Day-Hike to Quinnebaugh Meadows
After doing the three-nighter toward Martin Lake, the dog and I went back to Red Lodge, rested up, and then hit the trail again for one more day hike before heading home. This was was out to Quinnebaugh Meadows, which I picked mostly because the dog doesn’t like being in the car and the trailhead at West Fork of Rock Creek is pretty close to Red Lodge.
Scenery-to-Effort Ratio: 5? Scenery is probably a 9 and effort is probably a 2 (relative to 10-mile round-trips). So: 4.5 rounded up is 5. The bang-for-buck is tremendous — it’s a pretty easy half-day that takes you through much of what’s great about the Beartooths. (Also, while this is an easy 10-miler, it’s still 10 miles at very high elevation, so that might not net out as actually “easy” for everyone.)
Elevation Gain: Very gradual 1,000′. You start at about 8,000′ and the meadow is at about 9,000′.
Obstacles: The trail was slightly damp, otherwise it’s all straightforward till you get to the meadow. (If you wanted to go further, you’d have to cross a stream.)
Popularity: Moderate compared to most places, probably heavy compared to other Beartooths hikes. Crossed paths with probably six or seven other groups on the trail.
Distance: About 10 miles round-trip (this is an out-and-back).
Location: Beartooth Mountains near Red Lodge, Mont.
- Scenery is great the whole way with no lay-off — even the burned out forest for the first mile or two past the trailhead is pretty nice.
- Great views of ridgelines and the river (creek) roars alongside the trail.
- A few nice little waterfalls/cascades.
- If you wanted an easy overnighter (or a good basecamp situation), there are some decent places to camp in the meadow.
- Saw another trail corgi (other than mine).
- The scenery is all really nice, but there’s nothing jaw-dropping.
- The and-back part of out-and-back i
- s always a little less exciting than the out.
- Not really the route to go on if you’re trying to fish.