Note: none of these trails are groomed with the exception of West Fork Road which is occasionally groomed by BRTA.
Silver Run, five miles up the West Fork of Rock Creek, is one of the most popular trails. It has three loops – a 4K easy trail, a 7K intermediate and an 11K advanced. Check either the forest service (446-2103) or Sylvan Peak (446-1770) for snow conditions before heading out! These trails can be kinda rocky and stumpy when there isn’t a lot of the white stuff!
Parkside is south of Red Lodge on the Main Fork of Rock Creek, up the Beartooth Highway 11 miles. Look for the trail sign near the picnic and parking area by Parkside Campground.
Lake Fork, also reached by driving south on Hwy 212, has a 3K loop option. More experienced skiers may choose to head up the Lake Fork Trail into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. About 2 miles above the trailhead is Silver Falls seen from the trail, on your left. This trail system has no snowmobile access, so it is very quiet! It is not for beginners.
Willow Creek Trail covers two miles of the Willow Creek valley, from Palisades Camp Ground to Red Lodge Mountain parking lot. Some beautiful limestone palisades of the Beartooth Mountains overlook the trail. This is a good snow shoeing trail, and usually a tough ski trail due to narrowness and steepness. Access is on a county road (Palisades Campground Road) heading west about 1 mile from Red Lodge on the West Fork Road. Then you can drive on the short Forest Service road to the CG gate in the winter, depending on snow depth (this section is not plowed).
Palisades Trail (same access road as Willow Cr. Tr. above). There is a junction on Willow Cr. Tr. a few yards up it; take a right; ski or snowshoe uphill about a mile, then all downhill about 2 miles to Fox Road. Or drive to the end of Fox Road and begin at that end. Plenty of steep shots on this trail!
West Fork Road is barricaded at the Girl Scout camp December 1-April 15, which means that the road is open for skiing, snowshoeing and walking (and is open to snowmobiles). It is a very easy uphill road…good for beginners! BRTA grooms this road weekly or when conditions allow.
Bohart Ranch, near Bozeman: www.bohartranchxcski.com
Lone Mountain Ranch, near Big Sky: www.lonemountainranch.com