Shoshone National Forest

Hiking
Gorp.com

Nine-hundred-and-forty miles of trail wind through the Shoshone's 2,466,586 acres. Hikers pass through terrain ranging from sagebrush flats to rugged mountain peaks. Trails vary in length, difficulty and elevation change. Wildlife on the Shoshone includes deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, grizzly and black bears, as well as numerous smaller animals, birds, and cold water fish. A grizzly bear special order is in effect for the Shoshone National Forest. Please check trailhead bulletin boards for possible closures and current information. Backcountry trail information is divided among the five ranger districts:

Clarks Fork District
Greybull Ranger District
Washakie Ranger District
Wapiti Ranger District
Wind River Ranger District

Clarks Fork District
The Clarks Fork Ranger District includes the Beartooth Loop trail—a designated National Recreation Trail.

Crandall Area

Closed Creek #607.2:
Length (miles): 6
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Change: 7,000-8,000
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access via Crandall Trail (located S of Crandall Ranger Station on WY Hwy. 296). Horse facilities available at North Crandall Trailhead.

Papoose Trail #607.2B*:
Length (miles): 12
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Change: 7,200-10,800
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access via 1) Crandall Trail (located S of Crandall Ranger Station on WY Hwy. 296) - travel along Crandall Trail approx. 7 mi. to intersection. 2) Alternate trailhead - North Crandall Trailhead (WY 296 W of Crandall Creek bridge.) Enters along Yellowstone NP via Bootjack Gap/Upper Miller Creek.

North Crandall Trail*:
Length (miles): 16
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Change: 6,200-10,000
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Located just off WY Hwy. 296, 1/4 mi. W of Crandall Creek bridge - Crandall RS. Tremendous views of Hurricane Mesa and North Crandall drainage. Travels into along Yellowstone NP/Cache Creek (not maintained).

Crandall Trail #611*:
Length (miles): 17.5
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Change: 6,200-10,000
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Located S of Crandall RS 1pma1 E of Crandall Creek on WY Hwy. 296. Alternate access - N Crandall Trailhead. Travels into along Yellowstone NP via Timber Creek* and connects w/ Upper Miller Creek Trail. *Dangerous talus slope - extreme caution w/ horses.

Beartooth Area

Crazy Lakes #612.1*:
Length (miles): 6
Level of Use: Moderate
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Change: 7,000-8,300
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access directly across from Crazy Creek Campground - 10 mi. E of Cooke City, MT on US 212.

Night Lake #620:
Length (miles): 5
Level of Use: Heavy
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Change: 9,300-9,700
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access at Island Lake Campground - 27 mi. E of Cooke City, MT on US 212.

Beauty Lake #621:
Length (miles): 2.5
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Change: 9,200-9,700
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access via 1) Night Lake Trail - intersects after 2.7 mi. or 2) Beartooth Trail #619 - intersects after 1/2 mi.

Beartooth Loop National Recreation Trail
Length (miles): 14.4
Level of Use: Moderate
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Change: 8,900-10,500
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access: Travel 38 mi. W of Red Lodge, MT on US 212 or Recreation Trail 16.5 mi. NW of Cody, WY on WY Hwy. 120 to Sunlight Basin Road - 51 mi. to US 212 junction. Continue E on US 212 to one of the following trailheads: 1) HAUSER LAKE TRAILHEAD - located along Beartooth Hwy. N of Hauser Lake. 2) Gardner Lake Trailhead - located along Beartooth Hwy. above Gardner Lake. 3) Dollar Lake Trailhead - accessible by 4WD or motorbikes; located at Dollar Lake.

Dead Indian/Sunlight Basin Area

Elk Creek Trail #602:
Length (miles): 11
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Change: 6,000-8,400
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Access: WY 120 NW of Cody, WY to Sunlight Basin Rd. - follow for 21 mi. to signed trailhead. Junction w/ Dead Indian Meadows Trail. Not recommended for pack animals.

Dead Indian Trail #761:
Level of Use: Light
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Change: 6,000-8,200
Trailhead, Access and Other Information: Trailhead across from Dead Indian Campground on WY Hwy. #296. Follows Dead Indian Creek to Dead Indian Meadows. Ends several miles short of headwaters.

*Portions of these trails go through areas burned by the Clover-Mist Fire in 1988.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Jul 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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