Hardscrabble Peak

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Photo by Liz McGoff

4 miles (round-trip)

Duration: 2 to 4 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,900 

Activities: Hiking, trail running, skiing

Crowds: Light traffic

While Hardscrabble is not technically identified as a trail, it's still a good hike. The first part of the trail also leads into other nearby options for recreating. This trail takes you up several switchbacks with wide views and wildflower meadows. Two miles in, you'll reach the Sacagawea Saddle (and a large cairn); take a hard right north to climb 700 feet to the peak of Hardscrabble. From there you can see six surrounding mountain ranges: the Gallatin, Madison, Crazies, Tobacco Roots, Elkhorns, and Big Belts. At Sac Peak, you can choose from four other trails: North Cottonwood, Corbly Gulch, Bridger Foothills (to Ross Peak and the M), and Sac Peak. Hike out-and-back or park a shuttle car at the trailhead of one of those four trails. Look out for mountain goats!

Seasonal Conditions
The road to the parking lot is impassible during the winter. You can ski the trail—experts only—during the winter. 

From downtown Bozeman, head north on N. Rouse Ave. Continue up the canyon for 21 miles, and turn left at the Fairy Lake turnoff. Drive 6 miles to Fairy Lake Campground, then turn right and park 200 yards ahead at the signed trailhead on your left. 

Robert Stone's Hardscrabble Peak Map

Map courtesy of Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana.

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