Garnet Mountain Trail

User Rating 
Average: 3.5 (2 votes)
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This hike has two routes. One follows an old double-track logging road, climbing steadily until the very end. The other is a steep singletrack that ties into the logging road about a half-mile below the peak.

The singletrack trail is 3.5 miles to the top, gaining 2,800 feet of elevation along the way. The double-track trail winds around the back side of the mountain, passing Rat Lake, a few ponds, and the turnoff to Pioneer Lakes along its four-mile length. Both routes offer great views—the canyon's forested slopes and distant peaks make for epic scenery. Near the summit, the trail passes through a livestock fence and climbs to a fire lookout tower atop the mountain. The tower was built in 1930 and is available to rent for camping through the Montana Recreation Rental Program.

DirectionsFrom Bozeman, take Hwy. 191 south for about 17 miles. Take a left over the Squaw Creek Bridge, then turn right and parallel the river before bending left into the Squaw Creek drainage. For the singletrack route, look for a small parking area on the left; this lot also serves the Storm Castle trailhead. The marker for Garnet Mountain is across the road. For the double-track option, continue on the Squaw Creek road, taking a right at the fork. Park at the end of the road.

For a map of this trail, click here. Map courtesy of Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana.



Average: 3 (1 vote)
October 3, 2013 - 4:56pm by: Mike England
Mike England's picture
Short hike with good elevation gain and great views up top
Average: 4 (1 vote)
June 8, 2015 - 9:54am by: Caroline Miller
Caroline Miller's picture
The view never gets old--pretty phenomenal for a 4 miler. Keep the cabin clean though, people. It was a mess when we showed up.
No votes yet
October 24, 2017 - 1:50pm by: Kendra
I’m not finding it in any of the info as to whether you can camp overnight anywhere near Rat Lake or is this just a day use area??

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