From Main St., Bozeman MT, take N. Rouse Ave.; merges into Bridger Canyon Dr. (MT 86). In about 21 mi., L onto Fairy Lake Rd., which dead-ends @ campground. Pass through campground to trailhead.
- Elevation: 9665′ at Summit
- Distance: 4.4 Miles RT
- Elevation Change: 1955 feet
- Difficulty: Strenuous
Sacajawea Peak is a “must-do” hike up the highest peak in the Bridger Mountain Range near Bozeman, Montana. The trail starts near Fairy Lake through old growth forest for first 1/4 to 1/3 mile and then pops out into the open at the bottom of the mountain face where the trail traverses the face up to the saddle between Sacajawea Peak and Hardscrabble Peak. The trail is exposed as it switches back and forth across the face of the mountain. Unexpected wild flowers bloom sparsely on this otherwise barren trail.
The saddle between the two mountains is a great place to rest and have a snack. If you begin to experience a little vertigo, the Bozeman Valley view is spectacular without continuing on to the summit.
From the saddle, you walk along the ridge for a few hundred yards before beginning a series of switchbacks that lead steeply up to the actual peak of the mountain. The small rocks make the going slow. Those that are afraid of heights might not wish to tackle this section of the peak trail. I felt very exposed and there isn’t anything to arrest a fall should you slide off the trail.
A 360 degree view awaits at the summit. It is really quite breathtaking. The Bridger Mountains have an impressive “knife” edge ridge line in both directions. The Bozeman Valley side is green and colorful. The other side of the mountain looks back toward The Crazies and further to the left is Mt. Edith that can be seen from our kitchen window.
The bulk of my hiking experience has been in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Smokies where the vegetation is abundant. The Smokies are actually considered a temperate rainforest. The open, exposed nature of the Sacajawea Peak trail made for a new experience. Hopefully we will get to do this hike often enough in the future to get used to the stark landscape. It really is a great hike. We are looking forward to hiking a lot more of this area in the future.