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My nine year old daughter and I hiked this trail last weekend. It was a good challenge for both of us. Great trail. Awesome views. First part of trail was nicely shaded. We will do it again!

hiking
3 days ago

it is a great hike, but if you're not used to hiking up for a while then you will be tired! there are many false summits so prepare yourself mentally to be disappointed when you see another peak!! we hiked in the dark on our way out and the trail was easy enough to do it with ease!

hiking
5 days ago

Mostly shaded, we went early in the day. Park at the overflow lot as neighbors seem strict about not parking on the road leading to trailhead. Lots of elevation gain pretty quickly and several switchbacks, worth it, but maybe not great for a group. Seemed popular with locals. Wonderful views at the top. bring lots of water.

Pretty trail. I am looking forward to making it out here this fall as I noticed some aspen trees! I am certain this trail will be a frequent for me, and next time would like to take it to the College M!

Very nice trail! I summitted Saddle Peak from this, which I would highly recommend. The trail never really ends and continues to Saddle Peak, so those who don't want to summit will have to find their own spot to turn around.

Take the road until it dead ends at the last trail head. Note the trail head marker might be miss marked. It mentions trail 531 seasonal usage when in fact it’s trail 432 (I think). I started at noon and a good spray of bug repellent and had no problems. Pretty wide path and perfect gentle slope all the way up. I did a slow jog for most of it, really great trail running path, Up and down. Loaded with wildflowers. Passed plenty of happy friendly ppl. The lake is at the top of a wide open meadow. Crystal-clear waters. Me and the dogs are in good shape and even with our jogging and lots of picture time and playing in the water we made it up in 2 1/2 hours. And down in 1 1/2. Total 4 hr trip. Tank top, shorts, and Obozo low hikers. Nice to have a light zippy up top. Peace love and happiness to your hike!

Epic wild flower hike - beautiful.

backpacking
10 days ago

Fantastic and interesting trail, and a beautiful destination- worth the extra mile to get to Heather Lake. Terribly buggy, bring multiple bug sprays if you plan on staying more than an hour or two.

You can tack those an additional two miles (12.4 miles total) to this hike as if you start at the sign at the right side of the road for Blackmore Lake Trail when you are headed toward Hyalite Reservoir. That said, nothing stops a person from driving directly to Hyalite Reservoir and parking in the first parking lot next to the outhouses and boat launch to start their hike from there. From that location, you will be closer to the 10.6 miles round-trip as listed per AllTrails. There is signage at the parking area saying 0.4 miles to Blackmore Trail at which point you reach and intersection in the trail and need to veer to the left for Blackmore Lake and Blackmore Peak. This is a fabulous and well-maintained trail though one must expect to work a little for the summit. While this trail is listed difficult, it certainly is a well-groomed trail and deserves a visit if you are on the fence about it. Saw gorgeous fields of wildflowers this past Friday but certainly hit the afternoon weather patterns, so try to start and end this one early as you are high up and we'll exposed in the event of a lightning and or rain/hail storm as per our experience this past Friday. Bring some layers for the top of the peak as it can get chilly up there! Fantastic views!

Very beautiful hike to the lake. The hike is quite tough with the long uphill way (7,5K) but worth to do it. We had no problems with mosquitoes...

Hike isn’t 10.8 mi, but closer to 12.4mi, but a great hike, great views and a really good trail. Probably my favorite trail in the Bozeman area.

hiking
16 days ago

wow!!! The views were absolutely astounding. Wildflowers everywhere. I started early in the morning, which meant it was nice and shady on the trail, there weren’t too many other hikers/bikers, and the bugs weren’t as bad. Make sure to bring some solid hiking boots — I wore my running shoes and they did not fare well. The trail is very rocky throughout and dusty toward the top. Also beware of grizzly bears and their droppings. Keep bear spray with you just in case (I didn’t see any, but better safe than sorry), and watch out for the droppings along the trail. The lake was beautiful as well — you can walk all around it and there are plenty of little shady spots to eat lunch or dip your feet. Also make sure to veer off the small paths toward the stream every once in a while, there is a waterfall, some cascades, and there are wildflowers all along the creek bed. Overall, a really lovely outing!

hiking
18 days ago

Three lakes in less than 5mi RT? Perfect! The upper hidden lake still had some snow and the hike was beautiful. A little steep on your way to the upper lake.

loved it!!

hiking
18 days ago

If the hike to the lake isn't quite challenging enough give this a go. Great views, but you gotta earn them. I did it today and the trail right before the ridge was still covered in snow. Have to improvise a little bit for another week or two...no big deal.

