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Quick Camp & Ride
At East Rosebud, Montana
With Robin Morris


This past July several members of our local Back Country Horsemen got together one evening to socialize. Then we decided we should go camping the next day up the East Rosebud, out of Roscoe, Montana. 


My riding partner, Jody and I trailered together.  While it is only 43 miles from my place, it takes a good hour to get there as the final 10 miles are quite rough. 


When we got there, only Dale and his horse Danny showed up.  We guessed that many folks would back out, given the short notice, but we didn’t mind as our steeds were well matched, as well as our sense of adventure.

We decided to ride Phantom Creek Trail #17; which takes you to the top of Froze to Death Plateau, in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.  Jody and I have ridden this trail, but this would be the first time for Dale. 


The weather was amazing, and we had the trailhead to ourselves.  We got there in time to get in a good day’s ride, and were able to ride just over 19 miles. 


Phantom Creek Trail climbs from 6,150’ in elevation to 10,165’.  There are a lot of switchbacks and views that take your breath away.  And then you crest the plateau.  A short distance down the West Rosebud side of the mountain, you overlook Mystic Lake. 


I cannot describe the beauty, but perhaps the pictures will help you appreciate the view we were afforded. 


We hung around the plateau long enough to enjoy some of the evening’s thunderstorm, which is common this time of year in Montana.  We didn’t stress much, as we were prepared with rain gear. The storm subsided, and we rode back to camp.

While there were lots of cars parked overnight, at the Beaten Path (another trail which is popular with hikers) we were the only horse trailers in the lot.  Which is a good thing as this trailhead has very limited parking for livestock. 


We hi-lined our horses and mule; and got them settled in with hay and water, then set up our own camp. 


Jody and I planned on just having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as we didn’t have time to plan our meals. 


Dale, however, is always ready for the trail and came prepared to cook...


He treated us to venison steak, with fried potatoes and onions!  It was wonderful. 

After dinner, we settled around the campfire to appreciate the day we had been granted...  And it was time to celebrate as, Beau, my 11-year old mule, and I reached our 6,400-mile mark on this ride. 


As we headed off to our trailers for the evening, we were already making plans for the next days’ ride. In the morning, after a pot of coffee and breakfast, we tacked up the horses and prepared to ride. 


As we swung a leg, we couldn’t see Dale.  Then we spotted him, walking around in a squatted position – we had to see what he was up to...  


He was picking and eating wild raspberries as fast as he could, that he discovered behind the brush at our camp.  So, of course, we had to dismount and join him...  


Another adventure begins.


Robin Morris has been riding her entire life. Her riding partner, Beau, is a quarter horse mule, “I adore him and have logged every mile we have shared since June 16, 2014 – now over 7,600 miles.” As an active member of the Beartooth Back Country Horsemen, located in Fishtail, Montana, Robin said, “We spend as much time as we can in the Wilderness, clearing trail and simply relishing in the beauty that our backyard beholds.  Life is a trail that moves too fast, and Beau slows me down and reminds me that the journey should be enjoyed, as it does have an end.” They do not ride competitively, but mostly alone and occasionally with like-minded friends.

Cindy Loewer ~ "We are in Arizona right now...riding places we would NEVER have even considered were it not for the networking through HTCAA. I have been following the posts of folks from the greater Apache Junction area for the past year. I have taken notes of the places that people ride. I have saved maps and pictures. And, now that we are in the area, several HTCAA members have extended their hospitality in first person. We've been here less than a week...I haven't sorted through the pictures yet. I will be posting pictures and information so other folks can benefit from our time here...and maybe add this place to their bucket list. This picture: Weaver's Needle in the background. On Black Mesa trail from First Water trailhead."



Kathy Stanton ~ "I met my BFF on HTCAA. She commented on a comment I made. We kept talking and finally met and now love to hang out and ride!"

Kathy Spivey-Noah ~ "I have met the best people from this site and have started traveling to ride with them. And the best thing that happened to me was being baptized in a lake in Custer State Park by a HTCAA friend who is with cowboys for Christ. I am so blessed to have found this group." *Photot of Kathy

Lee Ann-Bob Piggott ~ "I am homeless because of this group... :) "

Kathy Spivey-Noah ~ "Lee Ann-Bob Piggott sometime homeless is awesome"

Lee Ann-Bob Piggott ~ "I Love My Gypsy Life!!"

Libby Woodson ~ "And we are too!! Can't wait!!"


Jill Romanello ~ "We have met so many wonderful people who have blessed our lives!!!"

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