Hike to Garnet Mountain Lookout

7.7 Miles Round Trip - 2800 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Gavin Pirrie

An accessible hike from Bozeman with expansive views of the surrounding area and an option of staying in the vintage, fire lookout. 

Starting in Bozeman, travel south of Gallatin Gateway about 5 miles on Hwy 191 and turn left on to Storm Castle Creek Road. Follow this road for about 3.5 miles until the road ends. At this point, there is a decent sized parking area. 

The trail is open year round with ATV access and also snowmobile access as well. Winter travel increases the length of route to 10 miles in one direction. This description will detail the summer route to Garnet Mountain Lookout. The trail begins and after about 3/4 of a mile, Rat Lake appears. This is a decent sized mountain lake and a decent spot to fish. Following the trail carved out by ATV's, Garnet Mountain is reached about 3 miles after Rat Lake. The return route is the same as the ascent. 

To rent out the lookout tower, a recreation.gov site contains the availability and the means to reserve the site for backpacking or camping use.

The summit views showcase the surrounding area during all seasons and is a highly recommended day hike in the Bozeman area.

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Details

7.7 Miles
2800 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout

Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Little Bear Cabin

Bozeman, Montana

Fox Creek Cabin (Mt)

Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Spanish Creek Cabin

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Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Overlook

Did this on dirt bikes in mid October. Due to the late season traffic the road/trail was very muddy and rutted which is easily avoidable on foot. Rat lake is a great spot to stop after the hike/ride and take in the views as well. If you're the type that doesn't like motorized vehicle traffic I would consider a different hike, since we came across a few groups of riders on our excursion.

360 Views

As mentioned, the entire trail is open for atv's and the first 3 mikes or so are surrounded by forest. The last mile opens up and the last .25 mile offers breathtaking views in every direction!