Note: This is an account of a hike to George Lake I sent to a friend of mine. It is a lot more personal than most info here and I hope you find it useful. For more complete information we have a page on the George Lake Trail.
by Stan Clements
It was probably the best I had ever seen the stars in my life.
It was the night of the new moon. The air was cold and dry. We were at high altitude, in wilderness miles from the lights of the smallest of towns. It was dark out. It was really dark out, good old country dark, here in Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness. My friend Bob and I had maybe the most adventurous drive of our lives over the Goose Lake Jeep Trail, just to get to the spot where we donned our packs. We walked and climbed into this rugged country, bushwhacking off the official trails, to reach remote Anvil Lake.
Yankee Jim Canyon is a short, narrow canyon on the Yellowstone River about 13 miles north of Yellowstone Park. The canyon has the largest rapids on the Yellowstone River outside of the Park (boating on the Yellowstone River is banned in Yellowstone Park). Yankee Jim Canyon is less than five miles long and the whitewater rapids are confined to the first couple of miles. Rafting and kayaking are popular and there are a number of whitewater rafting companies located nearby.
The West Boulder River is a favorite place for camping, hiking, and fishing close to both Big Timber and Livingston, MT. Popular with day hikers and backpackers, the West Boulder Meadows are an ideal place for a first-ever backpack trip. The combination of excellent hiking, camping, fishing, and scenery make this a very special place.
The South Fork Deep Creek trail provides great hiking just a few minutes south of Livingston, Montana. The trail provides access into the north end of the Absaroka Mountains and the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. The trail is mostly used for day hiking but it connects to a trail network that offers great backpacking opportunities.
Pine Creek rushes out of the Absaroka Mountains into the Yellowstone River in the heart of Paradise Valley, providing two great hikes. A beautiful 2 1/2 mile roundtrip hike follows the creek to Pine Creek Falls. Backpackers and serious hikers can head on another 4 miles to reach Pine Creek Lake. Visit here once and you’ll discover whyPine Creek is the most popular hike in the Livingston area.
The Boulder River is a tributary of the Yellowstone River that originates high in the Absaroka Mountains south of Big Timber, MT. Natural Bridge Falls is the main attraction on the Boulder but the river and surrounding lands provide incredible opportunities for fishing, camping, and exploring.
Mystic Lake is a favorite destination for hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, and hunters in the Bozeman, Montana area. Mystic Lake can be reached from a couple of different trailheads but the access in Bear Canyon is the shortest. Located about 5 miles east of Bozeman, the Bear Canyon area offers hiking, mountain biking, and cross country ski opportunities.
Lava Lake is a great hike that climbs to a beautiful mountain lake in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The trail is located in the Gallatin Canyon between Bozeman and Big Sky and is one of the most popular trails in the area. The lake is almost exactly 3 miles from the trailhead but the trail gains 1,600 feet elevation in those three miles. This climb can make it a tough hike for those who are unprepared.
This tiny state park is only 98 acres in size and offers visitors few amenities. The park really only has one thing – Prairie Dogs! Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park is home to a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs that are easy to spot and fun to watch. The park is 16 miles east of Big Timber, MT right at an I 90 exit making it perfect for quick visits.