Elevation Gain
168.00 ft (51.21 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Warming hut
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The South Fork Loop is a short and easy lollipop loop trail located in Big Sky, Montana. This short but sweet loop travels through a coniferous forest near the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River. You are also treated to mountain views along the trail.

The South Fork Loop is just under 1 mile and features very little elevation gain. This trail starts from the South Fork Trailhead and is very well-marked throughout. The trailhead parking area can only fit two vehicles. 

The trail begins with a gradual uphill section of about 0.2 miles. You will then reach the loop section of the trail. If you choose to go clockwise on the trail, you will continue trekking uphill. This section of the trail allows you to peek through the trees for mountain views.

After about .4 miles, you will have reached the highest point of the loop. You will now be traveling downhill for about a quarter mile. This portion of the trail has the least obstructed views of the high peaks in the distance. 

The trail now goes up a small and short hill to complete the loop. After this, it is just 0.2 miles back to the trailhead to complete this lovely lollipop loop.

The South Fork Loop is open year-round and does not have any associated fees.This trail is groomed in the winter making it perfect for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or hiking. It is also dog friendly and just a short distance from Big Sky’s Town Center. While this trail is close to town, it is still common to see deer, elk, or moose. Bears have also been seen on this trail so it is important to follow bear safety principles. The South Fork Loop is a pleasant walk through the woods.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Mountain views.


Limited parking.

Pets allowed


Trailhead Elevation

6,241.00 ft (1,902.26 m)

Highest point

6,384.00 ft (1,945.84 m)


Near lake or river

Typically multi-day


Groomed trail


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Adventures

Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana
Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana


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