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Black Butte Trail

Difficult
 4.0 (2)

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


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Map Key

6.1

Miles

9.8

KM

Point to Point

9,871' 3,009 m

High

6,837' 2,084 m

Low

3,038' 926 m

Up

4' 1 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

49%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

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

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#11826

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#282

in Montana

#11,826

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17 Views Last Month
1,183 Since Sep 8, 2015
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Photos

View of Black Butte from the trail.
Apr 25, 2016 near Gardiner, MT

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Check-Ins

Aug 4, 2020
Jinger Burton
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