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Mount Ellis Trail is a 10.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Bozeman, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.1 mi Elevation gain 3,129 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (6)
  • 1

    Y to parking area

    Head north to trailhead

    45.61348, -110.96511

  • 2

    Cairn to Mt Ellis trail/Cairn from Mt Ellis trail

    Cairn to Mt Ellis trail: Intersection of trail and road ---- Cairn from Mt Ellis trail: Leaving trail for road when heading downhill

    45.60677, -110.95081

  • 3

    Connect game trail to Lower Mt Ellis trail

    45.59827, -110.95789

  • 4

    Cairn at beginning of game trail

    45.59218, -110.96099

  • 5

    Cairn to game trail

    45.59160, -110.96106

  • 6

    Mount Ellis Summit

    45.57735, -110.95607

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (63)
Photos (57)
Recordings (50)
Completed (102)
Madison McLaughlin
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RunningBugsOver grown
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Sam Ditmyer
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HikingOver grown
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Linda Thompson
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Hiking

We met some folks today on the trail who peaked Lower Mount Ellis because they didn’t see the path branching toward Mount Ellis. This is correct - there is no beaten path. Following the AllTrails map, when you reach waypoint 3, leave the trail and bushwhack to the left, maintaining an even elevation. Cross the upper meadow, and when you are back into some trees, look for the game trail. The side hill is too steep to traverse without it. It sounds confusing, but the views are worth it! More detailed instructions are provided in my earlier posts.

Jaime Benson
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HikingScramble
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Nate Tucker
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Hiking

Only made it to Little Ellis due to the threat of a storm. Great views from the peak of Little Ellis. A good calf burner for the last half mile to the Little Ellis peak.

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Nicolas Andrew
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HikingIcyMuddySnow

Fairly good hike but snow shoes required around second half during the snowy season.

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Matthew Grobe
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Hiking

Awesome trail close to Bozeman! Good views

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Marcia Smith
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HikingMuddy
William Armstrong IV
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Hiking

Rained out, great hike anyway.

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Rachel Carr
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HikingSnow

Still pretty wet and snow covered. Post holing made it a shorter trip than I was hoping.

Linda Thompson
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Hiking

Amazing view of ten mountain ranges from the top of Mount Ellis. About 10 miles out and back, 3050 ft elevation gain. See my two recordings for a map to ascend Mount Ellis without going to the top of Lower Mount Ellis first. This will save you a few hundred feet of unnecessary up and down. Essentially, follow the instructions I posted last year beginning at the trailhead until you arrive at the final ascent to Lower Mount Ellis. At about 7400 feet, veer left off the path toward the lowest point of the saddle connecting the two peaks. Bushwhack across a flower-filled sidehill for about a quarter mile until you connect to a game trail. Follow this game trail to the saddle, watching for cairns at the saddle as these will help you find the way back. Once you connect with the trail connecting the two peaks, it’s straightforward to Mount Ellis. Bring 2-3 liters of water per person. Our 50 lb dog drank 1.5 liters on a mild July day. About 7 hrs total. I had to record the ascent and descent as two trips because my battery died.

Gordon Fowler
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Hiking

The lower fields with the wildflowers is bloom was beautiful. The trails itself was OK but the map has many problems: - The west branch track looks like it’s in error as it doesn’t represent any path I could see. Also, while we went back after this, it’s not clear where it goes. Maybe next time I’ll walk out further and record a better track. - The East track also seems to end when the rambler gave up as it stops in the middle of nowhere. Other tracks seem to have a destination and I’ll try one of them. So: do the hike, stick to the East trail at the fork and keep going. Linda Thompson’s directions below are probably a better approach.

Linda Thompson
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Hiking

This post provides instructions to the summit of Lower Mt Ellis, 8 miles round trip, 2246 ft elevation gain. About 4.5 hours, excluding lunch break. Trailhead is at the end of Mt Ellis LANE, not Mt Ellis Rd. At the end of the public road, there is a private road continuing straight, and the trailhead through a swinging wood gate is located to the right of this road. State land use permit ($10) required. Bring plenty of water for you and your dog! Continue on the trail up the gradual incline through a meadow for about a mile. Veer to the left at the fork to stay on forest service road FS 712 (see map). In about 100 yds, pass through a barb wire gate and continue up the road to about the 2 mile mark. On a grassy slope at a fork, veer right to stay on FS 712 to continue uphill. Keep your eyes open for views of the Crazies and Absarokas. At about the 2.8 mile mark, look for a small rock cairn just off the road on your right and head up the hill to the right. The trail here is narrow and steep. It took us nearly an hour to cover the final mile to the summit. But the 360 degree views of the Bridger, Absaroka, Spanish Peak, and Tobacco Root mountain ranges are truly breathtaking. If you want to peak Mt Ellis, leave early and avoid the up and down to Lower Mt Ellis.

Lindsay Reller
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Hiking

Beautiful to see in late spring/early summer with the wildflowers. Lots of flies at the top so beware! Got really confused by the many forks in the road and no sign as to which direction to take. Found the correct trail on the way back we assume. Had to do some trail blazing up to the saddle because we lost the trail. The correct trail would be to take a right at the first fork at the base of the mountain. Go through the gate that says "please close." Then take a left at the next fork rather than continuing along the fence. Then you get up to a point where the path is wide and not very clear and looks like it may possibly go over a little hump. The trail actually should be on the left right before the hump. We set up a rock cairn and stuck a stick in the ground in an attempt to mark it. The trail is golden after that. You can continue up the ridge to Mount Ellis from Little Ellis.

Patrick Hanni
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Very beginner friendly and quite an easy hike. Done in the spring, it is gorgeous to see the landscapes around covered in snow and new blooming flowers.

Tim Black
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Hiking

This trail is much longer than 2.5 miles if you want to have any views. This must have originally been measured before you have to park at the bottom of the meadow. Just to cross the meadow is a 2 mile loop and another 3.6 loop to the peak (if you make it).

David Buckingham
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Hiking

Great hike to the summits of Little Ellis and Mt. Ellis! We stayed on FS 712 and headed east at the fork at the base of Little Ellis. The 1.8 miles shown on the map is on an old logging road so it's wide and flat. There are a few places where the road is covered in downed logs to prevent motorized vehicles. The trail ends just east of a false summit to Little Ellis. If you trudge straight uphill from there, following trees with blue paint on them, you can get to the false summit. From there is a great view of Bozeman. Continue straight west and uphill to Little Ellis, from which point you can hike the ridge south to the summit of Mt. Ellis. From the summit you can see the Absarokas, Hyalite and Bridger ranges as well as the Gallatin Valley!

Kathy Otoole
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Hiking
First to Review

Nearly flat trail thru field

Ramsey Brown
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Hiking
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Cullen Cunningham
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Hiking
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Janene Peterson
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Hiking
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Tessa Davis
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Hiking
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Kathy Higgins
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Hiking
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David Martyn
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Hiking
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M Ramey
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Hiking
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Levi Neubauer
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Hiking
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Isaac Rowland
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Hiking
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