Camping, Hiking and Traveling in Montana

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Hike Index
H=Hike   C=Camp   V=Visit     S=Ski

Livingston Area
  Elephanthead Mtn. H

Paradise Valley
  S. Fk. Deep Creek H
  Pine Creek H,C
  George Lake H
  Passage Creek Falls H
  Crow Mountain H

Big Timber Area
  Boulder River H,C,V
  Natural Bridge Falls H,C,V
  Big Timber Creek Falls  H,C,V
  West Boulder Meadows H,C
  Twin Lakes  H,C
  Prairie Dog State.Park   V

Bozeman Area
  
Chestnut Mountain H
  Goose Creek H,S
  Mystic Lake H
  Lava Lake H

Central Montana
  Little Belt Mountains H,C,V,S
  Castle Mountains H,C
  Central MT Railroading V
  Cooney Reservoir C,V
  Crystal Lake H,C,V
  Judith Mountains V
  Judith Gap Wind Farm V
  Moccasin Mountains V

The Yellowstone River
  Upper Yellowstone Floating
  Yankee Jim Canyon

Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness
  Anvil Lake H,C
  Beartooth Lake H,C,V
  Beartooth Highway V
  Island Lake H,C,V

Western Montana
  Painted Rocks Rec Area V,C
  Salmon Lake State Park V,C
  Warm Spring Ponds  V


Big Timber Creek and Falls


           Big Timber Creek is a good sized stream that flows from Montana's Crazy Mountains north of Big Timber, MT. The Crazy Mountains are a great island mountain range that many people know only because of the way they dominate the horizon north of Interstate 90 in the Livingston/Big Timber area. The Crazies offer a number of great hikes and the Big Timber Canyon trailhead provides access to popular day hikes and backpacking opportunities.

Big Timber Creek Falls

     Big Timber Creek Falls is easily accessed from the major access at the end of the Big Timber Creek road. To find the access travel north out of Big Timber on US 191 for about 11 miles to a well marked turn onto the Big
Big Timber Creek Falls
     This section of the Big Timber Creek Falls provides a great view to visitors. The large rock ledge is a great place to sit and watch the Falls.
Timber Canyon Road that runs west toward the Crazy Mountains.  Follow this good gravel road for about 2 miles until a junction where you bear to the right, again toward the mountains. Follow this road  until it ends at the Halfmoon Campground and Halfmoon Picnic Area as well as the Big Timber Canyon trailhead. The Halfmoon Campground is a typical USFS campground with picnic tables, fire rings, outhouses and drinking water. The adjacent picnic area is great for day trips and overflow parking.

     You can reach the Big Timber Creek Falls by either following a trail to the falls that begins in the campground or by following the main trail into Big Timber Canyon which offers a side trail (left side of trail) to the Falls soon after the trail begins. The main Big Timber Creek trail leads to the interior of the Crazy Mountains and is the access for a number of popular hikes, including the easy day hikes to Twin Lakes and Blue Lake.

     The Big Timber Creek Falls are a series of falls that split a narrow rock canyon. The falls twist through the rock and there are no good places from which you can view the entire stretch. However, there are great views of the lower falls and this hike is recommended to all waterfall fans. The character if the Falls changes with water levels so be sure to visit more than once if you can.
     
     Big Timber Creek offers some of the most famous whitewater kayaking in Montana. This is water for experts and it is not uncommon to find kayakers on the water when the creek flows are good. It is hard to imagine that anyone could ride a boat through the Falls but many kayakers have accepted the challenge. However, most boaters take off the creek upstream of the Falls. There is a mile or more of top quality creek paddling above the Falls that is sought by many. Rather than try to describe this more I will refer you to a couple of other sites. There are a number of videos of kayakers on Big Timber Creek Falls but I think the best is the found here Big Timber Creek Falls Kayaking video.

      On the Montana Eddy Hop blog you will find a good description of the Big Timber Creek whitewater run, complete with good photos. There is an interesting string of comments about the run included and reference is made to the EGCreekin site which has this excellent account of running the Big Timber Creek Falls.

      A number of hikes in Montana follow alongside creeks that are great for kayaking so don't be surprised if you see boats on some waters while you are out for a hike. For another story of extreme kayaking in Montana be sure to check out our page about Natural Bridge Falls.

     In summary, Big Timber Canyon offers a lot for everyone. It has excellent camping and picnicking. The Falls are a natural wonder to sit and enjoy. Big Timber Creek offers excellent fishing opportunities and the trailhead offers access to Crazy Mountain trails. The Crazy Mountains are a great place to visit and Big Timber Canyon is a gateway to the best of the Crazies.
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