Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!
Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give one lucky listener some cool goodies to help them embark on their journey!
Garnet Mountain National Recreation Trail
An old fire lookout tower provides expansive views over the northern Gallatin and Madison ranges – with a cabin that can be rented overnight.
Roundtrip: 8.2 miles
Directions: From Four Corners, take Hwy 191 south for 16.7 miles to Storm Castle Creek Road, located between mile markers 66 and 65, Turn left (east) to cross the bridge over the Gallatin River, then right 1.9 miles to the STorm Castle Trailhead on the left. Note: Seasonal road closures can add as much as three miles travel during the winter.
What to expect: From the trailhead, cross Storm Castle Creek on the large wooden bridge. After 0.3 miles, keep left at the signed junction with the Gallatin River Trail #137. After 1.2 miles, the second switchback is marked by a cairn, which notes a short spur trail uphill to see views of the Storm Castle rock formation.
Continuing on the main trail, at 3.3 miles a cairn and signpost mark the junction with Garnet Lookout Trail #416. Note the location for the return trip, as it is easy to walk right past it. Turn left and follow the ATV road uphill. At 3.6 miles, stop to enjoy some photogenic rock outcroppings before the final ascent to the old fire lookout tower and summit at 4.1 miles. (Note: The mileages above may be slightly underestimated, as some parts of the first half of the trail were rerouted in 2015).
Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at hikewildmontana.org. And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!