Big Timber Creek – June 15, 2015
Big Timber creek defines the Crazy Mountains perfectly. Located 2 hours outside Bozeman, Big T flows directly out of the crazies. It’s rugged, scenic, and steep. Very steep, average gradient around 700 FPM. Whether or not you plan to run the creek the adventure is rewarding, it is well worth the hike for the beautiful waterfalls and granite slabs.
We initially hiked up the creek to scout the drops to see if it is actually possible to run it with a raft. About a half mile up the trail is Big Timber Falls. Big T falls is the burliest of the Timber Creek drops, it gives a good indicator of what’s ahead, long technical slides.
With a nervous walk we hiked another mile up the creek and arrived to a walking bridge, this is marker for the upper section take out. Another mile or so up is the classic Big Timber drops, the pinch, gambler, and plenty of other rapids in between. As we hiked up the trail we scurried down the creek to scout each and every drop. After getting our imagination pumped with excitement we decided to run back to the truck, and carry the raft up 3 miles.
We brought the boat to the bottom of the Pinch rapid. The Pinch is a fast, long drop, as the name indicates the rapid “pinches at the bottom” into a tight slot. Garrett and I decided to lower the boat directly below the pinch.
Once in the raft, Garrett and I took a deep breath and pushed off. From the start it was game on and spicy. Muy caliente.
Directions For Fun: From Bozeman drive on East I-90 towards the town of Big Timber (55 miles), at the town you want to connect to North 191 towards Half Moon Campground (26 miles). Beautiful drive on a bouncy dirty road, takes about an hour. At the campground is a parking lot for day hikers. Follow the trail up the creek. Half mile up the creek is a sign which point towards Big T Falls. Another mile up is a walking bridge across the creek. The bridge marks the take-out for the upper section. As the trails gains elevation you can walk down towards the creek to scout all the fun slides. Look at the drops for wood and safety.