Day trip to Rock Creek Lake - Tobacco Roots


Aug 17, 2015
I guess that I've re-discovered the Tobacco Roots. I've been to the popular Lost Cabin and Louise Lakes a few times, but not for five years or so. From my home in Helena, a trip up the South Fork of the Boulder River is at least 80 miles. I decided to spend a few days before summer's end exploring trails that I haven't visited. Just today, the Bozeman (MT) Chronicle published an article on the Roots.

After trips to Curly Lake from the Creek and Lake Trails, I though I'd visit Rock Creek Lake. First, it saves a little driving time because it's good road to the trailhead. Otherwise, three miles can take a half-hour on rough road. I've hiked a bunch in Glacier National Park (east side), and I can't tell you how much the Roots remind me of Glacier. Actually, many of the the peaks surpass Glacier's in altitude. The country looks the same, down to the prime bear country. I pack bear spray since ran into a black bear in the Belts out of Helena this summer. Way too close!

Anyway, I thought I'd post a few pics to share the country! I'll just go in order up to the lake, which isn't much of a lake this time of year in a dry year. We just had our first accumulating snow in the high country Friday.


I think this next shot is Hollow Top, highest peak in the Roots.

I warned you, not much of a lake.

Better shot of Hollow Top on the way down.

I capture the pics with my Garmin Oregon 650 GPS, at 5MP of the available 8. The problem is that it's damn near impossible to see the screen clearly while your framing your shot. Most are just a decent guess. I try to tuck into a shady spot to do the best that I can.

I mean to get into the North Meadow Creek country that John Goering described in a few posts, e.g., It's a bit farther, but I have to get to different places. Helena's v a hiker's paradise, and I'be done every trail in the Elkhorn Mountains, which are almost out my front door. Hope you enjoy the pics.


John Goering

Sep 30, 2014
One of two named lakes in the Roots I haven't been to-hard building any enthusiasm to hike to Rock Creek Lake, especially for my wife who likes to fish. The other lake I've never made it to is Beall and don't think there are any fish in it either. On Goggle it looks just like Upper Boulder Lake and very shallow. However, that one is still on the "to do" list as it should be some really great scenery.

Thanks for the TR.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
steve Planning a packrafting trip to Hole in the Rock Trail - April 10-12 Meet Up (Members Only) 74
F Hammond Canyon, UT trip planning Trip Planning 7
wsp_scott Family trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone Hiking & Camping 15
Yvonne The Subway September 2020 - a trip that went wrong Hiking & Camping 10
SteveR Delaying Winter-A November Desert Trip. Hiking & Camping 6
The Trout Whisperer Non kilt wearin’ version of th Gneiss Creek trip, part 2, Backpacking 4
norwegianxplorer Highest Mountain in Norway, Galdhøpiggen, the start of a 9 day backpacking trip in Jotunheimen national park Backpacking 0
montanaclimber Americans: where was your favorite international backpacking trip? Trip Planning 22
Jackson A Late Summer Summit Trip Backpacking 6
Bob New trip for Scatman...... Trip Planning 34
K Kings Peak Trip Trip Planning 6
napatony13 FIRST-TIMER'S YELLOWSTONE TRIP Hiking & Camping 13
TeamJenkins17 2022 Teton Wilderness/Shoshone National Forest Trip Trip Planning 0
andyjaggy A couple of Backpacking Trip Report Videos Backpacking 0
TrektheWorld Utah Trip - last weekend of October 2021 Meet Up (Members Only) 2
scatman The Pre-Trip Trip Report Hiking & Camping 9
6 Uintas Trip Planning Trip Planning 5
seaview53 Sawtooth trip planning. Iron Creek to Tin Cup Trip Planning 4
andyjaggy Last minute Winds trip Meet Up (Members Only) 12
LarryBoy World's Wimpiest Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 19
garyhost Cedar Mesa Utah Trip. Conditions? Water? Trip Planning 8
BackpackingtheSierras Point Reyes National Seashore Coast Camp Trip Backpacking 4
swmalone Bryce Canyon Family Trip Hiking & Camping 10
Bob A short Escalante trip end of April Backpacking 5
Pianomover Scary sea lions abort trip. Backpacking 2
Bob Blast from the Past Trip..... LCR Backpacking 33
kwc Chilkoot Trail trip report (an oldie but a goodie) Backpacking 1
Burrito Death Valley van trip turns into something pretty special General Discussion 7
WasatchWill A Trip to the Desert to Escape the Summer Heat Backpacking 8
D Advice for short backpacking trip in Robbers Roost Trip Planning 2
travel2walk trip report: Wind River Range – Ross Lakes, Bear Basin, Grasshopper Glacier, & Dinwoody Creek loop, Aug-Sep 2020 Trip Reports 41
J Trip first week of April 2021 Southern UT/Anywhere AZ - Death Hollow, Coyote Gulch, or other suggestions? Trip Planning 9
D Input for our trip to the Winds??? Trip Planning 6
R Eastern Uinta Solo Trip Advice Request Trip Planning 5
Tim Valentine Shoshone Geyser Basin Paddle Trip 2010 On The Water 10
McKee80 beartooth beginner trip Trip Planning 5
TeamJenkins17 Fox Park-Teton Wilderness Trip Backpacking 6
Kullaberg63 Solstice trip Backpacking 12
marmot_boi Thorofare trip Trip Planning 4
wsp_scott Yellowstone family trip planning General Discussion 27
M Suggestions for a 10 day backpacking trip in early June Trip Planning 8
Jackson A Bechler Trip Cut Short Backpacking 13
Mountain Wanderer A smoky trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness Backpacking 2
McKee80 Trip Planning Puzzle for March Trip Planning 10
Perry Teal Lake Lollipop Over Night Trip Backpacking 21
Bob Windrivers - relaxed trip Backpacking 14
Arizona Jones Wet Beaver Creek Arizona, Backpack Trip Backpacking 8
swmalone Yellowstone Camping Trip - August 18-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 21
RyanP 5-day Winds trip in early Sep---suggestions? Trip Planning 18
R Invite Yellowstone Backpacking Trip 7/29-8/3 Meet Up (Members Only) 2

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.