Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
6,631.00 ft (2,021.13 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
26.30 mi (42.33 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Crazy Mountains Loop can be completed in either direction with little variation in the logistics either way. It is a lightly trafficked route that cuts right through some of the best scenery of the Crazy Mountain Range. Elk, moose, bears, and deer all inhabit the unique range and accentuate the remoteness of the area. 

The route starts from Porcupine Cabin on the Porcupine Creek Trail and follows the flats of grassfields and winds through pine forests before turning left onto the North Fork Elk Creek Trail and climbing to the base of the mountain pass. The steep climbing begins, up and over a 9,400 foot-plus pass, afterwhich the trail turns into the Middlefork Sweetgrass Trail. Once the ridge is crested, the pass is gained, and the drop through the notch is complete; a beautiful view of Campfire Lake and Moose Lake appears. Campfire Lake (Mile 7) is a beautiful camp spot for the first night, with protected spots nestled in the woods. 

From Campfire Lake the trail drops even further down to Moose Lake which is often the location of hunting camps in the fall. A guide service has arrangements in place to set up basecamp and pack up supplies with mules to this lake. This means the trail for the next few miles is quite warn down with the continual pack train traffic. All the way downhill to Sunlight Basin, a signed left turn, and the start of gaining back all the lost elevation. The climb up to Sunlight Lake is continual and rarely mellow. At Sunlight Lake is the most picturesque view of the loop. 

Above Sunlight Lake another pass is gained and then begins the crux of the loop. A very steep downhill on the Sunlight Ridge Trail. The trail is hard packed dirt with a thin unstable dusting of rock covering it. It is a slow and quad busting descent to the intersection with the Shields Lowline Trail. From the junction with the Shields Lowline Trail, it is an easy 5 mile trek back to Porcupine Cabin with only one small climb over Bald Ridge.  

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Days

2

Pros

Easy to follow. Beautiful mountain lakes. Good water sources.

Cons

Remote Location. Guided hunting trips in the area.

Trailhead Elevation

6,400.00 ft (1,950.72 m)

Highest point

9,547.00 ft (2,909.93 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Wildlife
Fishing
Big Game Watching
Wildflowers
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Bridger + Crazy Horse Mountains, Montana

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