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black Black Butte Trail


6.1 mile 9.8 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3,038' 926 m
Descent: -4' -1 m
High: 9,871' 3,009 m
Low: 6,837' 2,084 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)


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Trail shared by Jake Bramante

The shortest route to Big Horn Peak is steep and steady, but full of great features and ample views.

Jake Bramante

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Sheep hunting season occurs in September. Area is open, but be aware of hunters in the area.


Start at the signed trailhead off of Hwy 191. The trail begins in the trees and climbs up to smaller meadows overlooking the creek. It continues to follow Black Butte Creek in a steady climb, rarely ever losing elevation and bouncing back and forth between meadows and older stands of trees.

It crosses over the creek and begins to climb up the switchbacks on one of Big Horn Peak's ridges. The trail bounces through open meadows and a variety of stands of trees depending upon the slope's aspect. Views are intermittent, but when they open up, they are great as the surrounding terrain is full of hills and mountains. Keep an eye out to the north on King Butte's gray, gnarly face for brown, petrified trees.

As you switchback up the mountain, the trail gets steeper through an old burn. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep through this area. Eventually, the trail breaks out onto the grassy slopes of Big Horn Peak and dissolves. Continue up to the summit, following posts with markers on them and enjoy the amazing views.

Turn around for an out-and-back or follow the Sky Rim Trail for more views.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Yellowstone content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

Flowers in the meadows and forest are great. Forest birds are plenty as are chipmunks and squirrels. Bighorn sheep are frequently seen and the non-native mountain goats can be seen along the steep cliff faces of Big Horn Peak.

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Aug 22, 2017
Bryan Brown
Fantastic! Out and back on the Black Butte. Stunning panoramas from Big Horn peak! 12.2mi — 5h 30m
Jul 14, 2016
Coty Weston

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