Beehive Basin Hike

This entry is part [part not set] of 49 in the series All American Road Trip out West 2014


beehive basin trailhead sign

If you have ever taken a road trip, you know how difficult it is to get exercise. Either there is no time, or you are so exhausted from driving and traveling that is seems impossible to get a workout in. We were lucky and took an opportunity to hike Beehive Basin Trail on a stay-over day in Big Sky, Montana. 


In 2013, Fox News designated the Beehive Basin trail as one of the top 10 hikes in the world ( and we understand why after taking the walk ourselves.


The trail snakes its way up the mountain, sometimes through wooded areas, other times in alpine fields and meadows. The hike generally follows a crystal clear creek. Don’t stop following the water when you get to the basin though. Within the basin itself is a mountain lake that is surly being fed by the melting snow. Yes, snow. We climbed in July when the temperatures reached near 80 and we found plenty of snow. 

Beehive Basin is at the base of the Spanish Peaks. The scene feels like it is right out of a movie. The panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains are enhanced by the natural cathedral-like wall of Spanish peaks wrapping around part of the basin. 

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You don’t have to hike all day to find the beauty of this trail. It is host to a large number of wild flowers from the trail head all the way up. There is varying terrain, mountain lakes, and a creek spattered with natural waterfalls along the way. One place that we really enjoyed was a granite boulder field with water source just as you entered the Gallatin National Forest boundary. 

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When we reached the top, another climber told us the basin was over 10,000 feet, but reports it to be only 9,200 with a 750 foot elevation gain; still pretty high for a family that lives at 900 feet in Minnesota.  

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If you like hiking in the outdoors, this path has a wonderful variety of experiences from abundant wildflowers, tall trees, panoramic views, boulder fields, alpine lakes and streams and towering cliffs and peaks. This is a must do for the hiker who visits Big Sky.

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Chris Ashbach is one of the founders of Dan330. Chris is a pilot and avid outdoorsman who loves fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring. He loves taking kids (especially his own) on trips to share his passion of the outdoors. Chris is also a gardener, volunteers at Let's Go Fishing, and teaches Sunday school. Chris holds a MA in Organizational Leadership and is faculty at a local university in Minnesota; teaching undergraduate business classes.