If you don’t mind climbing, another good touring option is the Snowbank Trail in the Mill Creek area. The Mill Creek drainage is one of the largest watersheds in the Upper Yellowstone River valley. It offers some of the best off-trail cross country skiing in the area.
The Snowbank Trail is just one of many tours in the drainage. This is an up-and-down route, with little flat on what is essentially an old roadbed. The long climb up includes numerous switchbacks over roads of about a six percent grade (six feet elevation gain per 100 feet lateral distance). As you climb you enjoy increasing views of the valley below as well as views of Chico Peak, Arrow Peak, Crow Mountain and The Pyramid.
Gradually you reach a level where evidence of earlier fires in the area still define the landscape. The trail continues up, but our tour concluded and we began the return. After a 45- to 60-minute climb, it took only 12 minutes to return to the trail head. It is a relatively mellow route, however, as the turns are not tight and the grade is gentle.
To reach the trail head, follow Mill Creek Rd. off U.S. Hwy 89 to the gated road closure at Snowbank Campground. It is about 28 miles from Livingston to the trail head. For further information about this and other local tours, contact:
309 West Park St.