Bask in the Beauty Atop Bighorn Peak

8 Hours


There are hikes to mountain tops and there are HIKES to mountain tops.

Bighorn Peak, located on the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park is the latter. Mostly hidden from view, this summit is one of the many hidden gems one will find when deciding to go beyond the boardwalks. Located on the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park, Bighorn Peak provides a day of serenity and relative solitude in Yellowstone. Many may be deterred by the animals in the area, the remoteness of the peak, and the steepness of some sections of the trail, but those who are seeking a truly stunning mountain hike in Yellowstone will quickly become enamored by Bighorn Peak.

Along this hike, we probably won’t see many people. There is a likelihood that we won’t see anyone else at all. Instead, we will see wildlife, sweeping views, wildflowers, and a landscape that few who visit Yellowstone ever see, which is why I sincerely think you’l enjoy this adventure.

Starting at the Black Butte trailhead along Highway 191, between the Montana towns of Big Sky and West Yellowstone, the out-and-back route up to Bighorn Peak is a little over 12.5 miles in length and gains roughly 3,300 feet in elevation, topping out right around 9,900 feet above sea level. The majority of the trail is an easy-to-follow trail, with the only bit of exposure found on the final jaunt to the summit of the mountain. Even that exposure isn’t anything to worry about, as the trail is wide enough for stock to use on long backpacking trips across the area.

This trail isn’t for new hikers or those looking for an easy day. Instead, this adventure is for those looking for a unique experience in Yellowstone that will inspire deep adventures into the park’s backcountry. If you are looking for a mountain day that even locals overlook, Bighorn Peak is the adventure for you.


Why Book a Bighorn Peak Hiking Adventure?

Bighorn Peak is a day hike that will challenge many, but will reward all who reach the summit. Along the roughly 12.5 mile long out and back trail, you’ll pass through forests, along creeks, and up to windswept ridges with fantastic geology. The region is home to wildlife of all shapes and sizes, including bears, bighorn sheep, elk, marmots, and many other animals that may be spotted.

The trek will take around 8 hours for most hikers, with plenty of breaks to take in the views and rest during the 3,300 feet of elevation gained to reach the summit. As cars rush back and forth along Highway 191, which connects West Yellowstone to the Bozeman-Big Sky area, the trail darts away from the pavement quickly, with road noise being replaced with birds and the sound of wind through the trees. In the height of summer, wildflowers are easily found, bringing a splash of color to an already gorgeous landscape.

Bighorn Peak is for those looking for an adventure far from the beaten path of day hikers. It is for adventurers who want to summit a mountain that few have seen. It is for hikers hoping to have a day in the wilds of Yellowstone, where incredible memories are waiting to be had around every corner.


  • Potential wildlife sightings
  • Mountain views
  • Remoteness
  • Solitude
  • Wildflowers
  • Cool geology

About the Hiking Adventure

Day 1:
About the Hiking Adventure

Overall mileage: ~12.5 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 3,300 feet

We will meet at the trailhead at the designated time, typically between 7 and 9am. Once at the parking area by the trailhead, we will review safety for the day, as well as have a quick gear check to ensure everyone in the party has food and water. Once we have completed these tasks, we will begin the hike.
For the first 1.8 miles, the trails slowly gains 600 feet of elevation, meandering next to Black Butte Creek. This is a popular spot for wildlife to hangout, potentially giving us a sighting of elk, moose, deer, or even a bear. This is typically the easiest part of the hike, passing through meadows and stands of timber as we work out way up. Views of Lava Butte and King Butte emerge every so often, bringing some cool views to hikers.
After 1.8 miles, continue to skirt the creek, eventually crossing it at the three mile mark, gaining just 500 feet in elevation. From the bridge, the trail begins to slowly switchback up for the next mile and a half, with nearly 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Sweeping views begin to emerge, as do more wildflowers, giving plenty of opportunity to rest and stop for the non-stop climbing.
At 4.5 miles, the switchbacks end and the trail really starts to climb. The good news is that the views continue to get more and more impressive, showcasing what is waiting ahead of us. The not so good news is that once we reach the 5 mile mark, the trail gains 800 feet of elevation in just .8 miles. The steepness on this section may seem daunting, but the trail is easy to follow and hikeable. Once on the plateau, the remaining push to the true summit of Bighorn Peak is just a half mile away. The elevation gain to reach it is minimal, but the feeling of the trail is drastically different. Atop the plateau of Bighorn Peak, the atmosphere feels park like. The route to the true summit feels like a real mountain adventure, following a path built through the rocks, with panoramic views all around.
Once we have taken in the views from the top, as well as have had food and water, we will hike a little north, where the views of the region continue to impress along the Skyrim Trail. Once beauty has been basked in, we will follow the trail we hiked up, returning down to the trailhead with tired legs and amazing memories.

What you'll get/won't get


  • Bear spray, access to gallons of water before the hike, use of binoculars, an expert guide, wildlife tips, trekking poles (if requested in advance), a few prepackaged snacks (jerky, nuts, etc...)


  • Hiking shoes, backpacks, water bladders/water bottles, meals

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Bask in the Beauty Atop Bighorn Peak
17% Off
From $ 300 $ 250
/ Adult
From $ 100 $ 75
/ Child