Three Nights in the Beartooths: Sort of Near Martin Lake Eventually

I don’t even know how to refer to this one. It happened in August though.

The Beartooths (in Montana) are good. My friend Dave texted me a few months ago and told me this was the year for him to go there with me. So we sort of planned a trip on the Beaten Path trail over the top of them, then we eventually punted on that one and decided to do an in-and-out to the Martin Lake Basin, and then, because of reasons, we didn’t make it that far the first day and ended up camping somewhere with no apparent name (we eventually named the nearby lake after my dog) and then did a day-hike in to Lake Martin later, except we didn’t actually go to Lake Martin, but instead just pulled up at Wright Lake, which is right next to Lake Martin.

It’s still pretty there. One day, I’ll do that Beaten Path hike. One day.

Here are a bunch of photos.

Me at the trailhead with my shirt straining against various straps:

On this hike, we started at the Beartooth Lake trailhead.

OTOH, this is Clay Butte, the butte after which the trailhead we meant to start at but didn’t because the road was closed was named after:

Clay Butte from Beartooth Lake

There was some consternation as to what trail was the one we wanted to go on once we reached all these creeks — mostly due to the fact that I didn’t want to look at the map. There are so many trails of use in the Beartooths, though, it’s easy to be deceived by what appears to obviously be The Main Trail, but which is not actually the trail you want to be on.

Anyway, the trail we wanted to be on looked like this:

It was pretty much uphill for the first three miles. We met a couple of backpackers on their way out, who noted that all the trails were pretty clearly marked except for a “human-made trail” near Native Lake.

Turns out the human-made trail issue was more a problem on the way back than on the way in.

Here’s Aela waiting out the late-afternoon rainstorm from inside the tent that eventually got set up.

And Dave had pretty good success fishing Aela Lake.

Our campsite (we stayed there all three nights) was in a pretty good area, on top of sort of a long, narrow cliff. Good views in most directions.

We eventually did our day-hike to Martin Lake, which was pretty steep in spots. It’d be kind of a slog to get there in one day from the trailhead with packs on. Anyway, here’s how all that looked.

En route:

And then into the Martin Lake basin…:

The dog didn’t really enjoy watching me fish (shrug).

And finally we headed out.

We ended up on the wrong trail around Fossil Lake, so didn’t come back to the right trailhead, which meant a couple of bonus miles hiking on the shoulder of the highway.

And then that was just sort of it.

This place is really pretty.