Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,015.00 ft (614.17 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.00 mi (6.44 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Spectacular views. Summer ski line. Mountain goats. Campground.

Cons

Rough gravel and dirt road.

Trailhead Elevation

7,635.00 ft (2,327.15 m)

Highest point

9,650.00 ft (2,941.32 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers
Near lake or river
Vault toilet
Wildlife
Fishing

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Bridger + Crazy Horse Mountains, Montana
Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana
Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana

Comments

My trips up to Fairy Lake and on one occaisin camped in the Fairy Lake Campground were excellent. I found it perfectly welcoming tidy trails for families around and to the Lake. I hike with my dog and it was very comfortable. Insane views from below the peaks,
I agree 100% the road is full blown off road 5 mile an hour, single lane, tires half on half off, extremely fun for a good driver it makes you smile and heart pump, free range cattle, logs, deep cuts loose rock, drivers coming at you way too fast, so look up and down! Not for a sedan, saw lots of vehicle parts scattered on the sides, rattled off. I enjoyed it and if you include the road as part of the adventure, it's great.

Best thing ever happened to me and my side kick, dog while camping ar the Fairy Lake Campground was about 10+ Spectacular Mountain Goats tumbling, jumping , play fighting right down off the sheer rock wall right into the campground, Rams, Does, and Kids wild circus play and a little conflict too, were a sight to see. I'd never seen a Mountain Goat in the flesh, so beautiful, Moose, horse, goat bodies very muscular, stunning! I watched then sniff the adjacent tents from my table and decided to film them from my picnic bench with tablet, in the center circle. I was focused on the groupings then I realize as I am looking at screen and up, a single Ram/Male no sure exactly how the male is referred to , Has crossed the paved circle, marching with purpose directly to me like he knew me or needed to share an important story, his 2 herd buddies literally stop completely, looking at him frozen as if to say where are you going ? Why, hey , what the heck? Dead stopped, no chewing,, no playing, over where they were across at the base of the Rock Cliffs he separated so quickly , on the mission to come directly at me straight, I'm a horse person, and not b any means a pro camera person, all I could say was Whoa Goat, quietly just let the tablet down he pivots, all this quietly, not freaking out,, my dog is used to all livestock and respects them she's just wondering who I just said whoa to, I did say stay then Goat stops as hes just walking around me basically, he thinks oh a dog I'll go around the vehicle too then , dog goat and human just crossing paths, luckily he responded to the. Simple whoa goat little too close thanks for detour to wherever he needed to be. He may have been agitated by something another goat said, because he did Mark right as he responded to Whoa turned and marked / urinated. The size and muscle I think could easily just kill a person. I'm sharing that because in hindsight and video, and a horsewoman. He was wasn't coming to us e was leaving the conflict they were all head butting,
I don't know if I a allowed to say this but some disruptive not so smart adult men just across the way were daring one another he moment they arrived I only spotted the goats because they were going to mess with them, stupidly obviously, I said really guys your going to ruin it for all of us and kids too and spook them or get killed look at them and not to mention knives on their heads.
So it's a shame that there is such childish disrespect way out there, it's annoying and potentially very dangerous. Young kids there seeing something that few ever get to see and when they are all gone will totally tell their kids what a spectacular event in nature we all saw. Three adult men headed to harass these surreal creatures. I'm old enough I don't mind speaking up, and enough people in the campground I felt great to say no , why?
Sorry about that rant and I'm sure people who sign up here for actual information are not those who don't want to understand,
I feel honored to have seen them , one slghtly too close it was a trip.
It's a cool place good for kids canoes !
Fairy Lake felt like a seriously great wilderness experience!
I'll post the video it's crazy, in person it was . Casper the Friendly ( ??) Goat!
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