hike Black Canyon Lake, Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness

Yesterday we linked to a trip report from Phil Armitage to The Hounds Tooth in the Bugaboos.

Today, Phil’s trip report from Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness near Red Lodge, Montana:

The 14-mile roundtrip to Black Canyon Lake is an outstanding day hike – the best I found in this part of the Beartooths and one of the most scenic hikes I’ve done anywhere. …

There is a great view of Thunder mountain rising above the creek from the bridge. …

The route climbs through the forest with just a couple of poorly defined sections, reaching timberline at about 8,800 feet along a tributary of Rock Creek. Here, just when the first expansive view of the peaks appears, you should cross the gully to the right bank of the stream and continue on the obvious trail up to the lake – if instead you stay on the left bank you’ll end up in a monstrous field of huge boulders which makes for slow going. In total, it’s probably a mile and half from the main trail until you reach the shore of the vivid turquoise lake, which lies beneath 12,000 foot high Beartooth Mountain and Mount Rearguard. The view here is absolutely spectacular.

Day hikes in the Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness near Red Lodge, Montana

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If you want crowds, head for nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

If you want some solitude, check out Absaroka-Beartooth. Phil recommends Hiking the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, 2nd ed. by Schneider.

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