The past year has been a year of growth, a year of exploring new places in my own backyard. My family is from Butte, however, my parents and I lived in Bozeman. I never counted but if I had to guess I would say I’ve driven from Bozeman to Butte and back around 150 times in my life. And never once have I stopped at Delmoe Lake. Excited to find hidden gems, I’ve started being more and more observant of the things around me. A few months ago I noticed the Delmoe Lake sign and wondered because I had never heard of a lake near Butte. Curiosity got the best of me and this time I decided to stop.
The exit for the lake is at the bottom of Homestake, on your right if you are heading from Bozeman to Butte (aka Northwest). The main road is very easy to find and you continue along it until you hit the lake - there are very few opportunities to take a wrong turn. At the beginning you cross old railroad tracks and I found myself thinking about the days when the railroads were in use. There are lots of areas in Montana covered in tracks and I thought it would be neat for the state to get a few lines up and running again! I would definitely pay to ride a train, especially in white out snow storms. It’s one of the things I love about traveling around Europe.
The road wasn’t too bad; it was dirt and gravel. But if you’ve ever been to Fairy Lake in Bozeman, you would appreciate this drive. Fairy Lake has to be the worst road in Montana. It’s painful going 2 mph. The Delmoe Lake road was bumpy at times but doable, mostly smooth. You could comfortably drive 30 mph.
There are 25 designated camping/picnic areas at the lake in addition to a boat ramp! I’m sure the lake gets pretty busy in the summer as it’s the only lake in that area. When I went up though it was a Monday and I was the only one aside from two forest service men cleaning after the weekend! It’s important to note that this area is one of the few areas that allows dirt biking, side-by-sides, etc. (OVH riding). I think people travel from far away to ride because it’s one of the few areas so it might not be the best place if you are looking for peace and quite. I’ve learned that if you are willing to backpack in popular areas you can beat the crowds. Honestly, if you are looking for a great camping/backpacking experience in the area I would head over to Wise River. There are some beautiful lakes that are not accessible by car (Rainbow Lake and Johnston Lake).
Since I was the only one up there and in no hurry I thought it would be fun to set up my backpacking tent and relax. I just bought a new tent for backpacking, and I guess just camping too, so I’ve been practicing setting it up - definitely don’t want to get 10 miles into the back country and not know how your gear works! I was actually unsure how to put my tent together when I first got it, silly as that sounds - but hey I am new to all of this stuff and I am trying to learn! In terms of my tent, you have to aggressively bend the poles and I was afraid I was going to break something! I’ll make a video of me setting it up so you guys can see! I did set it up in about a minute at Lake Delmoe so I’m getting faster.
If you have an questions on gear, subscribe, follow me on social (linked below), or check back later! I am in the midst of creating some pretty fun outdoor guides such as gear based on how many miles you hike, what I take backpacking, and even hiking hair styles because snarls are a problem.