- Difficulty: Easy
- Time To Complete: 2.0 hours
- Distance: 4.8 miles
- Seasonality: Summer and Fall
- Fees/Permit: No
- Dog Friendly: Yes
A popular hike into the Beartooth high country, the Beauty Lake trail leads to a body of water deserving of its name.
Get ready for an incredibly scenic day. The highway to this trailhead is known as the most scenic road in the US – and once you are on the trail, the views keep going. Beauty Lake is one of the prettiest spots in Wyoming, with the water reflecting the high alpine surroundings.
What Makes It Great
Beauty Lake is an easy 2.4 miles away from the road, on a relatively level trail. Despite its accessibility, the lake feels like it is far away from the highway – and Beauty is well-named, as its mirror-like surface reflects the surrounding granite terrain. The area is both a great introduction to one of the most gorgeous mountain ranges on earth, and a relaxing day away from civilization. If you fish, the lake and surrounding water is heaven on earth.
As a bonus, the highway that leads to the trailhead is the world-famous Beartooth Scenic Byway. Every year, people come from around the world simply to drive this road. The highway, combined with the backcountry, makes the total day an all-time great experience.
One note. The trail can be a little confusing to get started on, so make sure that you follow the below directions carefully. On your way to Beauty, you will pass close by Crane Lake. Feel free to hang out here for a while, but make sure that you keep going . The payoff will be worth it.
Who’s Going to Love It
This trail appeals to just about everyone. Easy enough for families with pretty young kids, Beauty Lake is a great destination for anyone looking for a day in the mountains that involves water, scenery and the high alpine.
From Cody drive north on WY-120 to the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway turnout. Head left and continue on for 62.7 miles to the intersection of US 212 East, the Beartooth All-American Scenic Highway. Drive east (right) to the Beartooth Lake Campground at 72.1 miles. The expansive parking area is past the campground another 0.6 mile. Start down the main trail, and stay on it for just under a quarter of a mile. Turn right onto Trail 621(Beauty Lake Trail) and across Little Bear Creek.There are no fees and your leashed dogs are permitted.