Montana, nicknamed Big Sky Country, named for the Spanish word for mountain, Montana is known for, you guessed it, mountains. And rightfully so. With 77 named ranges that are part of the Rocky Mountains, and with a peak of 12,807 feet, there is true vastness to the size of Montana, from North to South, East to West, and towards the sky.
The Beaten Path
The Beaten Path, from Cooke City to East Rosebud, is a long 25 mile trek across some of the most beautiful terrain Montana has to offer. The trail takes you through the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, a massive Nation Forest of 944,000 acres.
The trail is rightly labeled, as there are many, many people traveling the path each year. And following the true trail is very rewarding. But, there are numerous chances for you to veer from the trail and find the real wilderness, only looked upon by you and your hiking cohorts. Every nook and turn you take you seem to find crystal lakes, flowing streams, and luscious trees. The entire trek boasts fantastic trout fishing.
While hiking the trail straight through could only take a day, the true value here is the chance to leave the trail. Find a peak to hike up and enjoy a lunch. Find a lake blue as crystal and take a swim. Find a meadow for resting. You have a million acres of wilderness looming all around you. Imagine the possibilities if you're willing make this hike an adventure.
Because a lot of the hike is up to you, this hike can be great for families going about idly, perhaps even with a dog. Or you can take up the challenges that are beset on each side of you, and make this something more.
Trail of The Cedars
Trail of The Cedars is a very short trail of only a mile and a half. If you wanted to, you could breeze through it twenty minutes. But it's not the length or the difficultly (which is very low) of the hike that makes it worthy, it is the surrounding locations. The trail takes you through a vast forest of ancient and massive cedars. Some of the cedars are over 80 feet tall. The trail is in two sections, one is a loop, which is more informative with several plaques posting information, and the other brings you to Avalanche Lake, which is a few miles away. The loop has a fantastic view of a waterfall that has carved its way through colorful rock.
The Trail of The Cedars is also connected to Going-to-the-Sun Road. Going-to-the-Sun Road is unique and impressive road of 53 miles. This is the only road that goes through the heart of Glacier National Park. While the road is designed for you to drive over, the views it boast are some of the most awe-inspiring things you'll ever see, all across one perfect road.
Montana has a very impressive display of natural wonders. It has vast miles ancient and looming trees, older than time. There are gargantuan protruding rock formations, vast peaks that seem unreachable. And yet, through these stalwart beauties, there are these small but unyielding streams and creeks that have carved its way deep through the state. They have made lakes of pure delight, waterfalls of crystal clear spring water, and the awesome wildlife these beauties demand.