Hiking the Hummocks Trail in Big Sky, Montana
Location: Big Sky Town Center
Trailhead: .75 miles Big Sky Town Center on Aspen Leaf Drive
Distance: +/- 2.85 miles round trip
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Start Elevation: 6285 feet
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
On August 12, 2014 the Big Sky Community Corporation celebrated the grand opening of two new trails – Hummocks Trail and Uplands Trail. They both originate from the same trailhead, which is located .75 miles from Town Center on Aspen Leaf Drive (just down the road from the Hungry Moose).
The new easy access, mixed use (hike and bike) trails are open due to a $25,000 Recreational Trails Grant that was used to create both trails. At this point, the trails are both loop systems, but there is a plan to connect them to Ousel Falls. You can find out more about Hummocks Trail and Upland Trail on Explore Big Sky.
The Hummocks Trail is a series of three loops. The first loop begins by exiting the parking lot from either direction. If you go towards town center, you will have pleasant views of both the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River and the new Big Sky Hospital construction. When you rejoin the trail trend left and you will follow a single trail for a bit before the next split.
The single trail leads you across grassy meadows, through older growth forests, and over well built bridges. Eventually it splits into a second loop where you will see more of the same. Finally a third loop called the Hidden Pond loop takes you deeper into the woods to a small pond.
This final loop rounds the pond and brings you back to a large boulder. This is where the second and third loops join and you can work your way back to the beginning. Follow the same single trail from before and trend left at the trail splits to end at the uphill side of the parking lot. If you continue past the parking lot, you will be on the Uplands Trail. Link the two together for a fun 5 mile super loop.
Over the course of the hike, you will cover about 2.85 miles and 400 feet of vertical. It’s a nice mellow trail that may be more fun for bikers than hikers, but is an excellent place to take the dogs for a jog. The nice thing about the Hummocks Trail is that with 3 loops you can easily choose the length of your stroll through the woods of Big Sky.
The trail splits could be marked a bit better, but it would be very challenging to get lost on the Hummocks Trail. If you always trend left, you will easily complete all three loops. It takes between an hour and an hour and a half. There is a bit of water on the trail in a small brook and in the Hidden Pond, but otherwise bring water for the dogs.