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The Best Backpacking in Montana

Looking for the best backpacking in Montana? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Montana. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Montana

  • Browning, Montana

    Cracker Lake

    5.0
    12.72 mi
    The 6.1 mile (12.2 roundtrip), hike to Cracker Lake includes wooded forests, grand views of lakes and mountains, creek crossings, distant waterfalls, mining ruins, possible wildflowers and wildlife, and a swim in turquoise water. At 1400ft elevation gain, the trail never gets too taxing. The view...
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  • Seeley Lake, Montana

    Hike to Turquoise Lake

    5.0
    12.2 mi / 1500 ft gain
    From Hwy 83 in the Swan Valley, south of mile marker 38, turn west onto Kraft Creek Rd also called Forest Service Road #561, the trailhead is about 11.5 miles at the end of the road. Turquoise Lake trail #708 starts 3 miles up the Glacier Creek trail #690. Total hiking distance to Turquoise lake...
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  • Big Timber, Montana

    Crazy Peak Scramble

    4.0
    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 ...
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  • West Glacier, Montana

    Granite Park Chalet via Highline Trail

    4.5
    11.49 mi / 1950 ft gain
    The trailhead for the Highline Trail is located near the west side of Logan's Pass. Parking is limited at the Pass so arriving early to guarantee a spot, or taking a park shuttle (no fee) is suggested. The shuttles run consistently during the day at different locations throughout the Park. Howeve...
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  • Browning, Montana

    Backpack the Continental Divide in Glacier NP

    4.0
    33.4 mi / 5257 ft gain
    Park your car at the Two Medicine North Shore Trailhead, and take a National Park Shuttle (if they are running during the season--they stop around Labor Day in September) or set up a private shuttle service to St. Mary and the Red Eagle Trailhead (only ~$10-20 bucks a person).The first day from t...
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  • Darby, Montana

    Backpack to Little Rock Creek

    9 mi / 1780 ft gain
    Little Rock Creek is one of the Bitterroots' best kept secrets. In late spring, the glacier lilies are in full bloom, and sprinkle the valley floor. At that time of year, there may also be quite a bit of snow on the ground, which will require some bushwhacking to stay on the trail.Little Rock Cre...
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  • Gallatin Gateway, Montana

    Hike to Lava Lake

    5.0
    6 mi / 1600 ft gain
    The 6 mile round trip to Lava Lake is a steady climb that runs beside Cascade Creek through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The trail starts at the Gallatin River and continues upward through dense evergreen forest. There are no confusing intersections but is quite rocky and considered to be moderate...
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  • Kalispell, Montana

    Hike to Summit of Mount Aeneas

    4.7
    6 mi / 1700 ft gain
    This hike can easily be overlooked since it is in such a geographically rich area, with Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness so close, but it is absolutely a hidden gem that doesn't get enough attention. Mount Aeneas sits at just over 7,500 feet and from the summit it gives amazi...
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  • Roscoe, Montana

    Backpack to Rainbow Lake via the East Rosebud Trail

    3.0
    16 mi / 1600 ft gain
    Also known as "The Beaten Path", the East Rosebud Trail is a highly traveled and well maintained trail with amazing views and a handful of lakes along the route. The trail is ultimately 26 miles long and places you near Cooke City. Rainbow Lake is located 7 miles from the trailhead and is a perfe...
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  • Gallatin Gateway, Montana

    Hike to Golden Trout Lakes

    4.0
    5 mi / 1300 ft gain
    The Golden Trout lakes offer a scenic getaway just out of the Gallatin Valley Canyon. To access the trail head, turn east onto Portal Creek Road #984 and continue southeast for 6.8 miles. The road is in rough condition and is better suited for vehicles with a higher clearance. The trail head is e...
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  • Anaconda, Montana

    Hike the Johnson Lake Loop

    16 mi / 3160 ft gain
    Day 1: After pulling into the Middle Fork parking lot, there will be two trailheads. Sign in at either one, but I started at TH 28 to head directly to Johnson Lake. A gradual climb passes beautiful waterfalls and recovering burn scars dotted with flowers. To Johnson Lake is 5.2 miles with an ele...
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  • Browning, Montana

    Hike Mount Siyeh

    5.0
    8.45 mi / 4209 ft gain
    Once the Going-To-The-Sun Road has opened fully, this massive peak is accessible by driving to Siyeh Bend on the east side of the Logan Pass Visitors Center. Plan on a sun up to sun down adventure. Choose a sunny summer day and head up to hit the trail! Park at Siyeh Bend, and start on the Pie...
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  • Fishtail, Montana

    Backpack the Beartooths via the West Rosebud Trail

    22.69 mi / 6795 ft gain
    The West Rosebud Trail functions as one of the major routes to Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana. The trailhead (6,558') is located approximately 80 miles south of Billings in the Beartooth Absaroka Wilderness. The road to the trail passes Emerald and West Rosebud Lakes just before arriv...
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  • Anaconda, Montana

    Backpack the Warren Pass Loop

    12 mi / 2000 ft gain
    Often overlooked due not to its lack of scenery, but rather because of its proximity to both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness in southwest Montana is a haven for hikers and backpackers seeking a true wilderness experience. Established in 1964, the area strad...
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  • Gallatin Gateway, Montana

    Hike to Garnet Mountain Lookout

    5.0
    7.7 mi / 2800 ft gain
    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 snowmobi...
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  • West Glacier, Montana

    Backpack to Waterton Lake

    50 mi / 3600 ft gain
    Our trip started on Thursday evening, spending the night at the Bowman Lake campground. You can park your car here and it's where the hike will start and end. I recommend staying here the night before because day 1 is a doozy, so you'll want an early start.Day 1 is the hardest day of the hike, bo...
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