July has been a warm month in Montana; when the temperature starts getting in the 90’s in the valley I like to take myself to higher elevations to enjoy cooler temperatures and beautiful views. This past weekend my roommates and our dogs chose to explore a drainage of the eastern Tobacco Root Mountains. Located between Ennis and Whitehall, the Tobacco Root Mountains have a relatively low amount of human traffic despite being an hour from Bozeman. I haven’t spent much time there myself, so I was excited to check out some new hills and hopefully find some fish in a few lakes we scouted the last time we were out.

The trails we hiked were mostly used by 4WD vehicles and motorcycles but this particular Sunday we didn’t see a single person. One of the lakes still had icebergs and the eastern side was still partially covered with ice. This lake sat just under 9,000 ft in elevation with gorgeous cliffs running up to 10,000 ft on the eastern side. Fishing was slow at this first lake, but we both caught a few nice cutthroat trout. On our way back to the car we stopped at two other lakes that were lower in elevation but equally as scenic. Fishing was a little better; unfortunately, we did not spend as much time at these two lakes…another day I suppose.

After 10.5 miles of hiking, we were glad to be back at the car to enjoy a few cold beverages and discuss our finished adventure. My favorite part about exploring Montana is knowing there is always more out there. I was thoroughly impressed with the beauty and peacefulness we found this day and am excited to spend more time in this mountain range.

Where is our next excursion going to take us? We haven’t decided yet, but thanks to Montana being “The Last Best Place,” we have plenty of options.