The Casey Meadows, Montgomery Park, McClellan Creek Loop hike makes for a great day hike in the Elkhorn Mountains.
From the trailhead, you begin the hike up a short hill and enter a dense forest. Soon, the trail opens up to a recently cleared section. After about .1-miles you’ll reach your first section. You can either take the Casey Meadows trail or the McClellan Creek trail. We headed straight towards Casey Meadows. The ascent is gradual for most of this trail until the last .25-miles or so following East Fork McClellan Creek. There are a couple of switchbacks toward the end of this trail that lead you up Casey Meadows that has views of the surrounding Elkhorn Mountains. Take the Montgomery Park trail heading towards Casey Peak. The Montgomery Park trail enters a denser lodgepole forest and draws you towards a small creek. Once you cross the creek, the trail heads up a steep open hillside which has a neat view looking down on Casey Meadows and at an unnamed peak. Note: This part of the trail seems like it would be very avalanche prone in winter due to the angle and lack of vegetation. You’ll notice the trail seems to be reaching a highpoint which is the edge of one of Casey Peak’s shoulders. The trail wraps around the end of this shoulder and continues up into denser lodgepole forest again. This section can be fairly steep at times. Soon you will reach an intersection that meets up with the Casey Peak trail. Continue straight on the Montgomery Park trail. After .24-miles from the Casey Peak intersection, the trail reaches a rocky highpoint that has great views looking down into Helena. From here it is mostly all downhill. The Mongomery Park trail continues through some dense forest for a little over a half mile before reaching an open field. You will descend down some switchbacks that cross grassy open fields and have views looking west towards the Boulder Mountains. There aren’t too many views after the fields until you get a little lower towards Tepee Creek and look up towards High Peak. You’ll follow Tepee Creek briefly through a fairly open valley until reaching your last intersection. At the intersection, follow the sign towards McClellan Creek. From here it’s about 2.5 miles back to the Casey Meadows intersection. This trail was recently cleared so you have open views looking at the Creek and surrounding hills. Once at the Casey Meadows intersection, head towards the trailhead for the brief .1-miles back.