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Topic: A first hike in Beartooth, help< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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doonerak Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 10 2011, 9:04 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been reading this forum and pouring over my topo map for a couple of weeks now and I thought it was time to ask my question. I aim to hike a week in Beartooth next summer and I am looking for suggestions on what the best first trip out there would be. I'll have 5 full hiking days planned. I guess that would be 4 nights. The question is: Beaten Path or Cross-Country?  Or a combination of both?

I'm a skilled and experienced hiker who likes to push himself. But I also appreciate beauty and taking it all in. I've done amazing cross country hikes in Alaska which I need to report on if I can ever figure out how to write a trip report. The most epic was 40 miles of tough tundra hiking in 5 days from the Dalton towards Mt. Doonerak in the Gates of the Arctic NP (and back). I love just going where the trail doesn't. But after all these years I would definitely be up for a "road more traveled" if it means getting to see things not to be missed. So I'm torn about what to do as a first trip into the Beartooth.

I'm also torn about setting up the shuttle logistics for a thru hike....it's the time factor...I'd rather spend those hours hiking. But I'm open....

I seek the advice of the sage...and yes, I realize that everthing can change depending on whether and conditions, so options are good. Thanks in advance for your generosity.
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doonerak Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 23 2011, 9:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, my post seems to have gone over like a giant goose egg. Was my tone off? Fact is, most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing....Anyway, I'm gravitating to doing the Beaten Path from E. Rosebud in August of next year. I'll have 5 days on the trail and am hoping it would give enough time for a solid day of side hiking off-piste.

Question: What do you think my odds are of catching a ride at the other end back to our car? Are there any logistical options folks can think of? It makes no sense to rent 2 cars and pre-stage them. That seems an unnecessary expense and waste of time. Are there shuttles that can be hired/taken? Are folks up there amenable to providing a ride for cash?

Just wondering.... Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2011, 7:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The East Rosebud trail (or "Beaten Path") is a great trip.  Here's my TR from 2006.
Setting up a shuttle is certainly an issue, though.  You could probably thumb a ride from Red Lodge to the Clark's Fork trailhead, but getting from Alpine to Red Lodge is a bit more iffy.
Hopefully others will have more info and better suggestions for the shuttle.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2011, 10:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would consider doing a loop trip from Island Lake. You can set up a combination of trail and easy offtrail. Start at Island Lake and work around Becker, Albino, Jasper Lakes. Then depending on your schedule consider either going past Maryott, Donelson and over to Crystal Lake, then returning past Rachel, Cloverleaf Lakes and over toward Abandoned and Lonesome Lake. Then pick up the trail past Beauty Lake back to the trailhead. For a slightly shorter loop, once at Jasper Lake, cut across to Golden Lake and then over to Abandoned Lake. With the shorter loop you'll be able to have a layover day and do some dayhiking. That entire area is just beautiful.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2011, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We did Aero Lakes last year and loved it. We base camped and weren't moving every day, so not sure how suitable this area is for a five day trip. But I'm sure you could find a route through there or scrambles as side trips to keep you busy.  I don't know the name of the drainage - it's the one people usually take to climb Granite.  You could always go up that way and down from Aero Lakes to the trail.  

Pictures and trip notes:  Aero Lakes 2010

We camped in between lower and upper Aero Lakes and the hiking was a combination of trail and off trail. When we were there we pretty much had the place to ourselves, although I know other posters have said it can get crowded.

Beautiful area. Enjoy your trip!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2011, 3:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks! Nick, it was your trip report which originally got me hooked on the Beaten Path! Well, there were several TRs I've found on the web....but your photos were really compelling!

I also appreciate the other ideas and will check them out on my map soon.

My friend Dave, who tweets as "doonerak" (another one of the 5 "Doonerak Boys") suggested that if we could pay somebody to fly us into ANWR that somehow the shuttling wouldn't be an issue. He's always been an optimist, though :-)

I was getting worried that there was another thread for this topic that I was missing...so THANKS for the replies everyone.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2011, 10:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(offtrail @ Aug. 24 2011, 10:34 am)
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I would consider doing a loop trip from Island Lake. You can set up a combination of trail and easy offtrail. Start at Island Lake and work around Becker, Albino, Jasper Lakes.

offtrail

Offtrail! That looks like a really cool cross-country loop! I really appreciate it. I just followed it on my topo and dare say it reminds me of a loop I recently read about here:

http://www.neohbackpackingclub.com/triplog.aspx?tid=638

Is this you perchance? At this link is a 9 day loop that heads out and comes back the way you describe but covers a bit more ground on the plateau. It looks like there is a lot less net elevation than the East Rosebud Trail but still a lot of great terrain.

