21 Images from the Crazy Mountains

Morning alpenglow on the Crazy Mountains. March, 2012.

Driving along I-90 between Big Timber and Livingston, Montana motorists are treated to a majestic backdrop of the state’s third-highest range, the Crazy Mountains.  Nowhere else in Montana is the transition from prairie to mountains so dramatic.  In a 20-mile span from the river bottoms of the Yellowstone to the pinnacle of 11,214-foot Crazy Peak, the terrain rises more than 7,000 feet.  Beautifully sculptured peaks and serrated ridges radiate from the core of the range and offer stunning views of the surrounding prairies and distant mountains.  

My up-close initiation to the Crazies came last weekend on a day hike up to popular Blue Lake in the Big Timber Canyon.  Having gone for the majority of my outings in the nearby Beartooth Range, it was refreshing to get out and explore a new area for a change.  As I made the steady climb alongside pristine Big Timer Creek, I was treated to sightings of delicious high-mountain fare, including lofty crags, plunging waterfalls, butterflies galore, and even a few wildflower species I had not seen before – all within a relatively short four miles!  One day here is just not enough time, and I can definitely see a longer multi-day backpack trip happening in these mountains in my future!

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