Hiking Map of the Absaroka - Beartooth Wilderness in Montana
DESCRIPTION OF THE MAP AREA
The TerraTopo printed map (ISBN 0-9713501-0-8) covers a portion of the Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness, including the 'Beaten Path', Granite Peak, East and West Rosebud, Mystic Lake, and Alpine. If you are planning on hiking in this area, get a copy of the TerraTopo Map.
The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, located near Yellowstone National park, was created on March 27th, 1975 in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964. This wilderness area was named for two mountain ranges: The Beartooth area occupies the eastern part of the wilderness, and the Absaroka area makes up the western part of the wilderness. This entire wilderness of almost 950,000 acres lies within the extensive Gallatin and Custer National Forests. Clear streams, hundreds of lakes, glaciers, hundreds of miles of hiking trails and a plethora of healthy trout and other wildlife combine to make this wilderness one of America's most outstanding places. The trail system is excellent, although having a good map is essential. This vast area contain numerous peaks above the 12,000 foot level.
Granite Peak is the highest in Montana at 12,799 feet. Granite Peak is one of a series of mountains in the Beartooth Range. This peak, like many others, is a barren, steep rocky mass, where only lichens, snow algae, and an occasional wildflower can grow. The Beartooth Mountains were named after a (bear) tooth-like jagged mountain peak in the range. The Beartooth Mountains comprise many mountain peaks above 12,000 feet, including Granite Peak which is the highest peak in Montana at 12,799 feet above sea level. Many of the high plateaus are located above timberline, around 10,000 feet above sea level. Many clear, clean and cold streams and lakes exist in this region, which provide a life-blood to the wildlife. The alpine lakes contain healthy trout, including the beautiful Golden Trout, Brook trout (which is a Char), Cutthroats, Browns, Rainbows and the Arctic Grayling. On your hike, you may get a glimpse of wildlife including deer, elk, mountain goats, moose, bear and others.
The Absaroka Mountains are dominated by stratified volcanic rock formations which have been eroded by glaciers and rivers. The Absarokas are home to a variety of wild animals including the threatened grizzly bear. Mt. Cowan is the highest peak at 11,206 feet above sea level. The Crow Indian tribe of southeastern Montana call themselves Absaroka, or the "bird people". The name "Crow" came from crudely translating the term "Absaroka" into "Crow people" instead of "bird people". Because the Crow Indians once occupied this vast area, their name has been given to this mountain range. The peaks in the Absarokas are not as high as those in the Beartooths but are still beautiful. The Absarokas can be characterized by metamorphic and volcanic rocks, valleys with lodge pole pine undergrowth, willows, and rugged peaks. The Absarokas includes awesome mountain peaks east of the Paradise Valley between Livingston and Gardiner.
"VIRTUAL" WORLD VIEWS
Take a peek at this area from a Virtual World. A few images have been created for you to view, including the Granite Peak area, and of Mystic Lake and Island Lake. Click on the image to Super-Size it.
Mystic Lake Area Granite Peak Area
THE BEATEN' PATH HIKING TRAIL
The trail named the 'Beaten Path' is one of many trails shown in detail on the TerraTopo map. This 26 mile hiking trail, leads you through the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness of Montana. Along the trail, you'll see numerous waterfalls and beautiful vistas.
Photos: Jere Folgert (c) 1997
LENGTH AND CONDITION
The Beaten Path, also know as the East Rosebud Trail is a popular trans-Beartooth route. The total distance along the path is approximately 26 miles and is not considered dangerous or technically difficult. A few of the switchbacks may be a little rough, especially with a heavy pack on your back. The entire trail is well-maintained. During the spring, expect snow on the trail along with a few windblown trees across. Bridges could be washed out due to high water flow through canyons.
The Beaten Path trail offers a wide range of vistas and sites, including waterfalls, aqua-green lakes and beautiful flora. To enjoy the sites and views, many hikers spend at least five days and four nights on the trail, which averages out to 5.2 miles of hiking per day. If you plan on fishing the High Country Lakes, you may want to spend a week or more.
