The weekend of August 7, 2009, Tracy and I took a three day weekend to the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana and Wyoming. We planned to do two nights on the trail, but the weather forecast was calling for severe thunderstorms. Well, actually, NOAA was calling for severe thunderstorms…everyone else was just calling for scattered thunderstorms. I put my faith in the National Weather Service…which turned out to be the wrong choice. I have decided that the NWS says there will be a 50% of severe thunderstorms, while everyone else will say there is a 50% of storms. It seems that the NWS is more doom and gloom than the other sites. So I’ve now decided to trust the Weather Channel and Weather Underground more than the NWS. Anyway, because of the forecast, we decided to dayhike on Friday. We headed up to Fox Lake and did some fishing. The trail was really, really muddy, but the lake was pretty. I didn’t catch anything, but we enjoyed a nice day…with no storms at all.
We stayed in Cooke City again on Friday night, then got up on Saturday and headed to Beartooth Lake to hike as much as we could manage. We headed up the Beartooth Creek Trail, and then headed cross-country near Ewe Lake, and pitched camp near Ewe Lake. We then headed up to Lonesome Lake because I wanted to hike into Montana. The hike to Lonesome Lake was completely cross-country, and it was absolutely beautiful. We didn’t see anyone all day long, and that made it even better. It snowed on us a couple of times, and eventually we headed back to camp. It got pretty cold that night, but we were fine. The next day we hiked a loop by Beauty Lake back to the truck. Again, we didn’t see a soul before getting back near the trailhead.
The Beartooths are absolutely wonderful. They’re a lot like the Winds, but the mountains seem to lend themselves to hiking cross-country better than the Winds, just because they seem less steep up on the Beartooth Plateau. Tracy and I both decided we would like to come back here and spend a week just hiking around…it is really incredibly pretty.