Explore the most popular walking trails in Custer National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hiking trail. I would definitely do it again. Beautiful scenery the entire trail length up to Lost Lake. The hike wasn’t very vigorous with elevation gain or strenuous exercise but the 5 mile journey was definitely worth the view! As I said, overall, would definitely do it again!

Calendar picture perfect!

Great Hike! Be sure to cross the creek when the trail sign says keep left. It was very dark when we went and didn’t see the makeshift bridge that was back a ways. We ended up taking a big detour to find the trail again.

trail running
2 days ago

Ran/hiked this trail 8/8 from Cooke City to East Rosebud. Perfect weather, mosquitos weren’t bad as long as you had spray on, saw deer, chipmunks, marmots, lots of fish and a grizzly. The most beautiful scenery out there. Highly recommend!

Looking for a key swap August 24 or 25, saraquinn2006@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Looking to do a key/car swap August 22nd for this trip. Please email cseniorita@hotmail.com if interested. Thanks!
-Jessica

Well kept trail with two beautiful lakes and a waterfall. The trail is well worn but the markings are poor and it's easy to get off trail if you're not paying close attention.

fun hike, cool lake and lots of wildlife.
we were charged at by a moose so bring bear spray

Lots of uphill, with short bursts of flat. The waterfalls at the bottom and the wild raspberries in the burned out area are a plus. Look for the little cabin at mile 2. Lake is nice, but not the “gorgeous mountain lake” I was looking for.

Great, easy hike! Good for kids in the 7-13 range.

Great hike. Not too difficult, not too easy. Very steady incline all the way up, only had to stop once on the way to the top. I've read that there's some confusion as to where the turnoff to Lost Lake is, just look for a tree that's been cut and on top of the cut is a little rock cairn. Turn left there and it's about another 1/4 to 1/2 mile. I'll share a picture for reference.

Great hike good fishing at September morn

Wildflowers were remarkable, mostly the Fireweed. Lake is much bigger than usual due to high snow melt this year, creek crossings are moderately difficult without getting wet. I'd consider this a mild-moderate hike. The first mile is definitely a tough warm-up, the last 3.5 miles are a bit easier.

backpacking
9 days ago

Looking to do a key swap 8/25, ideally going Southbound. Thinking of meeting in Livingston and switching cars that morning.

If interested, please email Ryanscuddy@gmail.com
Thanks!

Looking for someone to key swap with 8/16-19. We are flexible as to which direction we will go. Please email jflyons7@yahoo.com. Thanks!

backpacking
11 days ago

we left from Cooke City last week and hiked for three days. Skeeters were bad until Russel Lake, then no issues as we climbed higher. Creek/river crossings were not a problem, but at least 4 required water shoes, but nothing dangerous. We saw evidence of bears but did not encounter any. Stunning scenery everywhere.

backpacking
11 days ago

Gorgeous trail! Really enjoyed the section of the trail above the timberline, amazing views. There is a creek crossing very close to the lake that is tough to rock-hop across, maybe be ready to do a little creek wading if the water's high. Other than that, I enjoyed the moderate challenge level of the hike and the absence of other people - was up there 20 hours and only saw one other party.

Great trail conditions. Wildlife and campsite is great!

Pretty trail and views. Very rocky, need shoes or boots if taking horses.

Isn't maintained and expect a lot of water! Good hike, lots of fun.

hiking
15 days ago

Would like to do a key/car swap Aug 11-14. Ideally would like to hike North->South, leaving our car at the Cooke City (south) end. Contact me at sdeem@mac.com if interested in arranging something...

Steve

So many wild flowers and berries! Busy trail and still ran into a bear.

hiking
17 days ago

Would like to do a key swap 8/8-8/12 if timing works for someone. Will be hiking from Cooke City to East Rosebud with my son beginning the morning of the 8th. Contact me at montanafos@gmail.com if interested. Thanks...

Would like to do a key swap in the window 9/4 - 9/8 ideally, if someone else is looking to skip the Labor Day rush. Prefer to do Cooke City to East Rosebud but could be persuaded to go the other way and shift days a few in either direction if there's no other choice. Please contact junemolgaard@hotmail.com

Great hike. Absolutely stunning. It’s 5 miles round trip to the lower lake and 8 miles round trip to the upper lake. Be prepared for different weather patterns as the elevation changes. We got hailed on in July near the top!

So beautiful. Our favorite trip so far in MT. A couple creek crossings where we got to take off our shoes :) saw a black bear on the trail. Great camping at rainbow lake.

Gorgeous hike! Spectacular views. This is one we were saving for a cooler day...since you have to hike through a lot of the exposed areas that were ravaged by fire years ago. With that being said, this also keeps the view unobstructed for most of the hike...amazing! Worth the drive!

hiking
19 days ago

Quick decision to go hiking in this beautiful wilderness,so I wasn’t 100% prepared(hammock and few layers) camp my first night at rosebud camping site with beautiful alpine views,continued the next morning on the trail to cook city,hiked about 12miles and camp the night at dunngen then decide next morning to turn around and hiked with a group back to resebud,before getting back, spend another night at elk lake and finish my wilderness trip the following morning~ breathtaking views and paradise wilderness ,recommend this hike,just came prepare,can get pretty cold and wilderness is all around you,bear spray is good protection 7-25 / 7-28

hiking
21 days ago

Hitting the trail next week for 5 full days after a long awaited delay from hurricane Harvey. Having a hard time trying to decide what portions of the trail to hike through and what portions to spend extra time in ( bc it all looks amazing). Would like to explore some side trails/ lakes. Any recommendations on the best lakes to camp at that offer the best off the main trail excursions? Any advice is much appreciated!!

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked this trail about four years ago, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Great scenery and stunning views. Going to go again at the end of July.

I'm looking for a key exchange. My group is hiking from Clark's fork trailhead on July 31st to East Rosebud on August 3rd. Would love to make something work, email Pete at peter.s.weber@ndus.edu. Thanks!

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