Crooked Creek Access Trail

Posted 9/4/2015

Crooked Creek - downstream. Crooked Creek - downstream.
This is an easy hike to Crooked Creek which is inaccessible in many places due to canyon cliffs. Because of the limestone geology, which allows underground drainage, there is little surface water in the Pryors. Crooked Creek is the largest of the few streams in the Pryors. This delightful hike takes you to a riparian landscape/ecosystem which is unusual in the Pryors. This is also #6 of the nine special botanical spots described in A Botanical Guide to Special Places in the Pryor Mountains which describes the moist and lush riparian plant community near the creek.

Download Crooked Creek Access Trail Guide

Getting There:

Download and print the Pryor Mountain Map Set.

Drive Highway 310 to Warren, 21 miles south of Bridger MT. (Warren is not a town. It is where limestone from a quarry in the Pryors is loaded on railroad cars. Look for the Montana Limestone Company sign.)
0.0 miles: At Warren turn east on Helt Road (also called Quarry Road) Follow the somewhat paved Helt Road for 2.7 miles.
2.7 miles: Turn right (east) on Helt Road. Helt Road is good gravel. (Quarry Road continues to left and is paved.) It is 4.4 miles on Helt Road to the Gyp Springs Road “Y”.
7.1 miles: At the “Y” turn right onto Gyp Springs Road. Continue on Gyp Springs Road for 7.0 miles to a “T” junction. (The left fork at the “Y” is Helt Road. It also goes to Crooked Creek Road but is 2 miles farther, slower, rougher and more scenic.)
14.1 miles: At the “T” junction turn left (north) onto Crooked Creek Road. (There may not be a road sign.)
14.3 miles: Stay right. Pass by the left turn on Helt Road. The next 6.2 miles include the roughest road on this hike access route. There are several rocky sections that require careful driving with highway vehicles, but most highway vehicles can make it. Of course higher clearance is better.
20.5 miles: US Forest Service boundary. From this point on north the road is smooth gravel.
25.7 miles: Park. The road turns right. Park in the wide area on the outside of the turn – on the left (west) side of the road.
The hike begins on the east side of the road.

Alternate Access: It is also possible to get to this trailhead via Pryor Mountain Road.
Follow the Pryor Mountain Road Driving directions to mile 30.3. Turn right (south) on Crooked Creek Road. The parking area for this hike is 3.8 miles south on Crooked Creek Road.

The Hike:

Crooked Creek Hike Route Crooked Creek Hike Route
Walk down the obvious drainage on the east side of Crooked Creek Road. It begins shallow, broad and grassy but soon becomes narrower, deeper and with more trees. The route is easy to follow so no trail is needed, but there are some tracks to follow – especially on the bottom half of the hike. Part way down there is a fence to cross. Look for a gate near the right (south) side of the drainage. Continue down to the creek. Enjoy the special place. Don’t hurry back!
Crooked Creek - upstream Crooked Creek - upstream

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