To see a general profile of the East Rosebud (beaten' Path Trail), click on the image below:
TRANSPORTATION TO THE TRAILHEAD
Start your hike at either the Clark's Fork Trailhead (8035 feet above sea level) or at the East Rosebud Trailhead (6,208 feet above sea level). Have someone drop you and your party off at the trailhead, and make arrangements to have a vehicle waiting for you at the end of the trail. Another option is to arrange your hike with friends or relatives. Split your group in two parties. The first party could start at the Clark's Fork trailhead, and the other at the East Rosebud trail head. You can meet half way along the trail, swap keys and drive each other's vehicle home.
Photos: Jere Folgert (c) 1997
When hiking in this region, you can expect anything from the weather at any time. Obtaining forecasts may help determine what gear to take, especially during early and late season trips. More importantly, weather information can give invaluable insights into creek flows, snow pack, winds, and approaching storms. Plan ahead and talk to local folks. You don't want to get caught in a lightning storm or get blown off a mountain summit.
The weather in the Absaroka-Beartooths wilderness is variable. The weather can be hot and sunny one minute, sprinkling rain the next, windy and snowing the next. The weather and your ability to deal with it are important. Always carry protection against rain, snow and cold wind. If you don't, you could suffer from hypothermia. Here is a basic overview of general conditions during the spring and summer months.
Hiking along the Beaten Path, you'll pass almost 20 Alpine Lakes. The lakes range in size and depth. Rainbow lake for example is 180 feet deep and about 58 acres in size. Duggan Lake, located below the beautiful Impasse water fall is only 4.4 acres in size and about 10 feet deep.
The lake fisheries in the Beartooths generally fall into two categories: Stocked and self-sustaining. Trout, such as the Golden Trout, have been introduced in some of the high-country alpine lakes. Lakes without spawning potential are planted regularly to sustain a fishery. Self-sustaining lakes have enough spawning habitat to allow fish to reproduce. Some lakes have large fish. Fish species that exist in the high country lakes include Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Brook trout/char, Arctic grayling, Golden trout, Brown trout, Lake trout, Rainbow trout and a few Hybrids ("cutbows", golden-rainbow, etc). Contact the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to learn more about the lakes in the Absaroka-Beartooth mountains.
Fishing in Montana is legendary. Anglers from all over the world travel to Montana to experience the Montana Fishing Experience. For additional information on fishing in Montana, you may wish to check out BigSkyFishing.com .
We recommend you use the TerraTopo Map as a guide on your hike. It is an excellent map. It is available in many Outdoor stores throughout the area surrounding the Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness. It fits nicely in your pocket too. (4" x 6 1/2" folded). The TerraTopo map is printed on tear-proof, water-proof material, which makes it durable and light. The map, (24" x 26" - the unfolded size) reveals topography, lakes, lake depths, fish species, trail locations and other important features. The reverse side of the TerraTopo map reveals a field guide with first aid information, fish, plant and animal identification. The map is available from a number of retail stores in Billings Montana, Columbus, Absarokee, Fish Tail, Red Lodge and Bozeman, Montana.
OTHER MAPS OF THE ENTIRE BEARTOOTH-ABSAROKAS (on CD-ROM)
Are you looking for digital maps that you can view on your Windows-based computer? We have digital USGS 1:24,000 scale topographic maps for the entire Beartooth-Absaroka range, including Wyoming. Sent to you on a CD-ROM. They are seemless (without the map collar). Included is a program that allows you to zoom-in and pan through the image. Just send us an email with your request: Include your mailing address.
"...I like it a lot. Even better than Trails Illustrated" from Doug W. in Indiana
"...This map was exactly what I was looking for. Great guide. The Beaten Path was awesome! " from Joyce P..Cornish, Maine
"...Thanks for the map. It was even BETTER than I expected..." Gary L., Great Falls, Montana
" Hey that's a great map. I like the field guide on the back. Cool!" from Mark S. in Illinois
" Really enjoyed the detailed map. Great map!" from Bill D. in Florida
"...thanks for the great maps. How come I never heard of you guys before? " from Mike in Montana
"I received the map I ordered from you on Tuesday, and it's just what I was looking for. Thanks!" From Dale G. in Wisconsin
"You guys did an amazing job on this map. The nicest hiking map I've seen - really !" From Bill M. Yankton, SD.
"FIRST PLACE - Best Map in Show : Inner Mountain GIS Conference !" Billings, Montana.
** We have compiled a check list which may help you in preparing your trip to the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains.
Global Positions, LLC * PO BOX 6056 * Bozeman, MT 59771