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Hiking in Eastern Montana or Wyoming?


RuggedNewbie
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RuggedNewbie

Hello everyone! New to the forum.

Me and my girlfriend looking to head out on a camping and hiking trip this Monday for spring break, and I'm not exactly sure where to go. We've decided that the Badlands would be a good destination (because we're broke college students and one of the campgrounds is free, and its only it's only 8 hours away) traveling from Iowa, but I'm wondering what we could find in the eastern parts of Montana or Wyoming.

We would like to see the Rockies. The peaks, the big sky, the works, but at the same time we don't want to travel too far away west as we only have a week to do this trip. So I was wondering what other good hikes there are out there in the more accessible, eastern regions of the states of Montana and Wyoming. As casual outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for leisure, not too extreme of stuff.

Beyond the Badlands and the Black Hills, I've found:

Bozeman, Montana. Just over 1,000 miles from us and a 16 hour drive, is as furthest west we would go. What are the weather conditions like this time of year? Any recommendations for parks?

Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming. A little bit closer than Bozeman, asking the same questions: hiking? weather?

Thank you all for the help and suggestions!

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The Rockies typically get their heaviest snow fall in the month of March, so it's still the dead of winter. Great time for skiing. The Bighorns are a great idea for June when school gets out - there will still be lots of snow on the ground but it will be warmer. 

I'm unfamiliar with the lowlands of Wyoming & Montana, but have you been to the Buffalo River or Ouacita NF in Arkansas?

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Spring break in Montana and Wyo will still be winter.  It is too early for that country even at the lowest elevations.  I would try something much closer to home, lower in elevation and warmer.  I used to live in Wyo, and it is hard to find places free of snow until late April or May. I remember a trip on Memorial Day in Colorado to Grand Lake. It is the largest natural lake in the State, and not that high at 6,500 feet by CO standards. We came around a bend and saw the lake for the first time. It was frozen solid and still covered with snow.

The low yesterday at West Yellowstone was -10 degrees F.  3/18/16.

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