Red Lodge Mountain Ski resort is also located on the District.
In addition to downhill skiing, there are two ski touring trails
that provide about 18 kilometers of cross-country skiing. The Lake
Fork skiing touring trail offers two loops of 3 and 7 kilometers.
The Silver Run trail has four loops of 4, 7, 11 and 15 kilometers.
The Silver Run trails complex provides opportunities for mountain
bikes, horse, and summer hikers, in addition to winter ski touring.
There are four National Recreation Trails on the District. They
are: Wild Bill Lake, Parkside, Basin Lake, and Silver Run.
The Beartooth Highway, a National Forest Scenic Byway, traverses
the mountains from Red Lodge to Cooke City, and the northeast entrance
to Yellowstone Park. This highway climbs to the 10,947 foot elevation
at Beartooth pass and passes through the lands of the Custer, Gallatin
and Shoshone National Forests.
There are a number of camp and picnic areas on the District, providing
destination type use, and also serve as popular jumping-off places
for day hikes into the Wilderness. The facilities at Wild Bill lake
are designed specifically for persons with disabilities; ramps for
wheel chairs provide access to the lake for easy fishing and docks
are also provided.
About 345,000 acres of the 945,000-acre Absaroka-Beartooth (A-B)
Wilderness is located on the Beartooth Ranger District. The A-B
wilderness lies in two States, (Montana & Wyoming), and three
national Forests. Within the Custer portion of the A-B Wilderness,
there are about 180 miles of maintained foot and horse trails. The
area is well known for lake and stream fishing, and also provides
habitat for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, elk, white-tail
deer, mule deer, mountain grouse, black bear, cougar, and bobcats.
Although all these animals and birds occur in the area, there are
no large populations of any of them. Occasionally grizzly bear are
seen in areas of the wilderness located on the Custer National Forest.
Granite Peak is located on the boundary between the Gallatin and
Custer National Forest. This is the highest point in Montana, and
is a very challenging scramble type climb.
The Beartooth Mountains are composed of a massive block of Precambrian
crystalline rock, including the Stillwater Complex. This complex
contains the largest known platinum and chrome deposits and the
second largest nickel deposits in the United States. A platinum
and palladium mine has been developed.
The Pryor Mountain unit of the district is located about 60 miles
east of Red Lodge, and is adjacent to the Crow Indian Reservation,
and the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. The soils in the
Pryor Mountains are derived from limestone and sandstone formations.
The limestone uplifts and formations contain numerous caves and
sinkholes. This mountain range was never glaciated, is rather dry,
and has never received heavy use by recreationists. As a result,
there are many archeological and paleological sites on the unit.
Lost Water Canyon, on the southeast corner of the unit, is a proposed
The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Territory is located on the eastern
edge of the Pryor Mountains. The Wild Horse Territory extends to
the east and south on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) and the Park Service. The wild horses are managed by the BLM.
The Pryors contain some very steep terrain and some of the canyons
are deeply incised in the limestone. Recreation opportunities include
deer and small game hunting, hiking, and snowmobiliing. Many primitive
trails and old mining roads provide easy motorized access. The Pryor
Mountain Unit is largely managed for dispersed recreation except
for Sage Creek campground and Big Ice Cave Picnic Area.