The Mountains of Montana
The Crazy Mountains

The Crazy Mountains

Crazy Mountains
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The Crazy Mountains are one of the more impressive mountain ranges in Montana. Lying at the western edge of the vast Montana prairie, these mountains rise sharply and steeply, towering more than 6000 vertical feet above the prairie below. More than 20 mountains rise to more than 10,000 feet in elevation. While the Crazy Mountains resemble more of a island in the vast Montana prairie, these mountains extend more than 50 miles from north to south and are about fifteen miles in width. The southern half of the Crazy Mountains has the most dominating peaks and is essentially roadless. The northern half of the Crazy Mountains are much lower, rounder and have some roads that cut through them.

The Crazy Mountains are very rugged and rocky. Owing to their eastern location on the edge of the prairie, they are also more arid than other mountains in Montana. Due to the more arid conditions and their steep, rugged nature, the Crazy Mountains - despite being more than 150,000 acres in size - only have a couple dozen of alpine lakes.

Yet, these lakes have excellent fishing. Golden trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout and rainbow trout can all be found in these lakes. Rock Lake, which lies at the southern base of Conical Peak, is a popular place for both fishing and camping. It is also one of the easier hikes in the Crazy Mountains as it has a well-maintained trail that leads to it.

Crazy Mountains seen from the south
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The Crazy Mountains do not have an extensive trail network. Only one trail runs the length of the Crazy Mountains, with a small number of trails leading off it to a handful of trailheads down in the prairie below. The lack of trails keeps the Crazy Mountains very wild - virtually all of the lakes in the Crazy Mountains require off-trail hiking across rocky, open and steep terrain.

Access to the Crazy Mountains is somewhat difficult, particularly the southern half of the mountain range, as the Crazies are virtually surrounded by private property. Only a handful of access roads lead into the mountains. Due to the difficult access, camping is limited along the handful of access roads and a couple of designated campgrounds that exist near the trailheads into the mountains.

The Crazy Mountains are part of the Gallatin National Forest (south half) and Lewis and Clark National Forest (north half).

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