Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness

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Location  Montana / Wyoming, USA
Nearest city  Red Lodge
Governing body  U.S. Forest Service
Established  1978
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness AbsarokaBeartooth Wilderness Montana National Wilderness Areas
Area  944,000 acres (3,820 km)
Management  United States Forest Service

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Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness was created from existing National Forest lands in 1978 and is located in Montana and Wyoming, United States. The wilderness is partly in Gallatin, Custer and Shoshone National Forests and is composed of 944,000 acres (3,820 km2). The wilderness encompasses two distinct mountain ranges, namely the Beartooth and Absaroka ranges. These ranges are completely distinct geologically speaking with the Absarokas composed primarily of volcanic (or extrusive) and metamorphic rock, while the Beartooths are made up almost entirely of granitic rocks. The Absarokas are noted for their dark and craggy appearance, lush and heavily forested valleys and abundant wildlife. The highest peak in the range, located in Wyoming, is Francs Peak at 13,153 feet (4,009 m). The Beartooths are more alpine with huge treeless plateaus and the highest peak in the state of Montana (Granite Peak 12,799 feet (3,901 m)). The wilderness contains 30 peaks over 12,000 feet (3,700 m). The wilderness is an integral part of the 20-million-acre (81,000 km2) Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and borders Yellowstone National Park.


Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Montana39s AbsarokaBeartooth Wilderness doug roane photography

Wilderness areas do not allow motorized or mechanical equipment including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is also no logging or mining, in compliance with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas also allow hunting in season.

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness AbsarokaBeartooth Wilderness Montana Elopement Elle and Cody

There are 700 miles (1,100 km) of trails in the wilderness, hundreds of lakes, a few dozen streams and a similar number of small glaciers can be found in the wilderness. The forests are dominated by various species of spruce, fir and pine while in the Beartooth Mountains, due to the altitude, tundra conditions often prevail. The Beartooths have the largest unbroken area of land in excess of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in altitude in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Animals found in the wilderness include bald eagles and yellowstone cutthroat trout and the threatened grizzly bear and lynx as well as the gray wolf.

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness

Access to the wilderness is difficult but can be achieved via the Beartooth Highway US 212 from Red Lodge, Montana. There are also some forest access roads from the west off of US 89 south from Livingston, Montana.

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Beartooth Publishing

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The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness is full of beautiful landscapes. Below are some of the highlights:

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
  • East Rosebud- Many avid hikers say that "East Rosebud is the most scenic valley of all." It is filled with lakes and waterfalls that would be major tourism draws anywhere else. In fact, there are so many different waterfalls and lakes within this valley that many of them haven't been named. Slough Lake is found within the East Rosebud valley. Slough Lake is accessed by following the Phantom Creek Trail, which can also be used to access Granite Peak, which has an elevation of 12,799 feet (3,901 m) above sea level, and is the highest peak in Montana.

  • Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Forest Service East Rosebud2C Custer NF
  • Mystic Lake-the deepest lake in the Beartooth Mountains. It has the largest sandy beach in the Beartooths and is a wonderful destination for a day hike. The Montana Power Company does utilize the power of this large lake, and they do have a dam present, but they do as much as possible to maintain the wilderness. Mystic Lake supports a rainbow trout fishery, and the fishing is usually great when the fish are feeding. Hiking the trail up 3 miles (4.8 km) to Mystic Lake provides great views of West Rosebud Valley and a few other lakes.
  • References

    Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Wikipedia

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