September 6, 2013

Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Part 1

What an adventure! I've slacked off the past several weeks, so this story is coming to you a little late. This is a hike that my brother planned years ago, and it didn't disappoint once we finally did it. Even the drive there was spectacular! We met my brother Jason and Robert in Idaho Falls, and from there we went through Yellowstone National Park. The Beartooth range is just north of the park in Montana.. We camped near Cooke City on our first night. Interestingly, once we arrived to where we were going to camp, we found out that you couldn't camp in tents, only hard-shell campers because of how many grizzly bears were in the area. We ended up finding a spot a few miles away, but we were all a little on edge that night.
 
The Crew, from right: Robert, Shawn, Braden, Jason, and myself.

Some of the views while driving to the trail head.



Stopping for one last normal meal.
The next day we made our way over to the East Rosebud Trail head to begin our hike. We did seven miles the first day and camped at Rainbow Lake. Along the trail, we found countless wild raspberry patches, along with thimble berries, huckleberries, and elderberries. The berries made for a tasty snack while we hiked. the trail was mostly uphill on the first day, and the scenery was breathe taking.

My guess to how the Beartooth Wilderness got it's name.

Wild thimble berries are my new favorite.

Working our way to camp.

The first steep climb.

The first lake we came to was a huge glacial lake.

 
On the second day, we started fishing. The first lake we hit was Lake at Falls. It was crystal clear and full of cutthroat trout. Robert was the first to hook into one as he soon landed the first fish of the trip. Everyone else soon followed, as the cutts seemed to  love anything that hit the water. We used a variety of dry flies, and watching these fish rise from the depths and explode on your fly was a special experience.

It's tough to beat this scenery.


Robert with the first fish of the trip.

Braden got in on the action catching his first fish on a fly.

Robert with a beautiful cutthroat.
The next lake we came to was Dewey lake with it's magnificent waterfall. A lot of guide books have say this is the sight to see on this hike. The cutthroat were less aggressive here, but we still caught plenty. To get deeper under the falls, I switched to using a Gold Jakes lure. My second cast to the falls, I hooked into something that felt big! unfortunately, on it's second hard run, it broke me off. I ended up catching several in this spot, but nothing that gave me the fight of that first fish. On to part two...

What a backdrop for fishing!

Robert working the waterfall.

A view as we make our way up the trail to the top of the falls.

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