As the highest point in the Bridgers, Sacajawea – or Sac – Peak is worth the steep, leg-burning grind to get the views its heights promise. This is a summit with no scrambling required, but standing at its rocky summit is sure to make you feel like a mountain goat. Speaking of which, on the lookout for these nimble critters – not to mention wildflowers, fascinating geology, and other wildlife living above the treeline.
If you want to head up for golden hour, sunrise is preferred. That's where staying in Bozeman comes in handy, since you're not far from the trailhead, but you can still grab all the essentials before you head up.
But the views are stunning at any time of day, as long as the air is clear.
Snow and mud can make the trail treacherous, so you might want to wait until warmer times to plan the climb. If conditions allow, you may be able to push it as late as October. But if that's what you're aiming for, make sure to have a backup. You don't want a sudden snowstorm to send you sliding for cover.
You have a few paths to pick from as you begin to plan your trip. At just under 10,000 feet – 9,800 to be precise – you're guaranteed a gain of at least 2,000 feet. Enjoy the burn, and get ready for the summit's 360-degree views, no matter which way you choose.
By far, the most popular route to the summit of Sacajawea is the trail from the east, starting at Fairy Lake. To get to this popular trailhead, head out of Bozeman toward Bridger Bowl, and keep driving just beyond to the turnoff. This route is 4 to 5 miles, depending on whose GPS you ask. It takes you up a glaciated bowl between Sac and Hardscrabble, and you head about a mile south to make your summit after you pop up to the ridge. And you can look forward to a refreshing plunge into Fairy Lake when you make it back down.
If you want to see the Gallatin Valley spread beneath you while you hike, you could also choose to come from the west, taking Corby Creek Trail or North Cottonwood Creek Trail up the east-facing side of the range. Once you reach Bridger Divide, you'll catch the same trail that the Fairy Lake route takes to the summit.
For ultimate bragging rights, you can bag the peak as you climb along the 18.2-mile Bridger Ridge Trail. This is one to shuttle for — since it's a point-to-point, not an out-and-back. This is the famous Bridger Ridge Run route, but even just walking it is an accomplishment. To take the whole trail is an 8,562-foot elevation gain, and summiting Sacajawea would just be the crown jewel of this epic hike that takes you to the top of several peaks in the range. Start at Fairy Lake or the M, depending on where you want to finish up, and get ready for heady views and stunning summits.
Whether you are coming for an adventure, or just passing through, we have eight properties in Gardiner, Livingston, Bozeman, and Bigfork to help you feel at home while you are on the road. Click here to book now.