29 in 30
After having spent the majority of the day fishing, as the locals say, "between the lakes" (Earthquake Lake and Hegben Lake in western Montana), we wanted a short hike to stretch our legs. We chose Sheep Creek as it was on our way back to the campground. With only an hour in which to hike, we agreed to go out for 30 minutes and turn around.
The trail was very easy to find - just drive out Sheep Creek Road until it ends at a dirt parking lot and you see the sign for "Sheep Creek Trailhead". Right away we crossed Sheep Creek itself (and would do so several more times during the hike) and were completely WOWED by the wildflowers. I mean, blown away! We counted 29 different species in the first 30 minutes we were out. The views, for at least the portion that we hiked, were limited to the creek, pine and aspen trees, and small meadows. The trail (mostly dirt, occasional rock, single-track) continued on, but, alas, we had to turn around.
I've since read that Sheep Creek trail is also good for mountain biking and horse riding. In fact, per the Gallatin National Forest website, the trail terminates at a high alpine lake with spectacular views and you can connect this trail with others in the area. Although we didn't make it to the lake, I rated this hike a 3.0 given the round-trip length.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.