Share:

Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak

Bridger + Crazy Horse Mountains, Montana

Start Exploring
Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak

Share:

Advertisement
  • Mountain goats on Sacagawea Peak. - Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Hiking at the base of the rocky bowl.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Snow can linger until June and even into July.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Thick clouds at the pass.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Popular spot to find goats and boarders seeking summer snow. Skiers are en route to ski Bozeman's favorite summer ski line, "The Great One."- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • These mountain goats are clearly habituated to people. They come within close range but do not seem aggressive. Do not feed the wildlife.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Mountain goats love the rocky terrain.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Skiers trek across the dramatic ridgeline to Naya Nuki Peak.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Eastern views on the way back down.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • With its clear blue green waters, Fairy Lake is a popular destination.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
  • Fairy Lake is one of the Bridgers' best and most accessible lakes.- Fairy Lake to Sacagawea Peak
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Spectacular views. Summer ski line. Mountain goats. Campground.
Cons: 
Rough gravel and dirt road.
Advertisement
Region:
Bridger + Crazy Horse Mountains, MT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
9,650.00 ft (2,941.32 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Total elevation gain: 
2,015.00 ft (614.17 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,635.00 ft (2,327.15 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

At 9,666 feet, Sacagawea Peak, which is named after the Lemhi Shoshone woman who guided the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is the tallest peak in the Bridgers. The view from the summit sports 360-degree views of the nearby mountain ranges. On a clear day, see the Big Belts to the north, the Crazies to the east, the Gallatin and Madison Range to the south, and the Elkhorn and Tobacco Roots to the west.

The trail by Fairy Lake is the shortest route to reach Sacagawea Peak. Find the trailhead at the southern end of the parking lot. The trail swings into the forest, crossing over a small stream and up rocky switchbacks. You'll gain views of Battle Ridge and the Crazies to the east and the large rocky bowl to the west. Large patches of snow can linger across the trail here, even in July. Switchback your way up to the divide, where a left turn will soon lead you to the steep scramble up to the Sacagawea Peak. Taking a right at the divide leads to Hardscrabble Peak (9,561 feet).

You’ll most likely see a pilgrimage of local skiers heading up to Naya Nuki Peak (9,581 feet) to do "The Great One," a ski line down a couloir that usually has snow year round. If you’re lucky, you may catch site of the mountain goat herd that calls the Bridger Range their home.

Fairy Lake is a gorgeous mountain lake near the base of the trail and a popular destination for families, nearby campers, and hikers looking to unwind after a trip up Sacagawea Peak. A 1.2-mile loop winds around the 20-acre lake, offering Instagram-worthy views of Pomp and Hardscrabble Peaks towering over the lake and surrounding forest.

It cannot be emphasized enough that the road to the Fairy Lake and Sacagawea Trailhead requires careful driving, and if you have it, a high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle. At just over 6 miles, the gravel/dirt road is riddled with potholes, and in late spring and early summer, reams of mud. The road can be narrow and have steep sides in sections. You may only be able to drive 1.4 or 4 miles of the road depending on when the Forest Service opens the two gates on the road. There are trails and administrative roads that you can take from the gate parking to make it to the trailhead.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
Become a pioneer and be the first to add this adventure to your Bucket List
Who's Done It
1 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
90 Adventures Explored
71 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info