Backpack to Casey Meadow

Casey Meadow, in the Elkhorn Mountains, is a great early season backpacking destination.  It’s close to Helena, the three-mile hike to the meadow isn’t too strenuous, and it’s one of the few high places that is free of snow in June.    Last year we headed up in early June, camped in the meadow, and climbed Casey Peak the next day.      The Casey Peak trailhead is at 5100 feet, and the meadow is about 6400 feet.  Thirteen hundred feet in elevation spread over three miles is totally comfortable for me when I’m carrying a 30 lb. pack, so this hike is a great for getting backpacking muscles back in shape.    The trail follows a creek to the meadow, so there’s no need to carry tons of water, either.     Lots of raspberries along the trail, too, so it’s a nice destination at the end of the summer as well.

Casey Peak is another 3 miles and 2000 feet above the meadow at 8491 feet.    It’s a pretty steep trail, even with more than a dozen switchbacks, so I was glad to do it as a day hike and not be lugging my heavy pack.    But you certainly could camp near the top of the peak, if you don’t mind hauling water up – and if no lightning is in the forecast!

The sunsets were the highlight of the trip, but we found a great campsite in the meadow, and the hike up Casey was absolutely rewarding.

The fires of 1988 (when Yellowstone burned) burned thousands of acres in the Elkhorn Mountains as well. So these tree in the foreground are about 24 years old.

The old fire lookout on the top of Casey Peak. You wouldn’t want to camp on these rocks, but there’s a nice saddle right below the peak.

About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Hiking, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Backpack to Casey Meadow

  1. beechcreekproject says:

    Beautiful country and I love those sunsets. Nothing much prettier in the world. Makes me want to get my pack together, load Paco into the Jeep and hit a trail.

  2. ldsiebs says:

    Absolutely beautiful sunset pictures! Looks like the perfect trip. I always enjoy your photos of your campsites as well. Great post!

  3. Mind Margins says:

    Another great hike and camping trip. Stunning sunsets. I did make it out to Oregon last week, and when we flew over eastern Wyoming I wished I could jump off the plane. Less than three months to Jackson Hole . . .

  4. znara says:

    Absolutely lovely! What a happy campsite and beautiful view!

  5. Lisa says:

    thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures! an eyeful for the weary down here…Houston (from California mountains)

  6. r.k. says:

    great pictures, but the one labeled casey peak isn’t casey peak. casey peak would be to your right from there. I believe that is sheep park that is pictured, but know for a fact its not casey peak.

  7. Ray Todd says:

    Great October day hike. My wife Jane and I just got back home in Helena. Trailhead is ust 25 minutes from our place so access is fast and easy. Highly recommend this hike. Fall colors are still bright.

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