9 Montana Backpacking Trips: A guide to the various trails

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There’s something heavenly about waking up at a hotel around a countryside and then planning to camp near a quiet lake or alpine cirque with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and nature all around. There are many places like this in the Big Sky State of Montana that we can call the “Montana Experience”.

Let us discuss some of the favorites trail around this incredible city. Montana has incredibly varied terrain, so I have mentioned different regions as well as different levels of difficulty and distance.

9. East Rosebud Trail aka The Beaten Path

Location: Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

Probably one of the best hiking experiences that the Rocky Mountain has offered in any state, the East Rosebud trail between Red Lodge and Cooke City offers something to everyone. From diverse wildlife that you will notice and experience so close to you, to the beautiful fishing lakes surrounded by craggy peaks, to trailside berries to munch on while trailing; this trail offers the best for everyone.

This is a 26 mile hike and a strong hiker can cover this distance in a day but if you want to get the most out of the trip, expect to spend minimum of three days here. It is not crowded and you can enjoy the nature at its very best. Take any of dozens of side trails and you’ll find yourself in a complete solitude.

8. Cottonwood Creek, Crazy Mountains

Location: Gallatin National Forest

This trail will offer you the panoramic view of great mountains right from the beginning of your trip. The trail follows Cottonwood Creek through prime moose habitat before climbing to excellent camping in the beautiful glacial tarn that embraces Cottonwood Lake.

You can enjoy fishing in Cottonwood Lake. Another unnamed pond just below Cottonwood has water so clear you can watch the foot long trout strike your line. Make sure to bring a stove to cook your catch yourself, as firewood is scarce.

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