21 days ago

Great place and few people. The first part of the hike is on a wide trail but up on top of a level area is a potentially confusing intersection with an arrow indicating the trail straight ahead but go right instead. There is a hard-to-see sign that says Hidden Lakes nailed to a tree. From here the trail heads down and then up to small Lily Lake. Look for the faint and narrow trail heading steeply uphill on the northwest corner of the camping area to reach Lower and Upper Hidden Lakes. Usually snow even in July and good fishing for Golden Trout.

hiking
21 days ago

Great hike! Mostly in the shade which is awesome! The bugs are pretty bad, bring bug spray. The wildflowers are amazing though! Climb is gradual, but it mostly follows the river which has some pretty cool cascades and waterfalls. I'm not in the best shape, but with a tired dog it only took us 5 hours. Would definitely recommend!

trail running
26 days ago

Pretty sweet trail that has a lot of elevation gain in a short amount of time. Views are very nice further up the trail. Went on 22nd of July 2018 around 10 AM and had a close encounter with a mountain lion towards the high point. There were lots of people there so I felt relatively safe, but I had to scare the lion away and had my bear spray at the ready. Remember, no matter how busy a trail is, there is still a chance of running into dangerous animals so always be ready.

camping
30 days ago

As other reviewers have stated, this is a gradual steady climb to the top (meaning completely downhill on the way out). The trail was moderately crowded with hikers and dogs. The bugs were insane--flies and mosquitos all over the shore of Emerald Lake. Fishing was great, lots of grayling and cutthroat. We camped near the lake and were disappointed to have multiple groups walk through our camp between 8 and 9 PM. There were probably close to 10 different groups camping that night (Saturday 7/14) and one camp stayed up drinking and yelling until after midnight. The only plus to that was that because I was awake, I left the tent to use the bathroom and caught an amazing star show around 1 AM. Would not camp here again, but I would likely hike the trail up and back for some good exercise.

hiking
1 month ago

An hour up to the first overlook (meadow) with beautiful flowers and a great view of the valley. Lots of bugs near the bottom of the trail. Didn't proceed past the first overlook but a nice 2-hour RT workout.

From the Blackmore parking lot it’s 12.4 miles. Really pretty with the wildflowers blooming. Only two small patches of snow to cross.

Very nice, sparsely traversed trail. There are two lakes at the end, Moon Lake and Deer Lake. Both are beautiful. Many microclimate changes and overall just a pretty amazing hike. Bring bug spray for the horse flies and skeeters at the lake. And always, bear spray!

noone on the trail. start early as it will get hot. steady uphill the whole trail. you can apparently rent the cabin up at the top. the last 100 yards are steep. trail is across from storm castle. there's a campground just past the trailhead too. no water source on trail.

hiking
1 month ago

There is a nice mix of easy and challenging sections on this trail. The views were spectacular and the flowers were gorgeous. The flies were pretty bad, but the mosquitos weren’t. We hiked 6.5 miles (all the way up) in just under 3 hours. It’s a great workout.

1 month ago

Super fun hike- I was completely alone with my dogs which is always amazing. I was able to easily make it to all the lakes, but I’m glad I had my phone gps and maps. The trail up to the upper two lakes is much narrower and not well marked. However the trail is worn and easy to follow once you are on it.

trail running
1 month ago

Fantastic, very runable trail! gorgeous views, tons of water, no bears that we saw! A lot of waterfalls

hiking
1 month ago

Not a bad hike, but the trail itself is also used by ATVs (though I didn’t see any while I hiked it). It will end up taking you back to a beautiful lake! The trail runs through thick woods the whole way and there is a creek that parallels most of it. This is a very gradual hike that could make for an easy backpacking trip or day hike. There are a TON of mosquitos, so bring plenty of bug spray!

If you’d like to avoid ATV and motorcycle traffic and take a single-track trail in, go up New World Gulch and cut east once you reach the intersection with the overgrown forest service road. You’ll reach this intersection after crossing the east side of Mystic Lake. This’ll also add a few more miles to the trip.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite hikes within 30 minutes of Bozeman! You can expect a gradual, steady climb on a wide trail that winds through thick trees the majority of the way up. You’ll also get a few opportunities to admire the canyon walls towering above you as you make your way up. There is also a beautiful section that runs through a small open area next to a creek. Once you near Emerald Lake, you’ll start to enter a few larger meadows. When you reach Emerald lake, you’ll have a great view of the peaks and plenty of spots for a picnic or camping.

If Emerald lake is too crowded, continue up the west side of the lake through yet another beautiful meadow. The trail takes you one mile further to Heather lake. It is slightly smaller and has more bugs, but will likely be less crowded. There was still quite a bit of snow to go through to get to Heather Lake, last weekend, but it was manageable as long as you have a general idea of where the lake is.

hiking
1 month ago

New World Gulch has plenty of great features including creeks, meadows, plenty of wildflowers, and ends up at Mystic Lake. There is also a rentable forest service cabin at the lake. There are a few steep places, one small section in particular that can be difficult to keep your footing. There are also a few creek crossings. You’ll eventually end up on a closed forest service road that’ll take you down to the lake.

The hike is not too difficult, but there is also nothing to really make it stand out among the other area lake hikes. When I did it back in June, the lake was unusually low (especially for the snowpack that we had this season). There is also a closed road coming up sourdough canyon that’ll take you to the lake which takes away from the natural surroundings a little in my opinion, though it’d probably be a great cross country sky trek in the winter.

If you are really looking for a hike, head back down from the lake by cutting over to Bear Canyon! You’ll come out at the Bear Canyon Trailhead which is just 1/4 mile from The New World Gulch Trailhead. You’ll get to see a few more secluded ponds and lakes along the way, but you’ll end up hiking nearly 20 miles round-trip. Also, be careful hiking at dusk or at night; there is plenty of mountain lion scat to be found on the trail.

Overall, this does make a good day hike or could also make for good backpacking; and the lake is pretty great when it’s full. It’s minutes from Bozeman and easy to access. Personally, if you want a Great Lake hike, I’d check out the Hyalite Lake or Emerald/Heather Lake hikes up Hyalite canyon.

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