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Hike to Lizard Lake and Beyond

Gallatin Gateway, Montana



8 miles

Elevation Gain

1500 ft

Route Type



Added by Adam Parkison

The hike to Lizard Lake, in south-west Montana, is a lightly used trail that offers all the variables of typical Montana mountain country, complete with the possibility of spotting wolves and grizzlies.

Located within the Taylor Fork Basin, Lizard Lake lies between the vast sage brush meadows of the Taylor Fork drainage, and the steep high country of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.  The landscape is typical Bigsky country, of scattered ponderosa pine.

The hike to Lizard Lakes is an intermediate one, with some steep sections interspersed with flat ones. The trail to the lakes is 4+ miles long (8+ mile out-and-back), starting from the Inspiration Divide Trailhead, at the farthest point of the Cache Creek Rd. It was in this area, I saw the two species of bear in one afternoon. I often times spot bull moose on this stretch of trail. Elevation change is moderate, from around 6500ft to a maximum of 9000ft. 

The trip can be as simple as a dayhike to the lake, or can extend into a multi-day backpacking trip, since the trail connects to a network of more trails. 

From the town of Bigsky, Montana, take highway 191 south, turn right on Taylor Creek Rd. until it forks with Cache Creek Rd. Turn right on Cache Creek Rd. , until it dead-ends at the Inspiration Divide Trailhead. 

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