Beehive Basin

A heavily-trafficked trail leading into a beautiful basin below the Spanish Peaks.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
11 km
Ascent
502 m
Descent
502 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
2.9 km
Gradient
Beehive Basin Map

The Beehive Basin trail is one of the most famous hikes in Big Sky, and for good reason. This non-technical 3.4-mile trail leads to some of the most beautiful views in the region. The ultimate goal is a wildflower-filled basin with a crystal-clear lake framed by a U-shaped cirque of towering rock peaks, known as the Spanish Peaks.

Description

The end goal of Beehive Basin isn't the only reason to run this trail. According to OutsideBozeman.com, the trail to the basin travels through expansive "alpine wildflower meadows, through tall forest, and past creeks." You'll even enjoy "an unnamed lake surrounded by streams and a grassy basin" along the way.

This moderate run follows a smooth, wide, well-traveled trail on its way from the crowded parking lot to the stunning basin. According to FATMAP, the trail gains about 1,647 vertical feet on its ~3.4-mile one-way distance. While Beehive definitely isn't just a short sightseeing hike, many prospective hikers, ranging from young to old and everywhere in between, will be able to tackle the trail into the basin.

Consequently, if you're heading up here for a trail run, be prepared to deal with a substantial amount of trail traffic. If you want an uninterrupted run, try for a sunrise start (or earlier).

Note:

The Big Sky area is renowned as prime grizzly bear country. Signs at every trailhead warn that bears are highly active in the area. To mitigate the risk of bear encounters, make plenty of noise while running, try to travel with a group of people, and consider attaching a bear bell to your backpack. Also, make certain that you carry bear spray with you every time you head into the mountains, in case you do get into an encounter with a grizzly.

Sources: https://www.visitmt.com/listings/general/national-forest-trail/beehive-basin-trail https://outsidebozeman.com/trails-tours/hiking-trails/beehive-basin-trail https://www.visitbigsky.com/get-inspired/big-sky-stories/7-best-hikes-in-big-sky-montana

Difficulty

Moderate

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area