This hike is less traveled than nearby Sacagawea Peak and should take about 3 hours. You can gain access from Fairy Lake (Sacagawea Trail Head).

Located in the Bridger Mountain Range, Hardscrabble Peak offers a scenic hike just outside of Bozeman, MT. The Peak sits just north of the more popular Sacagawea Peak and from atop grants views over the Gallatin Valley as well as surrounding mountain ranges such as the Big Belts, Crazies, Tabacco Roots, Spanish Peaks, Gallatin and Madison Ranges. Due to its close proximity to Bozeman, the trail is heavily used and should expect coming across multiple groups throughout the hike. Although it is heavily populated, mountain goats are often scene along the ridge.

The peak is accessed by driving to the Fairy Lake Trailhead from Bridger Canyon Road (Hwy 86). The parking lot contains restrooms as well as a picnic area. From there, the hike starts by heading westerly on the Sacagawea Trailhead. The trail starts by switch backing up a heavily wooded area. After a mile or so, the trail hits the tree line in the drainage between Sacagawea (to the south) and Hardscrabble (to the north). The trail steepens as it approaches the saddle (8,963'). Once on top of the saddle, the scenic views open immensely. To the east, the Crazy Mountain Range is visible on the horizon, and to the south east, the Spanish Peaks. The saddle marks the fork in the road for access to Sacagawea and Hardscrabble. The south trail leads you to Sacagawea. The north trail leads you to two unnamed peaks followed by Hardscrabble (9575'). The summit of Hardscrabble is steep and scattered with loose rocks, so trek cautiously and enjoy the scenery.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Hiking Boots
  • Summit Beer
  • Sunglasses (especially if snow is present)
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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1900 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic

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Best Hike Year Round

Hardscrabble Peak is an excellent hike year round in the Bozeman area. While hiking in the winter can be tricky, it can be done. Snowshoes or cross country skis are a must.


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