Had an awesome thru-hike with my buddy Paul on the Kettle Crest Trail! We did the first 10 miles on day 1, and stayed in the Snow Peak Cabin. It was amazing to spend the night in a cabin in front of a wood stove instead of in a tent out in the rain!
We wrapped up the remaining 35 miles on day 2. While hiking at times we were able to hear the ranges namesake cattle, mooing high up in the mountains. We encountered springs along the way with troughs for the grazing cattle. We only actually saw white-tailed deer, birds, rodents, and a bull snake, but I don't think I've ever seen a trail with so much animal sign all over it. I'm not surprised, though. Besides cattle, and the usual suspects like deer, cougar and black bear, the area also sees some wolves, moose, caribou, lynx, brown bear and big horned sheep.
The trail followed along the crest of the mountain range, staying between 5,000-7,000' above sea level, with expansive views most of the way. The trail itself is 44 miles, with 8000' of gain. We added another 1.5 miles and 1000' of gain to visit a couple of peaks along the way. It was very cool to visit a mountain range in a corner of the state I never visit and thru-hike a National Recreation Trail.

Feet | Meters
Natural Atlas (US)

6.5 mi to summit

45.5 mi total


5,197 ft start

7,087 ft max


9,000 ft gain

8,721 ft loss


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Route name

Barnaby Buttes 42.5 mi route


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Key gear

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