Custer Gallatin: Crandall Creek Cabin

January 21, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

We just got back from our first cabin trip in the Crazy Mountains to Crandall Creek Cabin. We all skied to Trail Creek Cabin in Paradise Valley last winter, but this was the first trip to Crandall for all of us. It was a bittersweet trip because our friends were getting ready to move to Alaska, and this was our last trip together for the foreseeable future. We loaded up our pack with tons of food and alcohol, and started the six or so miles we had to ski into the cabin.

20230115-jwf-852620230115-jwf-8526NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-855220230115-jwf-8552NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The winter trail is an oversaw road that is well traveled by snowmobiles. This meant the ski was fairly fast without having to break trail.

20230115-jwf-855820230115-jwf-8558NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-857420230115-jwf-8574NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-857920230115-jwf-8579NPS / Jacob W. Frank

We learned that there is a pretty extensive road system to get to the cabin, which is probably pretty fun if you have a snowmobile to explore the area.

20230115-jwf-858720230115-jwf-8587NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-859120230115-jwf-8591NPS / Jacob W. Frank

After winding and climbing through the forest, we arrived at the cabin in an open meadow. We used to small cabins that sleep four people max, so when we opened this cabin we were pleasantly surprised at the size and cleanliness. 

20230116-jwf-866420230116-jwf-8664NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-862820230115-jwf-8628NPS / Jacob W. Frank

After unpacking we got a fire going to melt some water and make some drinks. One drink turned into two, and two into six. 

20230115-jwf-863420230115-jwf-8634NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-863120230115-jwf-8631NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230115-jwf-863320230115-jwf-8633NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The next morning we were all a little slow to stir, but we made coffee and breakfast and headed out to ski out the rest of the booze in our system.

20230116-jwf-866920230116-jwf-8669NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230116-jwf-867320230116-jwf-8673NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230116-jwf-868720230116-jwf-8687NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The roads around the cabin were great for skiing since they are better graded than most hiking trails. We founds some nice views of the cabin and surrounding mountains.

20230116-jwf-869420230116-jwf-8694NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230116-jwf-873320230116-jwf-8733NPS / Jacob W. Frank

It eventually started snowing on us, which made the skiing a little sticky. So we headed back to the cabin for some DRT (designated rest time). Once we all woke up from our naps, we spent the rest of the evening hanging out at relaxing.

20230116-jwf-874620230116-jwf-8746NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The following morning we woke up to some beautiful morning light. 

20230117-jwf-875820230117-jwf-8758NPS / Jacob W. Frank

We packed up the cabin, chopped wood, and grabbed our group photo before heading back to the cars.

20230117-jwf-876620230117-jwf-8766NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230117-jwf-876920230117-jwf-8769NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230117-jwf-877120230117-jwf-8771NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Since most of the ski was downhill back to the car, we made great time even though we made frequent stops to take in the morning views.

20230117-jwf-877620230117-jwf-8776NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230117-jwf-881220230117-jwf-8812NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230117-jwf-882320230117-jwf-8823NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Trip notes: Overall we skied just shy of 19 miles over the three days, with 12 of them being to and from the cabin. The cabin sleeps 6 people with three bunks, and there is a Hugh dining room table with plenty of space for everyone. This is the first of the three cabins in the area that we plan to visit and we would definitely come back here again. Maybe just drink less on day one.


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