SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – November 2012

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the West

Your region's go-now guide: See newts on the move in California and bears heading for lower elevation in Beartooths, MT

by: Nathan Pipenberg (Cape Perpetua, Windy Mountain), Heather Steinberger (Secrets of the Rangers), Rachel Zurer

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Photo by Thomas Hallstein)
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Photo by Thomas Hallstein)
Newt (Photo by South12Photography/Shutterstock.com)
Newt (Photo by South12Photography/Shutterstock.com)
Oak Creep Look, Red Rock Canyon NCA (Photo by Dave Miller)
Oak Creep Look, Red Rock Canyon NCA (Photo by Dave Miller)

Secrets of the Rangers
See bears in the Beartooths, MT

Although November wouldn’t seem to be the most attractive time for hitting the Montana backcountry, it’s the month for outstanding wildlife watching if you know where to go. According to Jeff Gildehaus, a 20-year veteran of the 587,000-acre Beartooth Ranger District, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and adjacent Custer National Forest provide prime opportunities to see mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, and even grizzlies as they move to lower elevations in the late fall. 

“Because the wolf population doesn’t hibernate, they’re killing elk year-round, and the bears steal their food,” he explains. “So the bears are going into hibernation later, or not at all, because they have a food source.” The region sees significantly less traffic than neighboring Yellowstone National Park, which means welcome solitude for warmly dressed, camera-toting hikers seeking that perfect wildlife shot. The early morning and evening hours are best to see most animals, although bears can be active throughout the day. 

If it’s bears you seek, keep an eye out for tracks, scat, signs of digging, and scratch marks on trees; read BACKPACKER’s Bear Country Behavior ($13, falcon.com) and see the tips on page 38 to help avoid surprising a griz. Because most trailheads are at higher elevations and thus snow-closed in November, your best bets will be the Basin Creek Lakes Trail and the Timberline Lake Trail (Trip ID 1863693) in the West Fork of Rock Creek. After the winter gate on West Fork Road closes on December 1, set your sights on the open-year-round Silver Run National Recreational Trail. 



Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Good adventure book?
Posted On: Jul 28, 2014
Submitted By: reubenstump
The Political Arena
Ebola breakout
Posted On: Jul 28, 2014
Submitted By: High_Sierra_Fan
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions