Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,673.00 ft (814.73 m)
Trail type
13.20 mi (21.24 km)
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The East Rosebud Trail is a beautiful, moderately difficult hike near Red Lodge, Montana that features several lakes and scenic mountain views. The trail leaves from a parking lot at the end of East Rosebud Road, a 14.5-mile mostly unpaved road from Roscoe to the trailhead. The trail is an out-and-back with views along most of the trail, so hikers can turn back at any point and still enjoy a fantastic hike. Elk Lake and Rimrock Lake are two great options for destinations.

From the trailhead, the route passes first by East Rosebud Lake, reaching the first major viewpoint after just 1.0 miles, with views back to East Rosebud Lake and towards the south along the valley. The trail continues along the East Rosebud Creek for another 0.8 miles to reach a scenic waterfall among beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. From the falls, the trail switchbacks a few times and begins climbing more steeply before reaching Elk Lake at 3.5 miles. Elk Lake has several beautiful spots near the shore to enjoy the stunning views of the dramatic cliffs surrounding the lake.

From Elk Lake, the trail again begins climbing along the cliffs on the east side of the valley, becoming narrow at times. After about 6.6 miles, the trail reaches Rimrock Lake, where a bridge crossing the outflow offers beautiful views of the lake and of the peaks beyond, such as Snowbank Mountain and Summit Mountain.

From here, the route returns to the trailhead via the same route past Rimrock Lake, Elk Lake, and East Rosebud Creek. Or, hikers wishing for more can continue another 1.1 miles (each way) to reach Rainbow Lake, another beautiful alpine lake with tremendous views. More adventurous hikers should consider the Beaten Path point-to-point hike, a roughly 25-mile traverse passing the East Rosebud trail and continuing through beautiful mountainous terrain.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful mountain views. Alpine lakes. Mostly non-technical trail.


Long dirt road. Can be crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

6,274.00 ft (1,912.32 m)

Highest point

7,772.00 ft (2,368.91 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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