Babcock Mountain Trail #10

This day hike on Babcock Mountain offers beautiful views of Rock Creek Valley. Wildflowers are abundant on the forest floor surrounding the trail during the spring and early summer months, making this hike a great walk for botany buffs. Later in the summer and into the fall, the valley's grassy bottom is a beautiful golden-brown and Rock Creek is more visible, seeming to sparkle due to the contrast in colors. Babcock Mountain in Rock Creek is an excellent place to see bighorn sheep. The Spring Creek Sheep Viewing Site is also available at this location.

This trail has Extended Information which includes details about the trail, maps, and interesting tidbits about the trail.

At a Glance

Open Season: May
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Closed to all motorized vehicles. Please view our Visitor Guidelines.
Closest Towns: Clinton, Montana
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Vault toilet
Information Center: Missoula Ranger District, 406-329-3814

General Information

Directions: 20 miles east of Missoula on Interstate 90, take Rock Creek exit #126. Drive south for 5 miles along the Rock Creek Road. Trailers, motorhomes and tow vehicles not recommended due to the narrow and rough road. Drive about 2.5 miles south until you see a hiking symbol sign on the right side of the road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

The trail starts toward the north end of the parking lot on the opposite side of the road. It ascends into a very steep draw that lasts a quarter of a mile, and eventually decreases to a gradual grade for the remainder of the trail. The trail winds through an open forest of grasses and shrubs dominated by the occasional ponderosa pine. This trail grants beautiful views of Rock Creek Valley on the switchbacks throughout the trail.
Elevation desc 3600 feet to 5500 feet

Viewing Wildlife

Babcock Mountain in Rock Creek is an excellent place to see bighorn sheep. They use the grassy hillsides and steep cliffs for protection during lambing season from April to mid-June. An interpretive sign at the trailhead describes what makes good habitat for bighorn sheep.
Species bighorn sheep
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  • Click here to find a map to take on your adventures.
  • Click here to find out more about obtaining permits or passes for certain activities on the forest.
  • Click here to find avalanche infornation


  Area/Length : 
2.5 miles one way

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3600 feet - 5500 feet