Beaverhead national forest camping- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Beaverhead national forest camping

    I'd like to know if anyone here has done any camping and riding in the beaverhead national forest. I'm thinking about visiting the middle mountain range that is west of big sky...the big forest that is surrounded by the towns of sheridan, twin bridges, mammoth, pony, and sterling (the range is west of big sky).

    I saw some great ride shots of this area and it really peaked my interest (lost cabin, louise lake, sailor lake, tobacco root mountains, etc) as a fun mtbing and camping destination. Plus its close to Butte, which I'd like to visit for the 50/100 ride.

    If anyone could recommend me some camping and riding in this area I'd really appreciate. My ideal campground is next to a creek or lake, close to trails, and close to some good places to fish. Its also nice to come back to a scenic campground after a long day and just relax and have a beer. I'm sure just about every campground in this area is great, but sharing your personal experiences would be of tremendous help. Btw I have a 4x4 so dirt roads are no problem. Thanks!
    Last edited by tribune; 01-19-2010 at 12:06 AM.
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

  2. #2
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    imo the best riding (and multiple trail / easy car camping options) is over the ridge and West of Pony in the Boulder.

    Camp near turnoff for Lost Cabin lake, do that ride. Camp then ride the Curly Lake Highline trail.

    I haven't hit Sailor or Brannon Lakes (yet) but that's a 3rd option from the same area.

  3. #3
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    It looks like lost cabin lake is pretty far away from pony...are there formal camp sites there or is it BLM land where you just find a stop and camp out? What road do you take to get to the lost cabin lake trailhead? Thanks
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

  4. #4
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    The more I learn about this area the better it looks.

    Has anyone camped near sailor lake? Can you drive up there? Google earth shows a road but it gets lost in the trees. Looks like a fun place to do some fishing after riding all day too. Has anyone fished in this area?

    Lastly is it safe to leave all of your camp gear out while you ride all day? I'm just going with a buddy so we won't have anyone back at camp to watch our stuff...I've never had a problem at developed campgrounds because there are people everywhere, but I'm kinda worried about a campground where anyone could just walk up and load up their truck with your stuff and leave...
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

  5. #5
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    Tobacco Root Mountains

    I have to recommend the Tobacco Root Range for not only biking camping hiking and gawking. It reminds me of Glacier National Park. There is a lot of riding there. Trails up to alpine lakes. Towering snowcapped peaks. There is a LOT of public access in this range. The shot is the Snowies.
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  6. #6
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    These are shots from my 2nd trip to Curly Lake. The first trip there we camped right by the Lost cabin trail head, and rode that trail that evening, didn't quite make it back before the sun went down, and without lights... made for an interesting ride, then did Curly Lake the next day. Curly lake is one of my favorite descents along with the ice cave loop in the Big Snowy's and Muskrat creek close to Boulder.


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  7. #7
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    How is the camping near the lost cabin trailhead? Any running water, trash or toilets? I don't see any park service campgrounds listed up there.
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

  8. #8
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    There might have been a toilet. No running water that I could find. It was pretty primitive, just threw up a tent wherever there was a spot.

  9. #9
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    Ray ray 74 is right on recommendations, and so is Dave Arnott.
    I would like to add that the camping is quieter in the drainage for Lost Cabin/Curly Creek on weekends. The Pony side is no place to camp on a weekend because of people and barking dogs.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  10. #10
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    There is a gate below Sailor Lake. It would take a medium clearance 4wd to get to the gate. Just ride your bike up the road from a camping spot below. It's better than driving. Short rides are Lost Cabin Lake, Curley Lake, Sailor Lake, and Lake Louise. A nice long ride is the Curley Lake Highline which is open after July 15. 23 mile loop. 4,000 ft gain plus.

    Filter your water or haul it from town. There is no developed camping in that drainage. Just pull over and make camp like everyone else. That's the rules.

    Sorry for the dry reply, but you need info.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  11. #11
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    yeah on sailor lake but I would ride up to it personally. And it's a long ride. I want to recommend granite lake (?) from the cardwell access road. There is another long trail going south west from that forest service road that kicks. Wouldn't you know it? Page twenty five and twenty six is missing from my Montana Atlas and Gazetteer. This shot is the crazies.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info. Lake louise looks like a good ride. Is it better than sailor lake?

    How far from the base of the lost cabin trailhead is a gas station or a six pack? Always good info to know and you guys seem to know the area pretty well. I would like to do some 4 wheelin'/target shooting if there are any good dirt roads nearby too. Also, does cardwell have all the services or is it a one stop sign town? From the map it seems only about 30 minutes away.
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

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