Custer Gallatin: Ibex Cabin

March 25, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

This trip to Ibex Cabin was our first to the cabin, but our third ski trip to a cabin in Custer Gallatin National Forest. We skied to Crandall Creek Cabin earlier in the winter and went to Trail Creek Cabin the previous winter. 

After the long drive to the trailhead, we got an even later start when our car got stuck in a snow bank. Fortunately, there were some locals who were sledding for the day and threw us the keys to their truck so we could use it to get ourselves out. "Just park it and put the keys in the center console." This is the kinda stuff why I love living out west. We threw a couple beers in the snow near their truck as a thanks before we set out on the six or so miles to the cabin. 

20230317-jwf-957720230317-jwf-9577NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230317-jwf-959520230317-jwf-9595NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230317-jwf-960720230317-jwf-9607NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The views were SPECTACULAR and since it was so late in the season, we had some great conditions to crust cruise. We stopped for lunch after a while, and eventually dropped down to the meadow where the cabin was located.

20230317-jwf-962320230317-jwf-9623NPS / Jacob W. Frank

We unloaded all of our supplies and relaxed for the evening. Since it was St. Patrick's Day weekend, we skied in a corned beef, some Guinness, and supplies to make green mimosas. We were pretty excited.

20230317-jwf-965520230317-jwf-9655NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230317-jwf-965820230317-jwf-9658NPS / Jacob W. Frank

That night I got up to hit the head and noticed that the Milky Way had just risen over the horizon. I didn't bring a tripod with me, but I was able to figure out how to stack a bunch of logs in a way that I could take a few snaps of the stars from the front porch.

20230318-jwf-968920230318-jwf-9689NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The next morning was another cold, bluebird day so we made coffee and breakfast to let it warm up a bit before we set out for the day to explore.

20230318-jwf-970220230318-jwf-9702NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230318-jwf-971920230318-jwf-9719NPS / Jacob W. Frank

There are a few hiking trails from the cabin so we picked one and headed out. Hiking trails aren't the best for skiing always, but we were able to make it work until we got a point where the trail was too steep to follow.

20230318-jwf-973320230318-jwf-9733NPS / Jacob W. Frank

We turned around, skied back to the cabin and decided to explore the trail on the ridge above the cabin. The views up there are pretty awesome. You can basically see all the way to the Beartooths.

20230318-jwf-976420230318-jwf-9764NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230318-jwf-978420230318-jwf-9784NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Back at the cabin, we hung out for the rest of the evening, relaxed, and played games. The next morning we had another great sunrise. We made breakfast and started packing.

20230319-jwf-981320230319-jwf-9813NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-983120230319-jwf-9831NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-984120230319-jwf-9841NPS / Jacob W. Frank

We chopped and hauled wood, did chores, and hit the trail back to the car. But not before we grabbed a group photo on the porch.

20230319-jwf-985520230319-jwf-9855NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-986220230319-jwf-9862NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The ski out was great. You have to do the initial climb out of the meadow, but once you're back on the ridge, it's mostly downhill. It was a fun, fast ski back to the car.

20230319-jwf-987420230319-jwf-9874NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-990620230319-jwf-9906NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-993120230319-jwf-9931NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-995220230319-jwf-9952NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-995920230319-jwf-9959NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20230319-jwf-998220230319-jwf-9982NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Trip notes: This cabin was about the same size as Trail Creek Cabin, but with the best views of the cabins in the area that we had be to so far. We skied about 16 miles total, 12 of them being in and out from the cabin. I would definitely go back to this cabin again. We aren't big backcountry skiers, but we did see a lot of people in this area with snowmobiles. So if that's you're thing, I think this is a popular spot.


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