Lilly Pad Lake - Stillwater County
Lily Pad -and Crater lakes lie in a school section about one and a half miles off the West Rosebud road across from the Lazy EL ranch in Stillwater county. They are a wonderful opportunity for day hikes or trail rides.
Legal access on the closest and most scenic route is available across BLM and school trust land from the West Rosebud Road, but there was no trail .Without a trail, it can be real bushwhacking effort to find the lakes .
In June of 2011 , crews from the Montana Conservation Corps - young adult volunteers from all over the U.S. - started trail improvement work on the BLM portion . They are working on the BLM portion again in the summer of 2012 - the most rugged part - and hope to be complete in mid 2013. From the BLM land the trail goes into school trust land where it is more apparent.
Users should be aware parking is minimal right at the trail head - about room for two or three cars. At one time it was hoped to improve the parking but because of the nature of the slope and huge quantities of excavation required this is not feasible.
Beartooth Back Country Horsemen, working with the BLM and other agencies, deserve most of the credit for this project . The BLM contact is Jim Sparks @ 896-5241. BCH leaders include Ernie Strum ( 446-2514 ), John Simmons (328-4163 ) and Ron Nusbaum
The lakes are stocked by FWP "sherpas" lugging fish in backpacks.
Approximate coordinates of Lily Pad lake are 45.3108 N --109.6406 W
Approximate coordinates of the trailhead are 45.3152 N - 109.6146 W