Basin Lakes Trail No. 61 is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Red Lodge, MT that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Very pretty. My husband and I hiked to the upper lake and it was a little more than we bargained for, but we'll worth it! Make sure you wear good shoes, pack a snack and water.
If you avoid the stairs at work, you should NOT get on this trail. Requires moderate fitness level but is very pretty. It is definitely worth the effort to make it to both lakes--I had a small snack at the first lake and took a little siesta at the upper lake, very serene and beautiful. Wear good hiking shoes because the trail can be gravelly, making it a little treacherous on the way down. Trail is very narrow against the mountainside in places. I saw a moose cow and her calf on the way down which was awesome!!
I frequent this trail every few weeks as it takes just over an hour to get to the lower lake and is a great workout! My Fitbit consistently reads this as a 6-mile out and back with 1500 feet gain to the lower, but this may be because I've got tiny legs. The falls about 10 minutes up the trail are incredible and the turns and sights as you push up are definitely worth it. Wild raspberries in mid to late August make the trip sweeter! Definitely my go-to get out of town hike. Haven't explored the upper lake yet but I'm going to in the next month!
Did this hike with husband for anniversary. nice little waterfalls along the way and rewarded with a pretty lake at the end
The trail sign said four miles and difficult, but All Trails has it listed at 5.5 and moderate...confusing. This hike is steep, but with the switchbacks you don't realize it until your way down. It was nice having plenty of spots for our dog to cool off and drink. I liked that there were key points to take rest before moving on....waterfall, old cabin,meadows and lower lake. I'm a beginning hiker, so I struggled with going another 1.5 miles to the upper lake. I'm so thankful we did, the fish were jumping like crazy and the view was spectacular. The berries were in abundance and the foot traffic was good. We will definitely be back and might camp overnight next time.
Nice hike..pretty much uphill the whole way. Getting to the upper lake is definitely worth it. lake was full of fish, and the people fishing were pulling them in left and right....will take my rod next time.
Great hike! Beautiful!!!
Beautiful views with a pretty decent uphill climb. ~10in trout were visible from the bank swimming around at upper basin. It was a good workout with nice visual rewards.
Easy stream crossing. Hiked in late May. Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms.
this trail has got to be the most deceiving trail. Every turn of a mountain, you think you've finally reached the top, and then there's more. I've hiked every weekend for over a month now, and this is the most challenging hike by far. BUT, I can't wait to do it again! It was about 20 degrees cooler at the lower lake than the base. When we left our car, it was 55 and about 15 min after reaching the lake, it was snowing and gaining on us. We turned back just in time. We only saw 2 others hikers about 20 min into the hike and then we had the trail to ourselves. Round trip took us about 4 hours but we (and I mean I when I say we) stop to take a lot of photos along the way. It's beautiful and plenty to enjoy.
awesome trail. made it to the first lake and it was beautiful. we're beginner hikers and found this quite exhausting and challenging but loved every minute if it.
This is a steep initial climb that will get you warmed up in a hurry. Beautiful waterfalls at the first part of the hike as you wind your way up the switchbacks.
There is a tricky spot where a small USFS marker says "Trail ⬅︎", where you it looks like the trail heads up and to your right, you actually cross the stream via some dead fall logs the form a makeshift bridge.
The area has a nice amount of foliage, so at the right time of year, you'll be treated with some good wildflowers, or even berries to pick if your timing is right. Because of the berry bushes along the way, keep bear aware - make noise, have bear spray, especially in fall.
By the time I was about halfway to the lower lake, I'd already decided this is one of my favorite trails in the area. From the waterfalls, to the sound of the stream, to the quiet forest, to the old, abandoned cabins, it's worth the climb. I'd definitely recommend it.
There are fewer people on the trail than Lake Fork or Mystic, and the lake (at least the lower lake, the only one I made it to) isn't as breathtaking as Mystic, but the hike is more enjoyable. It's dog friendly, but watch your pup carefully on some of the switchbacks as sliding off the trail could result in injury.
I attempted this trail with my brother-in-law on an early August day but we unfortunately lost the trail and were unable to successfully reach even the lower lake. I think the main trail cuts south across the creek where we stayed north of it-- we were able to stay with the creek for, I'd guess, 2 miles of the 2.5 where the lower lake is located. Too long off road for our comfort level so we finally decided to turn back. Over on the "Hikes in the Beartooth Mountains" blog the bridge south being frequently missed is pointed out. Hopefully this helps anyone attempting this trail in the future. We'll try this one again...