Here's our Montana 2003 hiking trip to the Beartooth Wilderness!

Round Lake This is Round Lake about 2 miles up the Goose Lake Jeep Trail, north of Cooke City. Apparently by "Jeep Trail", they only mean "Wrangler" type Jeeps or ATV's. A city driven Chevy Blazer with road tires and no off-road package wasn't the intent. Five miles of the worst driving I've ever had to do. It took us two and a half hours just to drive the 5 miles to the where we would start hiking.

Blazer in the creek This was probably the smoothest part of the Jeep trail. Lovely, huh?

Mt. Villard Mt. Villard is in the background, the base of which lies the Aero Lakes. A trip there just after high school left a freind and I with a collapsed tent under about a foot of snow. In August. We left a day early and got a motel room in Cooke City. Happy to say that would not be the case this year.

Star Lake Star Lake is in the foreground, the "Jeep Trail is visible just across the lake. From this spot, we still have about 1/2 mile to go before we decide to park and hike the rest of the way in.

This year's campsite Our campsite was finally made at Beauty Lake. This lake was about 4 miles from where we parked the Blazer. Dosen't sound too bad until you know that this was a "no trail" hike. That's right, we had to navigate using our wits and observation skills. It's a wonder we are still alive. For the record, we only took a couple of wrong turns, and only one of those involved a cliff.

This year's campsite from another angle Nate had the tent on the "wrong side of the river" (creek). Or so I told him. He let me know that was fine with him because he wouldn't be associated as easily with me. I think it was an insult, but was to tired to care.

View on the hike out Nice views on the way out, to be sure. We were able to get out a little faster then we were going in, partly because we knew a little better where we were going (only 1 wrong turn), and we were trying to beat the darkness out. we beat darkness to our truck, but darkness befell us on the drive out. I thought driving on a Jeep Road was hard in the daylight. Nope, topped myself, it's much harder with only the headlights of the Blazer.

A nice glaciated valley Sure is pretty country up there in the Beartooths. Just below timberline here, with numerous streams coming in from various angles. I want a cabin here.

A fun little descent Almost all the way out now at this point, but another one of those descents. Must go down 300 feet to go back up the same amount. A little demoralizing, but so are most things we do to ourselves up there.

Sleeping arrangements This is where we spent the night after we got out of the mountains. We weren't going to leave the mountains until the next day, but we were worried that if it rained, we would never get that Blazer out of the mountains. We stayed at a trailhead and hoped a ranger wouldn't bother us. We discovered that 3 grown men do not sleep well in one Blazer. Even if we had smelled decent (which after 4 days in the mountains, we didn't) it still wouldn't have worked. It is hard to sleep while swatting mosquitos and gagging from the smell.

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