Beartooths 2023 - Day 2

2024-05-04 | 5 min read

We woke up to brightening skies a little after 6. The inside of the rainfly was wet from humidity and the outside of it was damp as well. There hadn’t been rain in the night which was nice. We packed everything up except the tent and ate breakfast. I had frosted banana bread Pop-Tarts which were delicious. We had hoped the sun would be high enough to dry the tent before we left, but it wasn’t. We packed the wet tent up and headed out. 

There was a little bit of uphill before we hit the Line Creek Plateau. We saw some sun peeking through the clouds, so we laid out the tent to dry. It wasn’t long until clouds covered the sun again. The tent and footprint were dry, but the rainfly still needed some work. We packed the tent and footprint inside of my pack to keep them dry and left the rainfly on the outside. It looked like rain in the distance and we wanted to be careful. 

Heading back onto the trail we put on our rain gear and meandered across the plateau. We got 10 minutes of light rain before it let up. Off to the west in the distance, we could see the Beartooth mountains flooded with sun from clear skies. We stopped in awe of the view several times. 

Eventually, the rain clouds moved into the distance and the sun beat down our unshaded plateau. We took another break to lay the rainfly out and eat snacks. This time the sun stayed cloud-free and we were able to finish drying things out. All of the tent was then packed away and we continued. 

As we neared the end of the plateau we could not find the trail we were supposed to split off on. Using our GPS we set out in the general direction of where the trail should have been. After about 3/4 of a mile, we found the trail - if you could call it a trail. The "trail" was a faint line in the grass between cairns. We followed it and the trail eventually widened out into more of what you’d expect of a trail. Down the trail we went - losing over 3,000 feet of elevation over about 4 miles. As we got close to the end of the trail it started to rain lightly. Once we hit the trailhead it had stopped and we took a nice break. 

Next up was a short road walk. We finished it quickly and stopped at the trailhead of the Lower Lake Fork Trail to get some water. In the distance, we could see some peaks getting rain so we put on our rain gear before heading out. 

As we hiked it started to pour rain. We weren’t sure how far we were going to go - we had already done 12 miles, and anywhere that presented itself while it wasn’t raining would be great. Soon after starting on the trail we passed through a Lions Club Camp. It looked empty and was tempting to hold up on one of the porches due to the rain. We didn’t stop and continued hiking. 

We passed a surprising number of day hikers and for each one, we would think about how they were probably headed back to a dry car which they would drive home to a nice warm and dry bed. 

We kept on walking and finally made it to the wilderness boundary! In my mind, this is when the hike starts. The first day and a half were so we could do a full loop, and we weren’t in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness for those days. 

Onward we trudged. The rain finally let up, but there were still dark and gloomy clouds overhead. We wanted to get to one of the lakes ahead and find a campsite. The first one we got to was Broadwater Lake. I don’t know that we’d classify it as a lake - it was more like a wide slow part of the creek. We were tired after over 17 miles so we decided to stay at the lake for the night. We found a flat spot for our tent and managed to set it up without it raining on us. We were glad we had taken the timer earlier to fully dry it out. 

Logan decided to take a dip in the freezing creek before we ate dinner. I’m not opposed to dips in the creek, but after the rainy day, I was done being wet. For dinner, I had a Mountain House breakfast skillet. It was delicious and warm. Perfect after the rain. I don’t normally have Mountain House as it’s expensive and bulky, but Logan and I decided to splurge for one meal this trip. 

Soon after dinner, we crawled into the tent to warm up. It looked like the sun eventually came out, but we were too tired to get out and look.

  • Watch: 66%
  • Phone: 41%
  • GPS: 55%