Enjoy the Snowies

The north side of the Big Snowy Mountains is spectacular, but other than Crystal Lake, it’s pretty tough to access. As a result, the Crystal Lake area tends to get a little crowded at times. If you’d like to explore the Snowies without the crowds, try Cottonwood Creek straight south of Lewistown. The Forest Service has a parking area and trailhead less than 20 minutes from Lewistown. If you’re ambitious, you can head all the way up to the Snowy Divide. However, in the lower reaches, the trail is not the easiest place to hike.

It crosses the creek numerous times and is quite rocky in spots. Consequently, it might not be the best place for children and seniors. However, when the creek is full, the fishing can be excellent and the views get better and better the higher you go. From Lewistown, take Casino Creek Road until it reaches Cottonwood Creek, then take a left and continue about five miles until you see the sign.