied by three energetic kids under the age of 10— I could barely hear the bell over the chatter of those kids so I doubt the bears will either!

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was short, but steep. It’s totally worth the climb! The wildflowers, rushing water and scenic mountain views are beautiful. Start early before the trail becomes busy (and before afternoon thunderstorms!) and definitely carry bear spray.

hiking
2 months ago

Non-stop uphill for the first 1.5 miles, then it levels off and heads down to the lake. The views are awesome. The road in is rough but passible with passenger cars. I would advise that you have heavy tread on your tires as standard auto tires may be damaged by the rocks and such. Off road treads are best.

3 months ago

This is a popular trail for a reason! Views of the lake at the end of the trail are breathtaking. I would note that it is longer than 3.6 miles - closer to 5 miles round trip. It’s a strenuous uphill climb for most of the way, but well worth it. Even though there were lots of people out, we saw a bear on the trail, so remember your bear spray!

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is a butt kicker for sure—worth it. A switch backed climb filled with views all the way to the top. Done the first week in July, but of snow for the last half mile or so covering the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail. The first 7 or so miles to Horseshoe Lake are a difficult, steady climb with lots of switchbacks and beautiful wildflowers. Its early July and still snow-covered near the top, but we were able to go over the top without too much post-holing. Horseshoe Lake to Rainbow Lakes was easy and flanked by streams, unnamed lakes, waterfalls, wildflowers, and pink snow. Camped at Rainbow Lake and then completed the loop around Lake Plateau back to Horseshoe to camp the second night. Easily hiked 7 miles out the next day in a couple hours as it was almost all downhill. Quite rocky until Horseshoe and then muddy and wet from Horseshoe through Lake Plateau. Several creek crossings and the water is high and fast! Our actual mileage was closer to 30 when all was said and done. Quintessential Montana hiking and camping—highly recommended!

Great hike. Sign says 7 Miles to lake.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fantastic hike with beautiful views. We did it after a large snowfall, so it was a bit tougher as the snow was knee deep in some places, but the views are worth it. Definitely a trail to do again in the spring/summer. Make sure you take bear spray; lots of obviously bear activity in the area (tracks, scratches, & heard one growl thankfully up the mountain a bit).

hiking
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This is an amazing hike. They rate it Moderate, but I would lean toward Strenuous because of the high elevation and up hill trek. The distance is about 5 miles round trip, but it is all up hill through craggy terrain. Every switchback has a different, breathtaking view with flourishing flora, pine trees, waterfalls, wild huckleberries, blueberries and raspberries galore. Take lots of water. There are big cuttys in the lake! Don't forget your fly rod.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The "road" is a joke. Basically just a continuous bed of rocks you drive over. We've been on many rough roads before but this takes the cake. Had to turn back. We have a 4wd vehicle, it was just too much of an unpleasant experience.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Great views and the wildflowers were amazing!! Little rough getting up but then you get downhill most the way back! Defiantly wanna try going to the lake beyond next time. Tried a little fishing but no takers

Monday, August 07, 2017

loved it!

scenic driving
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Two year ago my friends and I rode motorcycles up through Yellowstone then up over the Beartooth Highway. I had a black bear run against the road in front of me. Pretty exciting time. I look forward to the end of August when I'll be doing it again, but in a car this time. Sharing this beautiful scenery with my wife.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The last four miles of the road getting there is pretty rough. Not a lot of trees. It's out of red Lodge!

backpacking
Monday, July 24, 2017

We basecamped at Lady Lake and spent one of four days at Lower Aero lake. Was on my bucket list and I was not disappointed although did not catch any fish at this giant moon-base lake. The last mile is more of a rock hopping climb and is very steep. Mountain goats spied on us from fairly close. Memorable and lovely.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beautiful trail, the last 4 miles of the road to get there is quite rough, but that part can be walked or biked

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

Great hike with beautiful views throughout. The lake is worth the hike and provides breathtaking views. The water is cool and crystal clear. A must do if you are in the area.

scenic driving
Friday, July 07, 2017

Quite possibly the most beautiful drive in America. Breathtaking views, lots of wildlife. There are multiple camp sites and trails along the way. Most of the drive is in bear country, so make sure you come prepared if you decide to go off on foot.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Well made trail rises uniformly from parking area, and passes through steep boulder stewn Alpine slopes with sparse new tree growth. Near the top there is still a lot of snow and it obscures the trail. The road in would be hard without high clearance vehicle. Well worth the effort.

scenic driving
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This is a dramatic and breathtaking route but don't carry on in to Yellowstone. Instead take the beautiful Chief Joseph highway to Cody to complete a perfect day's driving

scenic driving
Monday, May 29, 2017

Drove opening day on Memorial day Weekend. Did skiing in top

hiking
Friday, March 24, 2017

Very scenic trail with waterfalls & mountains.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Incredible!

scenic driving
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

the most beautiful drive in North America

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

Outstanding! This is a climb but well worth it. the last half mile is breathtaking. The lake view is outstanding. There just isn't anything I didn't like other than the road to get to it. There was snow and a little ice about half way up the trail but not enough to need snow shoes this time.

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