This island of steep ridges and plunging streams is a beacon to those traveling to the Yellowstone region from the east. The entire range seems to thrust from the plains as one large mass. Many of the high peaks do not stand out from any perspective. There are 15 peaks over 10,000 feet in this isolated cluster of rock. The Shoshone and Crow nations both reserved important status for the region. A plethora of game can still be found along the flanks of this range, a likely source of its historic popularity. There is no consensus on the source of the name Crazy Mountains, and theories range from native place names (“Mad Mountains”), abandoned women and the anachronistic geology. The ‘newer’ igneous intrusions that make up the Crazy Mountains are not consistent with the up-thrust sedimentary rocks along the Rocky Mountain front, nor with the Absaroka volcanics around Yellowstone Park.
The Crazies Story
To approach the east side of the mountains, take I-90 east from Livingston to Big Timber, and turn north onto Highway 191. Then left on Worlsly Loop Road, till you reach Half-Moon Campground and the trail head to Trail #119.
Half Moon Trailhead
To approach the western front, head north through Livingston on Park Street (Highway 89)toward White Sulpher Springs.
There is a great deal of private land surrounding the Crazy Mountains. Please take the time to look thoroughly at the maps to determine if your intended route crosses private parcels. Trailheads offer the safest route to public lands, be very careful about hiking from roads that do not have posted USFS signs. You could end up tresspassing and being prosecuted in the court of the open range.
IMPORTANT: Granite, Blue, and Twin Lakes all have a 1/4 mile "NO FIRES" perimeter around each lake. Also watch for the fire danger postings, in August and September, the forest service tends to close fires to only stoves.
External LinksGallatin National Forest
There are established Forest Service campgrounds at the Sheild's River and Big Timber trailheads (Half-Moon Campground). These are the only two campgrounds in the range. Once into the National Forest, all backcountry camping restrictions apply:
Wildlife in the Crazies includes Black bears, (no Grizzly, except once every few years) Mountain Goats, Deer, Marmots, and several varieties of fish including Rainbow trout and Grayling.