Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Red Lodge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike, pretty much an uphill slog with lots of views. We only went in about 4.5 miles to a nice plateau area, had lunch and returned to the trail head

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.

26 days ago

Spectacular hike! Camped at September lake and hiked up to the pass in the morning. A great challenge; all the elevation gain is at the end

We love this area! We took the 4-wheeler to the top and hiked from there. We did veer from the trail to climb down to the lakes (which made the hike a bit tougher coming back up). There’s still snow in mid-July and lots of runoff coming down.

This is my favorite trail but the incline is grueling. Takes me about 1:45 to get to the top. I just hiked it yesterday and I think I’m good for the rest of the summer.

Great hike. Beautiful lake. It is an uphill walk with the first 3 miles thru a burn area, so not quite as scenic. Couple of semi tricky creek crossings for the over 60 group. No snow on the trail.

Great hike!! did not make it to the lake because of the snowcover.

So far one of my favorites yet challenging incline right from the start. The views were worth it. We camped the night near the waterfall. Very beautiful. Lake was amazing. Ran into a momma and baby moose as well as a bear

6 months ago

This is one of my favorite backpacking trips. Not very difficult. I spent 3 days doing this out and back because it was so beautiful. Day 1, I drove to the Lake Ford Trailhead from Great Falls, MT and immediately hit the trail. I found this trail to be a steady up-hill most of the way. I ended up spending my first night at Keyser Brown lake, in a nice open meadow next to the lake. Day 2 I made the short trip up to September Morn lake and once again made camp for the night. After setting up camp, I took the switchback trail up to Sundance Pass. Amazing views...absolutely incredible. Pictures do not do this trip justice. That night, after returning to camp, a furious thunderstorm blew through. The thunder really booms and echos off the mountain walls surrounding September Morn...and the hail that came down was a sight to see. Day 3 I woke up early and started the hike back to the Lake Fork Trailhead...I believe it was just about 10 miles from September Morn. I encountered more hail on my way out. Overall, it was a great 3 day trip. I loved camping next to the lakes. The elevation wasn't too challenging. I'll upload some pictures from my trip. This is a PERFECT beginner backpacker trip. Highly recommend this.

horseback riding
9 months ago

I've done this as a trail ride with my dad. Hope to hike it soon. The scenery is beautiful and very enjoyable. Fishing is pretty good too. Hikers usually seem pretty tuckered out, I know our horses get a work out. Beautiful area.

This is one of the better hikes I've been on. The views are stunning and well worth hiking the steep incline. Once you hit the plateau, you don't want to leave!

Snowline was around 8k feet.
(Side note: I wasn't able to record my entire hike; my phone battery went dead)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We spent 3 days on this trip, which was a great choice for backpacking newbies! To wrap it up succinctly:
Day 1: short, easy, a good way to start off (West fork trailhead to Quinnebaugh Meadows)
Day 2: challenging
Day 3: long (from September Morn to the Lake Fork trailhead)

It's a beautiful trip. I hope to do it again someday!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Great challenging hike with "worth it" views on the two lakes. Nice spot to quick one night camp too. Moderate is correct rating. 9664 ft ASL. @5miles to Timberline Lake. 2142 ft vertical. It took me about 4:30 hours to complete, but I took my time at the top and checked out the waterfall at the far end of Timberline. Crazy lake views!

Absolutely LOVED this hike. The closest lake is 5 miles, and it goes as far as 19 miles in. And even if you don't make it past the first lake, the hike is still well worth it. However, remember to pick up bear repellent. Closest place to get it is Red Lodge, MT.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Great day hike. lucky enough to have cloud cover on the way there and back, but sunshine at the lake. Exposed trail all the way, so bring lots of water, but elevation gain is surprisingly easy going.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Great hike! I hiked in from the bottom and went to shelf lake. It's a rough road but I saw a Subaru up there so it's doable. That shaves off about 12 miles RT.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Manageable but tough day hike, with a gorgeous glacial lake at the turnaround. Don't miss the second lake. Gertrude is pretty, but not breathtaking like the glacial lake with Silver Spire (part of Silver Run peak) looming over the opposing side of the lake from this approach. Some stream crossings, manageable, but some wet shoes.

Amazing, expansive views

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hiked this today, but sadly didn't make it to the lakes because we couldn't cross the final stream due to water rushing over the log bridge. A group ahead of us did it by wading, we thought it was too dangerous, cold and impossible for my dog. Looking forward to trying again in late summer/early fall when the melt is over and water levels recede. A solid hike, pay attention to the new growth in the burnout area (first and last two miles of the hike).

Monday, May 29, 2017

I loved the part of this trail that we could access - NOTE: as of the day this review was written the trail is fairly impassable due to snow for amateur hikers about 1.25 miles in. We turned around because it would have taken all day to complete the hike! Going to try again in a few weeks.

Hiked 5/22/17 snow still cover the trail.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Great Day ride.. trail can be rough at times... bring something with good suspension if you want to ride to the top..

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Ticks were plentiful. Hiked until I hit snow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nice start snow makes it impassable at 8200 feet about 3.4 miles in from trail start this was April 20

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's not so steep that you're on your hands, but it's a constant incline once you hit the switchbacks about 1/4 way in. Super fun, minimal traffic, and terrific views. My dog loves this trail too!

Beautiful drive out to the trailhead - easy hike, so make sure to take your time and enjoy the views. We hiked when the raspberries were ripened! Delicious surprise!

I found this to be an easy hike. Was probably prettier before the fire that destroyed so many trees. Sadly, we didn't get to see any moose.
I was happy to find an exceptionally CLEAN outhouse at the trailhead!!

It's a steep climb but it has great views!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Both lakes were great and although the first half of the hike was burnt out you get a good view of things without the trees. We ended up staying the night at Lake Gertrude since there isn't much for protected space at Timberline. We found fishing to be about the same at each location.

The hike up isn't what I would call a lung burner but it will tire you out. It starts out steep and with switchbacks but begins a more gradual incline once you get around the mountain. My ten year old loved it. Bring mosquito spray.

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