The hike to Lost Lake is located in the Custer Gallatin National Forest very close to Red Lodge, Montana. The paved trailhead with pit toilet, marked on AllTrails, is no longer the starting point. The flood from a year ago has washed out the bridge, and it is difficult to cross the creek that feels more like a river at this location. As a result, the once 10-mile hike is now 13 miles.HAPPY HIKING!
Red Lodge is a small city located in south, central Montana with a population of approximately 2,200. It was established in the late 1800’s and relied on coal mining until the Great Depression. Upon many mines closing, residents turned to bootlegging, selling its “syrup” as far away as San Francisco and Chicago.
The city was linked to Yellowstone National Park after the Beartooth Highway opened in 1936. This access to the park coupled with the largest coal mining disaster in Montana in 1943, steered the Red Lodge economy toward the outdoors and tourism.
Over time, it’s lovely downtown has been redeveloped, and the red brick buildings donning American flags feature a variety of boutiques, restaurants and hotels. Despite the recent Yellowstone floods which heavily affected the area, Red Lodge is a great little city to visit with many things to do.EXPLORE MORE!
After spending a few weeks in the Flathead Valley, I moved farther south to Red Lodge, Montana. Though you can still see many effects from the flood early this summer, the roads and businesses are open, so go support them.
Unfortunately, some of the hikes on the top of my list were not accessible unless I added an additional 8+ miles along a road. Since those trails were already 10 miles, 18 miles wasn’t in the cards for me. Fortunately, the Basin Lakes Trail was open, and it was spectacular!HAPPY HIKING!