The Beaten Path Trail

HARD 83 reviews
#3 of 31 trails in

The Beaten Path Trail is a 28.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Roscoe, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
28.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,431 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

Twenty-five miles of spectacular backpacking in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness of Montana, USA. "The Beaten Path" is a 25 mile trail traversing some of the most spectacular country within the 944,000 acre Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Lakes and streams appear around just about every corner enticing both those appreciative of a spectacular Wilderness view or one with a penchant for hooking a trout upon the end of their fly-line. The trail itself is aptly-titled "The Beaten Path" for it is literally a well-worn treadway stretching from Cooke City in the South to East Rosebud in the North. Signage is ample and the route is easy-to-follow during the summer season (July - early September). For the more adventurous, ample opportunities to leave the trail and find true Wilderness lie up every draw you see. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness is part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and spans 944,000 acres of Montana and Wyoming. The two access points to "The Beaten Path" are at East Rosebud Trailhead (about 15 miles from Roscoe, Montana) and the Clark Fork Trailhead (a couple miles East of Cooke City, Montana). You'll find primitive car camping options at both ends of the trail so arriving in the evening and car camping before an early departure into the backcountry is an option. The trail rises in elevation to a high point and then descends so hiking North from Cooke City or South from Ease Rosebud are both options. Viewing the elevation profile will provide you a better understanding and will help you decide which direction is best for you. The trail is approximately 25 miles long and passes through a number of ecosystems. Although it has been hiked in a single day many times the beauty of the scenery and possibility for off-trail exploration may cause you to opt to spend a few days along the path. Consider shorter days and spend the extra time fishing or bagging a peak.

Our group is starting from Clark’s fork side and hiking 9/19-9/20. Anyone interested in doing a key swap?
Brittinytownsend@gmail.com

7 days ago

looking to do a car swap 9/20 or 9/21. we're planning to hike it over 3 days / 2 nights. please contact me if interested: Trevor, treleemiller@gmail.com

8 days ago

Howdy. Looking for a car swap this sat, 9/22.

Ron

ronoslavski@gmail.com

hiking
9 days ago

Anyone interested in a car swap starting the afternoon of the 25th, return 27th evening or 28th morning?

Ron

ronoslavski@gmail.com

hiking
20 days ago

Looking to car swap from sept 8th-10th. Don’t care about direction, really,

Email me lgtheophilo@gmail.com

28 days ago

We did this last week and WOW! We were going to do 3 nights 4 days, but ended up 2 nights 3 days. Started at Cooke City. Wild flowers in full bloom and lots of water rolling. First night we were into a pretty heavy mountain storm which made for a somewhat sleepless night. But, WOW!!! Not sure how I top this hike. Loved it.

hiking
29 days ago

Anyone interested in a car swap on Saturday August 25? We are from Bozeman (group of 5 or 6) and could start at either end. If interested, shoot me a message. Thanks! russellronda52@gmail.com

backpacking
1 month ago

Anyone looking to do a keyswap/carswap around 8/26? We are wanting to go in on the 26th and out on the 1st. Ideally going in at Island Lake and out of East Rosebud but could go vice-versa or if easier we can drive to Cooke City to leave a car and then go out East Rosebud. Email me justin.lewis@knights.ucf.edu

Open to other options too potentially.

hiking
1 month ago

This was the most beautiful hike I have been on to date. Even though I have read the reviews, I could not really imagine the amount of pristine, huge mountain lakes, streams and waterfalls. I hiked with my 2 teens and we started at noon on Saturday (18th) and came out at 6pm on Sunday (19th). The mosquitoes were hardly a problem. But we did get hit by heavy rain, some thunder (never saw lightning) and low temps. We weren't quite prepared for that and had to camp earlier than expected on Saturday because we didn't have gloves or hats. Otherwise, the weather was perfect. Definitely add this to your "must do" list if you haven't yet hiked it.

1 month ago

looking for a key swap starting august 20th, we are from Bozeman if that helps, email kjpoch@gmail.com

backpacking
1 month ago

We were a group of 10 from CA and MD. Amazing trip from Cooke City to East Rosebud. The scenery was amazing. July 25, 2018 to Kersey Lake (mosquitos were horrific). July 26 to Ouzel Lake (mosquitos still bad, Lake was beautiful like watching an aquarium. Had one in group with altitude sickness. We hung out at the lake until feeling better, and continue the trek). Amazing waterfalls. Steep down hill trail. July 27 to Elk Lake with Petra. The huckleberries were amazing.
Enjoyed hiking with you Petra!! July 28 to East Rosebud. Looking forward to doing this again.

backpacking
1 month ago

My son and I backpacked from Cooke City to East Rosebud a week ago over 4 days. Mosquitos were not an issue and only one grizzly encounter on night #1 at Russell Lake. No water crossing required boot removal (although I do fill em up once when a large boulder rolled on me with a couple steps to go). Amazing trail, amazing scenery and maybe saw a couple dozen people over the entire length. Wonderful experience. Next time will spend a couple more days and focus on fishing a bit more.

1 month ago

Calendar picture perfect!

trail running
1 month 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!

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

backpacking
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month ago

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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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

hiking
1 month 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...

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month ago

July 4 - July 7, 2018
Cooke City to E. Rosebud
Snow from Ouzel Lake to Dewey Lake (125% average snow pack for the year). Snow was mostly firm, easy to hike on with a little post holing. Trail was mostly covered during this stretch and GPS was helpful (little to no tracks to follow). Rivers were high and most crossings required wet wading. Dry camp sites and trail were easy to find below 9500' or so. Incredible amount of mosquitoes this year.
Amazing views, very good quality trail. An absolute classic.

backpacking
1 month ago

If anyone is looking to do a key exchange in August. We are entering on the 12th and getting off trail on the 16th. We will be going from Cooke City to East Rosebud. If interested email mdrewerickson12@gmail.com

hiking
1 month ago

Hiking from Cooke City to East Rosebud July 27th to 30th. Looking for a key exchange at the Clarks Fork Trailhead or we can meet in Red Lodge and exchange cars/keys. Email Curt at crsholar@gmail.com. Thanks!

backpacking
2 months ago

Fantastic. Amazing. Breathtaking. Wow.

We hiked from East Rosebud to Clarks Fork from 7/16 - 7/19. Everyone we talked to before the hike said the mosquitoes and snow were terrible. Fortunately, nearly all the snow was melted and did not prove to be a problem at all (we did not need a GPS to figure out where to go, you could see the trail ahead of you in all instances even if it was 100 yards ahead). The mosquitoes were horrible from Russell Lake to the Clarks Fork Trailhead. Seriously horrible, but bug nets helped immensely. We camped at Elk Lake, Duggan Lake and Bald Knob Lake.

This hike is a must do if you are able. If I did it again I would take the time to stay in the high country a bit longer and explore some of the other lakes and scenes in the area as there is SO much to see.

If you're considering this hike and are on the fence, just do it. You will not be disappointed.

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