Ramshorn Lake Trail is one of my all time favorites. Since we have horses, we generally ride and spend the weekend at the lake. But I have also hiked this trail. Overall it is a moderate hike that is a 12.5 mile roundtrip loop. It is scenic, green and lush with many types of wildflowers, excellent birding, and, at times, wildlife viewing.
From Big Sky, travel on Highway 191 for 12 miles and turn east into the 320 Guest Ranch. Once you enter the guest ranch, stay left (rather than heading toward the main office) and you will pass some guest buildings on the right. Continue on to the Trailhead parking area. This is the start of Bighorn Trail #1.
Make sure you have water as there are no natural springs along the way. The early part of this trail is a wide tree lined trail that opens up to some switch backs. Cow Flats is an open meadow with a meandering creek that you will cross. At both forks you come to, stay left. The trail crosses Buffalo Horn Creek along the way. The terrain on this hike varies from open meadows, to tree lined trails, but overall it is all gradual climbing. Once you arrive at the lake, the view is stunning and the fishing is terrific. There are several campsites tucked away in the trees, all with campfire rings. When we take horses we do bring float tubes as it is a great way to fish the lake. Keep an eye on Ramshorn peak as you will often see Bighorn Sheep. On the return, you can simply retrace your steps or you can take Upper Ramshorn Lake Trail #150 which loops back to the main trail #160. It is rare to reach the lake in early season as there is quite a bit of snowfall but it is generally good to go by mid June.
Distance – Roundtrip
Total Elevation Gain
Canyon, Meadows, Creek/Stream, Lake
Summer / Fall
Not Recommended for young kids.
Vehicle Access to the trailhead
Suitable for all vehicles