• A woman rests on rock over looking Missouri River Breaks south of Malta. Photo by Tony Bynum/tonybynum.com

Madison-Gallatin Chapter Walks

Photo by Tony Bynum

  

22

Saturday, June 4

GPS Training 101

Location: Bozeman
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 3 miles, 300 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Leaders: Roger Jenkins and Bob Bayley

Have a GPS or Smartphone with GPS capability, but not sure how it all works or why you might really want to use it in the backcountry?  Then this is the outing for you!  An entertaining and instructive presentation will be given in the morning, and in the afternoon we will travel to Hyalite Canyon for an in-field opportunity to put your new skills to work.  Join us for this educational, fun, and practical experience all rolled into one.

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Saturday, June 11

Pioneer Falls

Location: Gallatin Gateway
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6 miles, 600 ft
Difficulty: Moderately - Strenuous
Meeting Time/Place: 9:00 a.m. at Museum of the Rockies (600 W Kagy Blvd) in Bozeman
Leaders: Roxanna McLaughlin and Bill McLaughlin

If the wildflowers do not tempt you, the views will!  From the trailhead we will follow the South Fork of Spanish Creek into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness across a series of meadows and forest to the switchbacks that lead up to the falls.  Many who begin with this hike return to spend a couple days or more exploring this amazing backcountry.

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36

Sunday, June 12

Emigrant Gulch

Location: Emigrant
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 5 miles, 1,000 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Leaders: Erica Lighthiser and Michelle Uberuaga Zanoni

Come explore the historically significant Emigrant Gulch and learn more about the controversial aspirations of Lucky Minerals Inc. to build a large-scale gold mine near the border of Yellowstone National Park. Emigrant Creek is a rugged, backcountry landscape that is slowly recovering from over 100 years of historical mining activity. It is a tributary of the Yellowstone River, just up the drainage from the historic Chico Hot Springs Resort and adjacent to the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. This program includes part road tour with short hikes to optimum observation points. Leaders will be evaluating the wilderness character along the journey. Come dressed appropriately and bring lunch, water, snacks, and a bathing suit and towel for a post-hike soak at Chico Hot Springs. Children are welcome with adult supervision. Four-wheel drive vehicles recommended, and full gas tanks required. 

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43

Saturday, June 18

Specimen Creek

Location: Big Sky
Public Land Management: National Park Service
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 4.2 miles, 240 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Leaders: Roxanna McLaughlin and Bill McLaughlin

Join us on a pleasant stroll through the rolling terrain of lodgepole forests and meadows as we parallel Specimen Creek into the northwest section of Yellowstone National Park. The terrain and forest are the pages on which we will read the diary of this area, from lava flows and ancient forests to the present.  Take this adventure with us and find out which hiker will see the first bear sign or if we will be graced by the presence of a moose. This trip is sure to delight.

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50

Saturday, June 25

Dailey Creek to Teepee Creek

Location: Bozeman
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 5.5 miles, 600 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Leaders: Patti Steinmuller and Donna Murphrey

Beginning hikers, families, and others will enjoy this pleasant walk through sagebrush-filled meadows with panoramic views of the Gallatin and Madison Mountain ranges. We will use a short car shuttle to start our loop, which will allow us to begin at the Dailey Creek trailhead in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park and end at the Teepee Creek trailhead in the adjacent Custer Gallatin National Forest. Teepee Creek is located within the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area, an important roadless area between Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park that has potential for wilderness designation. Bring water and a lunch.

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57

Saturday, July 2

Windy Pass

Location: Bozeman
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6 to 7 miles, 1,600 ft
Difficulty: Moderately - Strenuous
Leaders: Ken Hapner and Ron Brekke

The trail to Windy Pass rises steadily through medium dense forests along cool bubbling Portal creek. We will get above tree line as we hike and break out onto the Gallatin Ridge with vast acres of open, high alpine meadows blanketed with beautiful mountain flowers. We will have lunch at a Forest Service Cabin located just below the pass. The 360-degree views are magnificent with The Sentinel to the north and Eaglehead Peak to the south. From the pass we can look down onto Paradise Valley and spot the Yellowstone River. Bring a flower book, camera, water, lunch, and snacks. Dress for the weather.

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67

Friday, July 15

Sunlight Meadow

Location: Emigrant
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6.5 miles, 1,700 ft
Difficulty: Moderately - Strenuous
Leaders: Sally Cathey and John Todd

Explore an ancient petrified forest in one of Montana's finest Wilderness Study Areas. We will begin in the Tom Miner Basin en route to Buffalo Horn Pass and beyond. This hike provides plenty of opportunity for sightseeing, bird watching, rock hounding, and enjoying the incredible views from the Gallatin Range. The Tom Miner Basin and Buffalo Horn Pass are smack in the middle of the Gallatin Petrified Forest, just north of the Yellowstone Park Boundary. On a clear day, a combination of the elevation and the views all the way to the Tetons will leave you breathless. 

