Jewel Basin Backpacking

Bigfork, Montana

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
An easy trip into a popular hiking area in the Swan range in the northwestern corner of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Jewel Basin isn’t a designated wilderness, but the Forest Service manages it like one—no logging, motor vehicles, or development. Because of the easy access from the Flathead Valley, this area can get crowded, but mainly on weekends. If you hike here during the week, the human population won’t seem too large. The first order of business on this hike is to pick your base camp. Two excellent options are Black Lake, 8 miles out-and-back, and any one of the four Jewel Lakes, a 9-mile round trip. An even easier choice would be Twin Lakes, a stunningly beautiful pair of “jewels” in a small basin only a 5-mile round trip from the trailhead. Special attractions: Subalpine scenery and good fishing lakes on a trail easy enough for beginners, families, or elderly hikers.
Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies

by Bill Schneider (Falcon Guides)

An easy trip into a popular hiking area in the Swan range in the northwestern corner of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Jewel Basin isn’t a designated wilderness, but the Forest Service manages it like one—no logging, motor vehicles, or development. Because of the easy access from the Flathead Valley, this area can get crowded, but mainly on weekends. If you hike here during the week, the human population won’t seem too large.

The first order of business on this hike is to pick your base camp. Two excellent options are Black Lake, 8 miles out-and-back, and any one of the four Jewel Lakes, a 9-mile round trip. An even easier choice would be Twin Lakes, a stunningly beautiful pair of “jewels” in a small basin only a 5-mile round trip from the trailhead. Special attractions: Subalpine scenery and good fishing lakes on a trail easy enough for beginners, families, or elderly hikers.

© 2002 Bill Schneider/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Bigfork
Distance: 9
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Up to several days (mileage does not include side trips)
Season: Best summer and fall
Local Contacts: Bob Marshall Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Jewel Basin, Big Hawk Mountain, Crater Lake; USFS Jewel Basin Hiking Area
Driving Directions: Directions to Jewel Basin (Backpacking)

Recent Trail Reviews

7/15/2010
0

We didn't actually do this full loop, because we also went to the big hawk lakes. But we did get to Black Lake, which is a very scenic lake. There was still a lot of snow in the area, but around the lake was dry when we went. The lake sees a lot of lures, but it was great fishing when we were there. To see my full review of this area, go to this url: http://chrisroane.blogspot.com/2010/07/jewel-basin.html


5/23/2006
0

My family and I headed up to hike Jewel Basin, which looked gorgeous from in town! Alas, it is May in Montana, and the road was snowed over about two miles from the trailhead. We did, however, see a black bear cub! Happy trails, and don't hike Jewel Basin til mid-June!



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