Hiking on Montana’s Stillwater Trail

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Last week I wrote a post about why Alan and I traveled to the Stillwater River Valley in Montana. During our explorations, we discovered an excellent hiking trail system at the end of Forest Road 400 in Nye. With only a 500′ elevation gain in the first three miles to Sioux Charley Lake, it’s very doable for baby boomer hikers. We filmed a video to give you a first-hand look.

Stillwater Trail No. 24 is located in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness near Custer National Forest, not too far from Red Lodge. During our time on the trail, we passed many hikers carrying fishing poles. The trail is also shared with horseback riders accessing the back-country.

On this visit, Alan and I weren’t prepared for the 6-mile-round-trip hike to Sioux Charley Lake. For one thing, I was not going very far up the trail without bear spray. But we enjoyed walking far enough into the gorge to view the whitewater, taking plenty of time for photographs. Back at the parking area, we met several day-trippers who were enjoying lunch by the Stillwater River. The deer that roamed the parking lot were also fun to watch.

Back at Mystic Rose Cabin, we found Day Hikes In the Beartooth Mountains. Written by Robert Stone, the book gives excellent description and advice on hiking to Sioux Charley Lake and many other trails in the area. We’ll be buying our own copy for the next visit to Fishtail, Montana.

Baby Boomer Travel Tips:

  • Bring plenty of water
  • Be prepared for changeable weather
  • Pack bear spray
  • Don’t forget the bug spray
  • Hiking poles offer stability and help your posture

So many hikes, so little time. Make the most of your visit to Big Sky Country by checking out our Montana Hiking articles.

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