The Beaten Path, MT

Two days backpacking through the Beartooth Wilderness, on The Beaten Path.

Morning Mist

In a perfect world we would have taken three or four days to do this beautiful hike through the Beartooths.  Easier said then done!  With an extra long shuttle and work responsibilities we where forced to crunch this trip into two days.  After work on Friday we drove through Yellowstone National Park, to the trailhead outside of Cooke City.  We hiked in a mile and a half in the dark and set up camp for the night.


Shortly after breakfast we had a moose walk by our camp.  We wouldn’t have even noticed if we hadn’t heard a branch break.  The moose walked by about 20 yards from where our tent had been set up.  Welcome to the wilderness!

Welcome to the Beartooths




The only reason we were able to fit this trip in this summer was that we had friends that were willing to do the key swap.  Conveniently we swapped cars before the trip.  They hiked south and we hiked north. When we got to the trailhead on Sunday my car was waiting for us.  Our friends had also left cookies and pastries waiting for us on the front seat, which was amazing!

Key Swap
Indian Paintbrush


After an extra smoky fire season in South Western Montana, we were able to escape the smoke.  Our time along The Beaten Path was unusually smoke free compared to the lower elevations.

Approaching Fossil Lake
Fossil Lake


As expected the trail was heavily “Beaten”. Near some of the more popular lakes we say as many as 20 tents set up for the night.  In order to avoid the crowds we pushed on to Twin Outlets lake for the evening.  The extra mile turned out to be well worth it, we had the lake to ourselves the entire night!

Twin Outlets Lake
Twin Outlets Lake


Camp at Twin Outlets lake

On day two we woke to a soft rain.  The rain continued for the first few hours of the day, but cleared as we got closer to East Rosebud.

Rainy morning




Berry Monster!
East Rosebud Trailhead

If we had to do it again we would certainly spend a few more days along the trail.  There are endless opportunities for exploration along The Beaten Path.  That being said from our experience we felt like this is a very doable two day trip.

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