Montana Camping Trip - Rosebud Lake, Custer National Park, Montana - Alpacas of Montana

Montana Camping Trip - Rosebud Lake, Custer National Park, Montana

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As we moved into July, my sister and I once again needed to make a decision on where to go for our annual hiking trip. We decided on Taylor Fork outside of Yellowstone Park. Nope, too many Grizzly bears. What about Gallatin Canyon? No, still too high of a risk of Grizzly encounters and I wouldn’t sleep at all for our 3 day outing.


So, we decided on a new area – East Rosebud Trail in the Custer National Forest near Roscoe, Montana.  Three hours away, we headed out early on Friday morning with her three kiddos and Cali the St. Bernard. As we neared the parking lot, the mountains were steep and rugged with Rosebud lake at the base. Absolutely beautiful. 


Jessica and I each put on 43+ lbs packs, loaded up the older 12 year olds with 25 lb packs, and the 10 year old and Cali with 11 lbs each. Everyone needed to give it their
all. And yes, if you add that up, it is over 150+ lbs of gear. Over the last 5 years of this annual trip, we cannot seem to get any lighter – tent, tarp, stove, 5 sleeping bags, 5 sleeping pads, one change of clothes and food.


Off we went on our initial 3.5 mile hike to Elk Lake. With an elevation gain of only 890 ft, it was an easy walk in. Once at Elk Lake, there were about a half-dozen other campers so we sized up the last available spots and picked a great site with a rock cave and what seemed at first to be an even sleeping area…it wasn’t… I did stay nice and warm with my Extra Cushion Boot Socks during the evenings and walking in my Alpaca Running Socks during the day.


The next day we brought a single bag to Rimrock Lake 2.5 miles away. Completely stunning. This area is so diverse, from the bottom of the ravine to forests to sides of the mountains. Every view is dramatic and overdone – gushing water with rocky crevices and numerous waterfalls coming right out of the mountain. 


The second evening we celebrated Grace and Bryce’s 13th birthday with Swedish Fish and Reece’s Pieces. Again, above and beyond with happiness and appreciation for being in the wilderness.
If you have the opportunity to explore the wilderness, do so with enthusiasm.  It will lift your spirits, your heart and your happiness – be it a day hike or a few cozy overnighters like we were able to do.

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