Joe and I are just back from a long weekend in the Beartooth Mountains. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to explore new trails and rekindle our love of this vast, unique wilderness. We parked our RV at a beautiful location and did four day hikes from our base camp.
Our Saturday hike started bright and early at the Clay Butte trailhead. At this altitude (9,600 feet), fall has already arrived and foliage is starting to change color, creating a spectacular visual treat along the trail.
Our destination for Saturday was Hidden Lake. So named because it lies tucked deep within steep mountains about a mile or two off the trail. We used our map, the terrain, and a compass to guide us to its location. It was a very steep drop to the lake. It took us quite a while to find a safe way to descend, but it was well worthwhile. The fishing at this lake was excellent. Nice big cutthroat trout!
By now, you are probably wondering why I don't just change the name of my blog to something like "Beartooth Lust". Well, actually, the window of opportunity for enjoying this wilderness is limited to about 30 days. The steep road remains buried under snow until Memorial Day weekend. Snowmelt makes the trails impassable through the month of June. Mosquitoes take over at that point, and make it miserable until mid August. By mid September, it is getting pretty cold. I feel fortunate that I was able to spend so much time in the Beartooth Wilderness this summer, as I have not had the opportunity much the prior two years.