The Blacktail Creek Trail (trail #337) is a short trail in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. It connects the Davis Creek Trail (trail #38) in the West Boulder River drainage to the North Fork Deep Creek Trail (trail #45) in the Yellowstone River drainage and the Elephanthead Mountain trail (trail #37) in the Mission Creek Drainage. Along the way, it connects to the trail to Blacktail Lake (trail #105).
The trail has two very different sections. The top section runs from the Blacktail Lake junction to a junction with the North Fork Deep Creek (#45) trail and the Elephanthead Mountain trail (#37). This section of the Blacktail Creek trail is less than 3/4 of a mile and is fairly level. The trail is in excellent condition and sees a fair amount of use from hikers heading to Blacktail Lake.
The second section runs from the Davis Creek Junction to the Blacktail Lake junction and is about 2 miles in length. This section is much steeper, climbing steadily to gain 1,850 ft. This lower section sees much less use but is generally in good condition.
The Davis Creek junction can be reached by following the Davis Creek Trail (#38) up for about 5 miles from its trailhead on the West Boulder River. It’s also reached by following the Davis Creek trail down about 4 miles from the Davis Creek divide which is reached from the South Fork Deep Creek trail (#388).
The Blacktail Creek trail has been rerouted in places and its route is different than what’s on most maps. The lower trail has moved more significantly and both the Davis Creek junction and the Blacktail Lake junction are different than the maps show. Fortunately, the trails are pretty obvious so it’s best to follow the trail rather than the map.
Although the Blacktail Creek trail is a great connector trail, it’s primarily used to access Blacktail Lake. Most hikers approach from the North Fork Deep Creek trail while a few come up from the Elephanthead Mountain trail and even fewer from the Davis Creek Trail.