Six Montana hiking trails with breathtaking views
A day hiking in Montana can take you along spiraling mountain passes, sprawling forests, and crystal lakes. For those looking to lace up and take a trek with a view this summer, these six Montana hiking trails offer breathtaking vistas and miles of unspoiled backcountry. When hiking, remember to always be aware, not approach wildlife, and to carry bear spray.
This mountain trail leads travelers to one of the most unique hiking destinations in Montana. The Ice Caves Trail runs through the Big Snowy Mountains, just a short drive from Lewistown. Visitors looking to hike this moderately difficult five-mile trail will be rewarded with a view of this impressive ice cave. The walls are made of 400-million-year-old white limestone, and ice columns covering the cave remain frozen well into September. The trail also provides great views of the surrounding mountain ranges, as hikers can even catch a glimpse of the Grand Teton Range on a clear day.
Summer is a great time to visit Makoshika State Park, the largest of the 54 state parks in Montana. The badlands of Makoshika offers one-of-a-kind combination of deep ravines, stunning rock formations, and a large collection of fossils. For those looking to explore this local wonder, hike the Cap Rock Trail, a short one-mile loop that takes visitors across a natural bridge and to the top of the park for some spectacular views.
Take a hike to see Our Lake along the east side of the Rocky Mountain Front and at the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This alpine lake sits tucked away in the mountains at 7,295 feet. Hikers are sure to enjoy this seven-mile round-trip trail, which passes two tranquil waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife. In the summer, the Our Lake meadows fill with beautiful wildflowers as mountain goats climb the cliffs, creating the perfect atmosphere for a morning hike.
Calypso Trail is a 5.5-mile primitive road that runs through the Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area. This hike leads travelers along breathtaking sandstone arches, bridges, and spires. Some of these formations reach up to 2,900 feet in elevation. Visitors traveling this serene trail will be surrounded by the truly untouched wilderness of the Terry Badlands.
Beehive Basin Trail is a local favorite that offers breathtaking views of Big Sky. Visitors can hike the 6.6-mile round trip trail to Beehive Basin, a beautiful glacial clearing with a crystal lake overlooking the towering Lone Peak. In the summer, this quiet spot is abundant with flowers and roaming wildlife. This is the perfect trip for hikers looking for a comforting spot for a lunchtime picnic.
Hiking along the sweeping mountains and sprawling forests of Glacier National Park is a can't-miss summer to-do. Siyeh Pass is a 10 mile trail that runs through the heart of Glacier, beginning among the alpine trees and entering Preston Park, a glacially-formed valley which boasts a beautiful wildflower meadow. Then take the switchbacks along Matahpi Peak and enjoy the one-of-a-kind look at the Crown of the Continent before ending at Sunrift Gorge. Don't want to take the full hike back? The free Going-to-the-Sun shuttle transports visitors between Sunrift Gorge and Siyeh Bend.