One of the more iconic ridge walks in the state, the Gallatin Crest is known to for its excellent grizzly bear, elk, and bighorn sheep habitat. Bring plenty of water, a lunch, and clothes for weather of all kinds. We will hike to Buffalo Horn Pass and turn south on the Crest towards a high ridge that opens up into an expansive meadow. There we can sit and ponder the past, present, and future of the Gallatin Range while looking across a blanket of wildflowers to The Sphinx and Taylor-Hilgards.

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77

Saturday, July 23

Paradise Valley Geology

Location: Livingston
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 8 miles, 3,200 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: Karen Williams and Jerry Coffey

Join us on this geology-themed walk using the expansive vantage point of Elephanthead Mountain, a beautiful peak in the northern Absaroka Range. The trail generally follows Mission Creek, steeply climbs along the side of the mountain, and then the last part of the walk is a trail-less, steep hike to the top. The summit provides panoramic views of the Abasaroka Mountains and Yellowstone National Park.  Come learn more about how these beautiful areas were formed and shaped over geologic time.

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81

Sunday, July 24

Lemondrop Mountain

Location: Big Sky
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6.7 miles, 1,285 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: Barbara Geller and Chuck Geller

Come stroll through meadows along Porcupine Creek, in an area that is elk winter habitat.  Last summer we spotted moose in the huge meadows, nestled below the Gallatin Crest.  We will walk along the Gallatin Snowmobile Trail in a segment where it encroaches upon the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area, and then ascend to the summit of little Lemondrop Mountain for views of Lone Peak to the west and the Gallatin Crest to the east.  Two years ago we followed fresh grizzly tracks through the woods as we looped back to the parking area.

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85

Saturday, August 6

The Mummy

Location: Bozeman
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 6 miles, 2,600 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: David Ball and Craig Allen

The Mummy is one of the peaks visible to the southeast when crossing the causeway of Hyalite reservoir.  We will first hike to Flanders Lake by an old logging road and user path.  After taking time to enjoy the views, we will climb through a forest and scramble over rocky terrain to get to the top.  The views are fantastic, many mountain ranges are visible and Hyalite Reservoir is directly below.  Bring hiking boots and water shoes to wade Flanders Creek.

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86

Saturday, August 6 - Sunday, August 7

Crazy Mountains Backpack

Location: Big Timber
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 8 miles, 1,600 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Leaders: Roger Jenkins and Susie McDonald

Join us on a relatively easy one-night, knock-your-socks-off backpacking adventure to some high mountain lakes!  Anticipate getting so distracted by waterfalls and cascades along the way that your pace slows to a crawl.  Our official destination will be Twin Lakes, but there is nothing stopping the hardier souls from exploring beyond, and one will only need to hike a few hundred yards to get an excellent glacier view.  Depending on experience, this trip should be suitable for some youth.

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89

Saturday, August 13

Crater Lake

Location: Bozeman
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 9 miles, 2,200 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: Steve Anderson and Kathy Anderson

This is your chance to visit Crater Lake, a crown jewel atop the Gallatin Crest in the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area.  Hikers will pass through old growth timber stands, and high mountain meadows and follow a portion of the Gallatin Crest Trail.  Views of Hyalite Peak, the Absaroka Range, the Madison Range, and Paradise Valley are all visible on a clear day.  The trail follows the South Fork of Swan Creek to its headwaters, just below the lake.

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96

Saturday, August 20

Fan Mountain

Location: Ennis
Public Land Management: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 9 miles, 1,900 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: Bob Bayley and Catherine Nelson

Few people reach the remote summit of Fan Mountain in the Madison Range. Summiting the mountain requires an all-day, circuitous hike with significant vertical gain. Our less ambitious hike will be to hike to the wild, primitive, roadless and trail-less land flanking the east side of Fan Mountain which the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest manages as a Lee Metcalf Recommended Wilderness Addition. We will be hiking in habitat frequented by wolves, elk, grizzly bears, mountain lions, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and wolverines. This important area remains the only public land abutting Fan Mountain that is not presently included in the Taylor-Hilgard Unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.

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98

Saturday, August 27

Hyalite Peak

Location: Bozeman
Public Land Management: Custer Gallatin National Forest
Trail Miles, Elevation Gain: 15 miles, 3,500 ft
Difficulty: Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Jeanette Hall and Lisa Trankley

Join us on one of the most rewarding hikes in the Bozeman area. This area has it all and will be an opportunity to explore the important Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. As we make our way up Hyalite Canyon we will hike past multiple waterfalls, cross Hyalite Creek on rocks and log bridges, and enjoy stunning views of the valley below. Once we reach Hyalite Lake we will take a moment to enjoy the serene cirque beneath Fridley and Hyalite Peaks before we set off for our final destination. From the top we'll have views of the magnificent peaks of the Gallatin Crest and multiple other mountain ranges that surround us.

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