Hiking Beartooth Wilderness high on list of Montana adventures

Crawl from your warm sleeping bag out the tent door, into the darkness and predawn wind whipping across the plateau. Look up at the cathedral of the sky. Watch the whirlpool of constellations spin overhead. Hold your breath.

It’s hard not to feel vertigo in the majesty of Montana’s wilderness. Whether you seek the rocky heights of a 10,000-foot peak or an endless chain of lakes, pastels in a mountain meadow or the allure of trout, trek into one of the state’s most magnificent ranges – the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness – to find solitude and grandeur.

Don’t be put off by the name of the best way to get in there: the Beaten Path, a 26-mile trail that climbs up and over the Gallatin National Forest watershed divide, wending its way past pond after lake, peak after cliff, meadow after plateau.

The trailhead sits at the southeastern edge of East Rosebud Lake. Accessible by car from the north via a 14-mile road from Roscoe, the lake’s shores are dotted with cottages and cabins, and make it an easy jumping-off point for the wilderness.

One of the beauties of the Montana alpine terrain is how easy it is to wander.

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