Activities and Amenities
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GARNET MOUNTAIN FIRE LOOKOUT, MT
part ofCuster Gallatin National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open year round. Season Dates
OverviewGarnet Mountain Fire Lookout sits on the apex of Garnet Mountain, at an elevation of 8,245 feet. The lookout provides a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Highlights include the Spanish Peaks to the west, the Gallatin Range to the south, the Hyalite Ridge to the east and the Gallatin River Valley to the north.
The structure can be accessed by hiking, horseback or off-road vehicles on the Garnet Mountain Lookout Trail in the summer. The 3.5-mile trail gains 2,800 feet along its path. During winter months, guests must plan on skiing, snowmobiling or snowshoeing up to 10 miles on surrounding roads. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.
A fire lookout has existed on Garnet Mountain since 1930. The current structure was built in 1962. The lookout is available for reservation year-round. It is an excellent vantage point for watching sunrises and sunsets, or for gazing at the stars on a clear night.
Hikers, mountain bikers and off-road vehicle riders can access the same trail used to get to the lookout. Snowy conditions offer abundant opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The lookout can sleep up to four people on provided bunk beds with mattresses. There is a wood stove for heat and propane stove for cooking. Other amenities include a table with chairs, basic cookware, dishes and utensils.
Activities and Amenities
Know Before You Go
Getting There:GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Bozeman, travel south on Highway 191 for about 18 miles. Turn left onto Storm Castle Creek Road 132 (formerly known as Squaw Creek). After crossing the bridge, turn right at the intersection and continue past the helicopter base. From there, access one of two trails that lead to the lookout:
The trailhead for the 3.5-mile Garnet Mountain Lookout Trail 85 is approximately 1.5 miles up Storm Castle Creek Road. Park in the parking lot on the left side of the road. Take the trail south and cross Storm Castle Creek at the bridge. Due to avalanche hazards, this trail is not recommended during winter months.
Rat Lake access:
Travel about 5 miles on Storm Castle Creek to Rat Lake Road 3112. Turn right when the road splits. Follow the road up approximately 1 mile to the trailhead parking area below Rat Lake. Look for the three big boulders and notice Rat Lake after about a half-mile. The trail follows the east side of the lake. The lookout is 4 miles along old logging roads and trails. During winter months, guests may need to park near Shenango Ranger Station and ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile 10 miles to the lookout via Storm Castle Creek and Rat Lake Roads.
Mailing Address:GARNET MOUNTAIN FIRE LOOKOUT
3710 W FALLON STREET SUITE C
BOZEMAN MT 59718
Phone Number:Information: (406)522-2520