- Difficulty: Medium
- Time To Complete: Either 6.0 hours for the day or done as an overnight
- Distance: 10.0 miles
- Seasonality: Summer and Fall
- Fees/Permit: Yes
- Dog Friendly: Yes
- Destination Highlights: Backcountry hike, Overnight Trip, Views, Fishing
One of the largest lakes in the Beartooths, Granite Lake has it all – a beautiful approach, excellent fishing and the opportunity for a night out in a fantastic campsite.
At 228 acres, Granite Lake is large enough to make you want to explore its shore for a couple of days. Nestled amongst the pines, the lake provides an idyllic setting for an overnight camp out in the wild. Even if you are just going for the day, the trek in is well worth the time. The approach to Granite via Muddy Creek skirts huge open meadows, and climbs gradually up through a scenic canyon just before the lake.
What Makes It Great
A big lake set deep within the Beartooth wilderness. Large, open meadows that frequently contain moose. Excellent campsites and ample firewood for that night under the stars. Granite spires and knobs surrounding an idyllic location.
From the Muddy Creek trailhead, the trail follows Muddy Creek upstream, winding along the edge of large, open meadows. The meadows are often very wet – particularly early in the summer – and are best enjoyed from the trail. Don’t try this hike early in a wet summer. At the north end of the meadows, the trail splits. Take the western fork that heads up the gradual climb through a beautiful canyon. The canyon ends shortly before the lake. There is access to the shore here even as the trail trends to your left. If you follow the trail west to the crossing of Lake Creek, be cautious. Lake Creek has a well-deserved reputation as a dangerous stream and fording it should be undertaken only after careful consideration.vThere is excellent fishing both in the lake and the streams surrounding it.
Who Is Going to Love it
Those looking for a fairly flat hike up to a backcountry lake, and a great day of fishing.
Directions, Parking & Regulations
From the intersection of Highway 14/16/20 West and Alt 14 East/WY West in Cody, drive 0.4 miles north on 16th Street, and turn left onto Highway 120. Follow Highway 120 16.4 miles to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (Highway 296) and turn left. Follow this highway 45.9 miles to the junction with Highway 212. Turn right and follow Highway 212 for 4.3 miles to the Muddy Creek pullout. The trail goes north from the highway.