Route: The Beaten Path (MT)

Montana, US
27 mi
Vertical Gain
3,180 ft

Dave Shumway posted the route:

The Beaten Path travels 26.6 miles from East Rosebud to Cooke City.
The Ultra Beaten starts at East Rosebud, runs to Clarks Fork Trailhead (near Cooke City), and then back to East Rosebud, turning a common 3-5 day one way backpacking trip into The Ultra Beaten (53 miles - 85 kilometers).

Trail Statistics (various sources - one way East Rosebud to Clarks Fork Trailhead):
26.6 miles
3,850’ Ascent
9,927’ High
4% Avg Grade (2°)
-2,112’ Descent
6,241’ Low
29% Max Grade (16°)

This route showcases all the beauty, emptiness, and majesty of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. It is the quintessential tour of the region, traveling from bottomlands to high plateaus. The route demonstrates the essence of the Beartoth Mountains, it is the land of rushing water over high plateaus. The route skirts dozens of trout-filled lakes and more waterfalls than one can count, or even bother to name.

Distances to (from various sources - my GPS varied from these distances on trial runs):
Elk Lake 3.5 miles
Rimrock Lake 6.0 miles
Rainbow Lake 8.0 miles
Lake at Falls 9.0 miles
Big Park Lake 10.0 miles
Duggan Lake 12.5 miles
Twin Outlets Lake 12.8 miles
Dewey Lake 14.0 miles
Fossil Lake 16.0 miles
Windy Lake 17.1 miles
Skull Lake 17.8 miles
Bald Knob Lake 18.4 miles
Ouzel Lake 18.8 miles
Russell Lake 20.0 miles
Kersey Lake 24.5 miles
Clarks Fork Trailhead 26.6 miles


Fun step by step fly by:

FaceBook group:



The out and back times from the organized race were; Three sub 24 hour finishers (one at 19h27m and two at 23h29m) - three more finished at 27h20m.
The 19h27m FKT goes by the trail name of Warren Piece (does not want his real name published).
The 23h29m finish was myself and my now wife, Joy.

Recently two friends of a friend shared their results on the Ultra Beaten: Jakota Schatz & Jerica Schatz - 58 miles according to their GPS (about the same reading as the rest of us got) - 21.5 hours (including break stops).

We have had other reports come in of individuals completing the out and back task, but we have not received any indication that the times were under 24 hours, and for the purposes of the challenge 24 hours has been the published cut time, 12 hours at the turn around.

One way from East Rosebud to Clarks Fork Trailhead during the formal out and back race the top three of us hit the halfway point (Clarks Fork Trailhead ) together with a GPS reading of 28.82 miles and a time of 9:38'46.3. I am sure the one way has been done faster, especially if completed as a one way from Clarks Fork Trailhead to East Rosebud, but this is a GPS verified time for Dave Shumway, Warren Piece (trail name), and Joy Ballew together in that order.

One way readings have not been made available from others who have completed the out and back either in the race or since.

Here is the data recorded before my watch battery died (at mile 54). The data was transferred from Suunto MovesCount to MapMyRun to be shared:
Anyone that analyzes the times will se how easy it would be to crush the current FKT for one way or round trip, and I'm happy to share maps/stats/data/suggestions for anyone attempting to do the trail in a day. The Facebook group on the original post has lots of information. An easy way to cut significant time, don't have trail crews chipping rocks on the trail and tearing out two bridges while you are making your attempt ;)