Crazy Peak Scramble

Montana Half Moon Campground

  • Activities:

    Snowboarding, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

Dog Friendly
Swimming Hole

Distance: 11 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 5,300 ft. Solitude. Altitude of 11,214 ft. Skier's heaven.

Do you like high alpine scrambles? Climbing exposed spires? Partying on a mountain top?

If you said yes to any of the above, head to Big Timber Montana and prepare for a great time. Crazy Peak is an epic highpoint within the Crazy Mountains, located in southwestern Montana. Although this hike can be accomplished in a single day in roughly 10 hours, the ideal way to enjoy this adventure is by two day excursion. Once on the eastern side of the Crazies, drive a few miles down Wormser Loop Road and you'll eventually be dumped off at the Half Moon Campground.

The first three miles up the Big Timber Creek drainage are full of various fauna, high alpine streams, and a wild number of yellow-bellied marmots. The moderate grade makes hauling a pack easy, so don't be afraid to pack on the heavier side. After three bridge crossings, the trail leads south. Another mile reveals the gorgeous Blue and Granite Lakes. Granite Lake can serve as a good camp for the night.

Head out early the next morning – if you plan to make it back to Bozeman by dusk, depart camp by 7am and allot a six hour window for summiting and cleaning up camp.

The trick with Crazy Peak is climbing up a vein to the right of the false summit. It doesn't matter which chute you scramble across, however; I would recommend choosing the far west (right) side of the mountain to make the climb time shorter. Make it to the ridge and then fight gravity to hit the false peak. Once you've been disappointed because you have incorrectly assumed you've made it to the peak, don't fret. A quick scurry down a south facing chimney, across the Crazy Couloir, and up around the corner leads to your final destination.

The highpoint of the Crazy Mountains is a 360 degree pinnacle of awesomeness. After a quick surf down a few scree fields you're ready to catch a few fish and take your time making your way back to civilization.

Pack List

  • Shoes with a strike plate and ankle support: majority of the hike contains loose rocks and scree fields
  • Camp stoves – keep tabs on current fire regulations, esp. during late summer months when fires may be prohibited within 0.5 mile of the lakes
  • Fishing rod for snaggin some elevated trout
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Overall rating: 

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We decided to camp down by Granite Lake (or maybe it was Blue Lake) and the hike up to there was a breeze and the campsite was gorgeous and roomy. The next morning we got up at around 6:30 am, made pancakes and were headed out at around 7:20 am. The hike up was straightforward and we just started walking up the mountain and kept going right. We did not go up one of the chutes and instead went around to the side and up, which worked out well. Everything up to the the 350 yards before the summit was a completely doable and straightforward scramble but those last 350 yards turned into a sketchy class 4. Maybe we went the wrong way? Not sure. But nevertheless it was an amazing trip and the views, campsites, and mountain lakes were 10/10. We camped that night and swam in the lakes multiple times, as well as polar-bearing in the morning. Would 10/10 recommend but take the "Advanced" rating seriously.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Patrick Rooney

Photographer and conservationalist based out of Bozeman, MT.

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