by Bill Schneider & Russ Schneider (Falcon Guides)
© Bill Schneider & Russ Schneider/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This was our first overnight backpacking trip and it was for 3 nights. We had day-hiked this trail several times in the past, but had hoped to make it to the lake this time. Unfortunately at 6 1/2 miles in, the trail was totally flooded out as far as we could see on either side (there had been a lot of rain over the previous week). We ended up camping and gradually hiking our way out. It is a wonderful hike - one of the most beautiful in the Valley and that is saying a lot. We discovered the fires only opened it up more in the lower half and made the granite canyon walls even more visible. Be prepared to see moose on the trail (we did) and the locals say there are quite a few cougars as well.
Maybe the best thing about this hike is that you can make it as easy or tough as you like. As an out-and-back you can turn around any time, and the scenery throughout is great - big rock canyons in all directions. Lots of traffic with climbers and day hikers. There are several places where a creek parallels the trail, and the creek is full of native cutthroats that rarely see an artificial fly, so bring your trail rod. Wonderful day hike from Missoula!
Sign in/up to upload photos.
Keep Me Informed
Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.
We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.