The trail to the Baldy Basin Saddle features beautiful views of Livingston Peak and the Absaroka and Gallatin Mountain ranges along the way.
The trail winds along an unused doubletrack dirt road through new forest. At the old horse trough on your left, take on the narrow dirt trail toward the gate. Here the trail forks again; take a left and start your climb above the Lost Creek drainage.
The trail opens up for a bit with a fantastic view of Lost Creek canyon below, Livingston Peak to the east, and Mount Delano to the south. Begin a steep climb up the drainage, below the northern rocky walls of West Baldy basin. Eventually cross over Lost Creek and make the strenuous final 1,300-foot climb up to the saddle.
Views from the saddle make the elevation gain worth it! To the east, see the rocky spine of Shell Mountain and the rolling landscape of the West Boulder Divide. To your west, see Livingston far below, the Gallatin Range to your southwest, and the Bridgers in the distance to the northwest. Livingston Peak is just 1,000 feet higher, but it proves difficult to tread with no formal trail.
You may want to consider bringing a windbreaker on this hike. With wind gusts averaging 15.2 mph at the airport, Livingston is Montana’s windiest city!