Marion Lake

Essex, Montana

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The Marion Lake Trail is a short and rather popular hike that provides access to a montane lake surrounded by spruce forest and overlooked by a picturesque but nameless peak. The trail is suitable for both horses and hikers and is also a winter destination for adventuresome cross-country skiers. The trail begins in a grove of young Douglas fir, topped by a scattering of old larch. Douglas fir seedlings are superior competitors in the shady realm beneath the forest canopy and will ultimately take over the canopy if the forest remains undisturbed by fire and logging. The trail climbs steeply up the hill, then swings westward into the valley of Marion Creek. Openings in the forest allow views of the forest-clad hogback of Essex Mountain, which rims the southern side of the valley. The well-defined route makes its way through progressively larger and more brushy forest openings, interspersed with stands of old Douglas fir. Thimbleberries grow thickly here, providing a late-summer feast for hikers and bears alike.
Hiking Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness

by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)

The Marion Lake Trail is a short and rather popular hike that provides access to a montane lake surrounded by spruce forest and overlooked by a picturesque but nameless peak. The trail is suitable for both horses and hikers and is also a winter destination for adventuresome cross-country skiers.

The trail begins in a grove of young Douglas fir, topped by a scattering of old larch. Douglas fir seedlings are superior competitors in the shady realm beneath the forest canopy and will ultimately take over the canopy if the forest remains undisturbed by fire and logging. The trail climbs steeply up the hill, then swings westward into the valley of Marion Creek. Openings in the forest allow views of the forest-clad hogback of Essex Mountain, which rims the southern side of the valley. The well-defined route makes its way through progressively larger and more brushy forest openings, interspersed with stands of old Douglas fir. Thimbleberries grow thickly here, providing a late-summer feast for hikers and bears alike.

©  Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Essex
Distance: 4.2
Elevation Gain: 1,810 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best July through September
Trailhead Elevation: 4,200 feet
Top Elevation: 5,920 feet
Local Contacts: Great Bear Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Pinnacle
Driving Directions: Directions to Marion Lake

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Apr 2018