Really something for me to consider more. Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2011, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you'd like, send me a PM and I can suggest several fantastic routes in the Beartooths that fit your bill perfectly.   The combination of off and on trail hiking is easy to come up with on the plateaus.

--------------
"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2011, 2:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(doonerak @ Aug. 24 2011, 9:04 pm)
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Is this you perchance? At this link is a 9 day loop that heads out and comes back the way you describe but covers a bit more ground on the plateau. It looks like there is a lot less net elevation than the East Rosebud Trail but still a lot of great terrain.

Really something for me to consider more. Thanks.

Trips out of the Island Lake area and up the plateau are nice because they bypass the low-country altogether, so you have a lot less climbing to get to the high country.

You can also take trail 619 to Green Lake and then head up Sierra Creek from there (and maybe loop back to Island Lake via Jasper/Albino/Becker.) The 619 entry is a bit more frustratingly up and down, but also very nice.

The area around Crystal/Flatrock/Alps lakes is especially beautiful.

Above (and north of) Crystal Lake, Looking West:
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2011, 3:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

doonerak,

No, I did not write up that trip report, but it was very similar to a trip I did in the Beartooths in 2008. We started at Island Lake and followed the loop around, Becker, Albino, Jasper, Triskele, Donelson, Maryott and over to Crystal. Due to a high snow year, we couldn't take the high route, Flat Rock, Copepod and Cladocera, but instead went a little more southerly. We went past Alp, up to Erratic, Rubble, Till, Gravel and then Big Butte. From there we continued west past Desolation, Z and finally Lake of the Winds. Then we dropped down and picked up a use trail past Marianne, Otter, Pickett and Jorden, over Crazy Mtn. to Farley. Then past Lake Elaine and over to Green. Here we left the use trail and hiked up a short treed stretch that brought us to Martin Lake. From there up to Rachel, Cloverleafs and over to Abandoned. Then out past Lonesome, Beauty and back to Island. It was a great 11 day loop across the plateau. The trip could have been much shorter, but we spent several off days at the lakes fishing. Almost every one of the lakes produced.

I knew you only had 5 days, so I gave you an abbreviated version of the same loop. Can't go wrong with the loop.

Another good suggestion is the Aero Lakes loop starting at Lady of the Lake trailhead. That loop is a little more difficult and can be extended to as many days as you like. Here's a summary of that loop; Lady of the Lake, Lower Aero, Upper Aero, Skytop Basin, then over to Rough Lake, Lone Elk and then down Skytop Creek back towards Lady of the Lake. If you want to extend the trip, from Skytop basin head down a drainage toward Oly Lake. Here you can pick up the East Rosebud trail back toward Fossil Lake. Then head over to Windy(Fizzle) Lake then up a beautiful valley that goes past No Bones Lakes and the to Rough and Lone Elk. Finish the loop the same way. The extension adds a couple more days onto the trip.

Either one of these loops are just fantastic.

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dorfinator Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2011, 7:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

These photos will cover just about everything from Island Lake over to the East Rosebud trail, up to Flatrock Lake, Lake Fork, etc.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 26 2011, 4:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We did the East Rosebud (Beaten Path) from Cooke City to Alpine with a stopover for a couple of days at Dewey Lake so that we could offtrail up to Cairn Lake.  Dewey Lake and the offtrail day were the highlights, but everything from Dewey Lake to Alpine is one highlight after the other.

The issue with a point to point is having two cars or a way to get you back to your car.  If you are going to be confined to a loop you might go in at Cooke City and go up to Aero Lakes, Rough Lake and Sky Top Lakes then head down to Fossil Lake and Dewey Lake.  The offtrail option up to Cairn Lake might be a day hike or head down toward Rainbow Lake and back to Dewey Lake on a day hike then head back out to Cooke City.  From Fossil Lake "pass" back to Cooke City is all downhill.

Here is a link to a site that has our Beartooth trip in one of the folders.   Hit the "See More" in lower right hand corner.

HikerJer has a goldmine in his backyard!!!!

http://staggsl.zenfolio.com/
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 26 2011, 9:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(larrys @ Aug. 26 2011, 4:18 pm)
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HikerJer has a goldmine in his backyard!!!!

I keep telling you guys!

Doonerak - check your PM messages.


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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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doonerak Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2011, 12:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(larrys @ Aug. 26 2011, 4:18 pm)
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Here is a link to a site that has our Beartooth trip in one of the folders.   Hit the "See More" in lower right hand corner.

HikerJer has a goldmine in his backyard!!!!

http://staggsl.zenfolio.com/

larrys- geez, those photos are amazing. Every time I see a TR or photo album from the Beartooths I think this place has to be heaven on earth.....amazing. I can't wait....
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