Hike: Beehive Basin | Big Sky Montana

U P P E R  B E E H I V E  B A S I N  H I K E

State: Southern Montana
Location: 45.306901, -111.385532
Distance: 10.3km round trip
Elevation Gain: 410 metres

There are hundreds of colourful reasons why this hike was voted the Best Day Hike in Montana by Backpacker Magazine! Today we are sharing what made this trail an instant favourite of ours along with some insider tips to making Upper Beehive Basin your best day hike in Montana too!

The trail to this gorgeous alpine area is accessed via a short drive from downtown Big Sky. It’s a fantastic hike to do early in the morning and the rewards for hitting the trail when you’ve still got sleep in your eyes are many. For starters you’ll get to watch first light illuminating the peaks high above the basin. When you arrive and relax alongside this hike’s beautiful lake surrounded by vertical cliffs, you’ll feel the suns power as it warms the cool mountain air. While the steam rises above your mug of hot coffee and you start to wake up, take a moment to count how many different wildflowers you see. 



  • This is quite a popular hike during wildflower season. Plan to arrive before 7am or hike later in the afternoon in order to beat the crowds.
  • The first mile of this trail is a USFS easement located on private property. Please be respectful of the landowners and the natural surroundings by staying on the clearly defined trail. ¹
  • Currently there is no outhouse at the trailhead.  Please be mindful of where and how you are going to the bathroom and remember to always pack out your toilet paper. If you’re new to packing out your toilet paper here is a great how-to video! ²
  • This hike is in Grizzly Country.  Be sure to carry bear spray and if possible travel in a group, especially if you are hitting the trail during times when animals are most active.
  • If you have an interest in wildflowers, pick up a Wildflower Guide to carry with you! There are hundreds of different wildflowers in the basin during peak season!
  • Dogs are permitted off leash along this trail. When the trail is busy you may encounter hikers who are not comfortable with off leash dogs. By considering the comfort level of others and by doing the simple act of putting your dog on a lead during busy times you may make some new friends!
  • A great tool for hiking with your dog in busy areas where dogs are permitted off leash is the Release N’ Run Collar by Rad Dog – it comes with a retractable 4 foot leash built right into the collar.
  • Mountain biking and horseback riding is permitted a short ways along the trail until you reach the Lee Metcalf Wilderness boundary.



From Hwy 191 turn off onto Lone Mountain Trail. For 9 miles follow the road towards Big Sky Resort. Continue 1.5 miles past the resort entrance and turn right on to Beehive Basin Road just past the brown USFS Beehive Basin trailhead road sign. Follow this road for 1.8 miles you reach the trailhead on your left.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y  B Y



¹ On The Trail: Upper Beehive Basin http://www.explorebigsky.com/on-the-trail-upper-beehive-basin
² Park Projects: Beehive Basin Trailhead https://bscomt.org/play/park-projects/
The Big Sky Community Association recently purchased a nearby 7.5 acre parcel of land to enter continued access to the Basin, develop that the trailhead and surround area is developed to meet the level of use seen on a daily basis, make significant improvements for additional parking and oversee the installation of a pit toilet and bear-proof trash receptacles.

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