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Old 02-12-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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Hi all, any tips on any great trails to hit (when all the snow melts) near billings?
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:30 AM
 
Location: C-U metro
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How close? I'd recommend most trails in the Beartooths as most of those are within an hour and a half drive of Billings. If you are looking for some closer trails, try Pictograph Cave park which is in town. It's a nice little hike, just watch for rattlesnakes.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:46 AM
 
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The area around Red Lodge in the Beartooths seem close enough - what are some recommended day hikes? Also, any need for bear spray? Seen some great pictures of Mystic Lake - seems like an awesome hike.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:30 AM
 
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Public lands with forest will mostly be National Forest. The one near Billings is part of Custer Gallatin National Forest. The local offices will have maps wth trails mapped. Some may be designated as xcrosscountry ski trails or as snowmobile trails in the winter. This website also has information.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:50 AM
 
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Mystic Lake is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. It's about an hour and a half drive from Billings, so not terrible. The rock field at the top can get pretty hot if you hit it early afternoon, so starting early to mid morning is better than lunchtime.
The Crazies are only about 2 hours away, so not a terrible drive either. You drive through a private ranch (make sure to close the gates behind you) to get there, and the road is fairly primitive once you turn off the highway, but a really neat hike up. There's a small campground on the southeast side where the closest trailhead to Billings is.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:56 PM
 
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I've downloaded a few maps from the Custer Gallatin National Forest website - thanks that was helpful. At least on google maps some of these roads to the trailheads seem like small gravel roads. Would I need an SUV/4x4 to get to these trailheads.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicken83 View Post
I've downloaded a few maps from the Custer Gallatin National Forest website - thanks that was helpful. At least on google maps some of these roads to the trailheads seem like small gravel roads. Would I need an SUV/4x4 to get to these trailheads.
It probably would be a good idea if you are to be a regular hiker. Very few areas in Montana will have pavement to the trailhead, unless it happens be located along a highway. Even if you had a 2wheel drive vehicle that would be fine getting there in & out on most days, there will be that surprise snowfall or heavy rain which would make 4 wheel drive necessary. If you don't want a big vehicle, Subaru outbacks are the most popular 4wheel drive car.

Also Montana has a great selection of state parks & most have hiking trails. Montana State Parks ::
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