Return to Hiking the Best in the West: Absoroka Range/ Montana

I’m staying along the Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley, at the western foot of the Absorokas, considered one of the greatest mountain ranges in North America. The peaks are unusually rugged, and tower up to 10,000 feet in elevation. This part of the range is considered part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, complete with bald eagles, black bears, and the iconic grizzlies
This morning, my future (tomorrow) daughter-in-law Stephanie, guided a group consisting of my son Arlo, his partner Alanna, and me up the 11-mile-round-trip Pine Creek Lake Trail. The book 100 Great Day Hikes Around Bozeman and the Greater Yellowstone describe this trail as follows: “Pine Creek Lake is arguably one the best destination hikes in southwest Montana.”
We were not disappointed, as this was world class hiking.
As usual, I have logged the data from the trip. Here’s the map:

The hikeIt was a 10.9 mile round trip hike, where we gained 3,952 feet of elevation in the 5.4 miles up to Pine Creek Lake, a spectacular setting. 

What’s unique about hiking in the west are the switchbacks, which greatly assist the hiker in moving steadily along the considerable elevation gains on these mountain trails. In my home state of Maine, the uphills are unrelenting.
photo 3

When we reached the lake it was still cold out and although it was a perfect invite for a quick dip, no one jumped in.

We were content to sit in awe and stare.  Snow patches were still lingering in the shadows. 

Pine Creek Lake

I am truly blessed to be here today with my family. I love his bunch of doers, who are always ready and able for any adventure that presents itself.

3 thoughts on “Return to Hiking the Best in the West: Absoroka Range/ Montana

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