Trapper Creek

Conner, Montana

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This route provides a short out-and-back day hike through a heavily forested canyon and alongside a mountain stream with numerous pools, riffles, and stair-step cascades. Notable for its multiple stream crossings—there are four within one 2-mile stretch— the trail lacks a specific destination and is somewhat more challenging than most other streamside retreats in the Bitterroots. Not to worry—the trail provides a fine outing regardless of your turnaround point. Mill Creek is just one of the deeply glaciated canyons penetrating the Bitterroots’ eastern ramparts. The drainage offers a selection of possible destinations, including several secluded mountain lakes accessible only via unkempt foot trails. Scenery tends to improve the farther upstream you travel, with Heinrich and Lockwood lakes being prime examples of the trend. From its forested beginnings, the trail retreats upstream and crosses several irrigation ditches before entering the canyon mouth beyond. A log foot-bridge with handrail spans the watercourse at 0.6 mile. As it continues west, the trail files through heavy timber and saunters below soaring cliffs.
Hiking the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

by Scott Steinberg (Falcon Guides)

This route provides a short out-and-back day hike through a heavily forested canyon and alongside a mountain stream with numerous pools, riffles, and stair-step cascades. Notable for its multiple stream crossings—there are four within one 2-mile stretch— the trail lacks a specific destination and is somewhat more challenging than most other streamside retreats in the Bitterroots. Not to worry—the trail provides a fine outing regardless of your turnaround point.

Mill Creek is just one of the deeply glaciated canyons penetrating the Bitterroots’ eastern ramparts. The drainage offers a selection of possible destinations, including several secluded mountain lakes accessible only via unkempt foot trails. Scenery tends to improve the farther upstream you travel, with Heinrich and Lockwood lakes being prime examples of the trend. From its forested beginnings, the trail retreats upstream and crosses several irrigation ditches before entering the canyon mouth beyond. A log foot-bridge with handrail spans the watercourse at 0.6 mile. As it continues west, the trail files through heavy timber and saunters below soaring cliffs.

©  Scott Steinberg/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Conner
Distance: 10
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4.0–5.0 hours
Season: Best from late July through September
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Bitterroot National Forest
Local Maps: USGS 7.5-minute series: Burnt Ridge, MT; Trapper Peak, MT
Driving Directions: Directions to Trapper Creek

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Apr 2018