Location: Little Goose Trailhead, Buffalo, Wyoming, United States
Talking about Blacktooth Mountain, it is the second tallest peak located in Bighorn Mountain range. Even the summit is much more challenging compared to the tallest, the Cloud Peak. So, if you are advanced hikers, it is worth to visit!
How To Get To Little Goose Trailhead
Getting to this trailhead means that you must have a vehicle that is capable to travel over the extremely rough terrain as well as big rocks to cross 3 creeks. One of the creeks is 50 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Therefore, you should reach the location by four-wheel drive. From the Little Goose Trailhead, you should hike to reach to Highland Lake for about 7 miles. On the way until you come to the Highland Park, you will see the beautiful view of Blacktooth, Mt. Woolsey, Penrose Peak, and Sawtooth Ridge. After that, you can follow the valley right below the Sawtooth Ridge to hike.
To head to Blacktooth summit, use the Highland Lake as your basecamp. Alternatively, continue to take 1.5 miles to reach Princess Falls.
From the Highland Lake, follow the trail #36. Unfortunately, the trail has not quite well mark but it will bring you to the south. From the highland lake, it takes 1.5 miles to head to Princess Falls with the downhill trek. There is also a fork in the trail that is quite hard to see if you do not pay attention. The fork to the right will make you go more wests and bring you to the Spear Lake. Therefore, you should take the left fork to get to Princess Falls. The sign that you are getting closer to the Princess Falls means that you will hear the roar of the falls.
After arriving at the falls, you can find a nice flat open meadow that will be the perfect spot to build your basecamp and stay the night before summiting. You can leave your tent and other items you want to leave for the hike to the summit of Blacktooth.
To start your adventure to Blacktooth, you will also find the unmarked trail to the west of the fall that locates parallel to the falls as well as the river from the Sawtooth lakes. The trail follows the lakes south and uphill. Even though the trek is steep close to the falls, it is slightly uphill if you reach the top of the falls. Continue your adventure by following the 10 Sawtooth Lakes, you can set up your camp close to some of the lower lakes in case that you want to be closer to the base of the mountain and to plan the earlier hike up Backtooth. The trail gets less slowly as you leave the grasses and then get into the boulder and rock fields.
Walk through the valley makes you cannot see Blacktooth until you get to the tenth lake. The vertical climb is waiting for you. Once you get closer, you will find a snow ramp across the mountainside with rocks in different shade and darker. That is the best way to reach the mountain. The steep grade is so devastating if you fall. Here, take your time and be sure that you have good footing so you will be fine. At one point, you will see a rock bolt anchor that you have to climb or scramble for 8 to 9 foot section. Keep climbing and you will see a light path and follow to the peak. There are two peaks for Blacktooth that takes 100 yards. Take the west is easier and it is the main peak for most hikers. At the top of the west peak, you can find ammo can with a notebook inside. Sign your name and then write a little note as other previous hikers did.
Climbing on this trail means that you must be attentive to the weather, the rockfall, and the rockslides. When you climb, it is possible to hear the rockslide behind you. Always have fun and be safe.
Things To Bring
Having enough time in the United States make you should include this place on your traveling list. Since you are ready to go there, there are some important things to bring to your backpack.
Here is your pack list:
Tent, sleeping bag for chilling night even in the summer, cook stove, food, camera, good hiking foot wear, layers, fly rood, rope or harness
- It is not necessary to bring food with bear can or bear box here, but it is still okay to do so
- You can bring cook stove because it is okay to get fires if you are above 9,200 feet
- Layers are so important since the weather on the trail is unpredictable. The weather changes is the real issue that can change quickly at the summit.
- For the inexperienced climber or scrambler, we recommend you to bring rope or harness because it can be your safety gear.
So, it is worth for your time to hike and camp to summit the Blacktooth Mountain with 24 miles of distance and 4000 feet in elevation gain. Asides of camping and backpacking, you still can do other activities such as hiking or backpacking. Even though the area offers out-and-back trail, it is quite challenging that we only recommend advanced hikers to go hiking. The best season to visit this place is in the summer. It is the ideal choice if you want to enjoy your challenging trail with the scenic views, forest, wildlife, and waterfall.
The last thing we want to say is that you must be extra careful. Make this hiking experience as the best in your lifetime by taking your time. If you need a break, do it. A good footing is the key to reach the summit.
Those are all things you should know about the trail. If you have spent many times hiking the summit, we recommend you to test your capability here. Enjoy your day!