Explore Montana Trip Oct. - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
11 days ago

Road is very rocky but cars with AWD/4WD should be able to handle this easily. Aside from a couple of steep switchbacks this was a relatively easy hike. Just keep in mind to not stop when you hit the first lake. There is no marked trail to the second lake so I would recommend finding the stream that connects the two. Also don't expect to catch any fish in these lakes due to winter kill a while back.

hiking
3 months ago

I made it to the trailhead in a full-size sedan (Kia) without 4wd. The road is very rocky but I got there driving less than 5mph while using the entire road to maneuver around rocks and ditches. The trail to the lake is a pretty gradual climb, but the trail to the good lakes is very steep and poorly marked. It is worth the effort to get to them, but make sure that you pay attention to the trail you took.
This trail is pretty secluded so also make sure that you bring everything you may need in case of an emergency, namely a camera :)

Less busy trail. The portal creek road is challenging, best to have 4x4 or AWD with high clearance. Worth the drive and hike. Bring water, bear spray and your fly rod.

3 months ago

Great hike and beautiful hidden lakes, very tranquil Road is rough getting up to the trailhead, recommend a 4x4 or rental car.

This trail was a good half day trip! It was a truly magical place! There are a number of lakes up there and they are all connected! There are also some great vantage points on the way up

Went on this trail in early August as a day trip. Fairly easy terrain with a few water crossing. The waterfall is well worth the distance.

Nice n easy hike. Quite scenic. Stay on the trail marked NFS 83 at the bifurcation to hidden lake cutoff. Ran into hikers that made the mistake of following the arrow pointing right rather than straight and ended up in the wrong location. Moderately trafficked with people at the destination. Road conditions leading up are tremendously bad.

hiking
4 months 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.

4 months 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.

This hike is lonnnnng but well worth it. Our group decided to do it all in one day and besides the last couple of miles it wasn't too bad. The hike is mostly flat except maybe the last mile or so. I had never hiked more than 8 miles before and I survived :). Bring some exceptional bug spray though, we were eaten alive. The scenery is beautiful and the view of the falls is stunning.

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!

Was a nice hike in a wooded area to the lake. It had some steeper inclines but we were able to stop and rest by a beautiful stream. The meadow and wildflowers were awesome! The thing that didn’t make it worth doing again was the road to the trailhead. For the last 3 miles it was very rough with rocks and pot holes. Took a while to get there in our truck.

5 months 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.

The trail has about 4 steep sections followed by flat sections to catch your breathe. I made it to the lake in an hour. Some people were fishing, not sure if they were having any luck. Good hike, rough road getting up there. Glad I borrowed a friends truck.

5 months ago

Fun and quick hike. Brought the fly rod and found some brook trout in the lake

Trail had snow on parts and a small lake from snow melting towards the last stretch of the hike that we had to go around but omg was it worth it!!! The hike and the lake are breathtaking. Even the drive up Portal Creek Road is breathtaking!!!! Was much colder at the lake so didn’t stay long. Definitely coming again to try to catch some golden trout. Lots of evidence of bears being in the area so be on alert!!! 06/23/2018

birding
11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, October 29, 2017

I would rate this hike as more difficult than moderate, which is due the path being very narrow in a lot of places and a heavy amount of rocks on the trail. However, the scenery more than made up for the difficulty level!

I wasn't able to get to Phantom Lake (1000yds short) due to deep snow.

backpacking
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fairly long hike if going straight to the falls in one go, but shouldn't be too bad as long as you're not carrying too much weight. The meadows section was very muddy, and is a guarantee to get your feet and legs wet if you don't have a good pair of boots. Waterfall at the end is pretty incredible.

backpacking
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lake is frozen over as of 10/15/17. Drive up wasn't bad but there are no signs until the top and might need 4wd in certain spots.

backpacking
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lake is frozen over as of 10/15/17. Road up to lake is nice however you need 4wd in some spots and there are no signs until you're right at the spot to park at the top of the mountain.

backpacking
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Challenging hike, it lives up the rating of hard but had some spectacular falls at the end. Road to the ranger station is bumpy so cars with low clearance be aware. Waited 45 minutes for a ranger to show up, ended up being in his rv next door. Spent an hour in the station doing paperwork and watching a safety video. Finally got on the trail with about 2 hours of sunlight left (don't recommend doing if you dont want to hike through the night). First section of the trail is about 4 miles and goes though woods with a mixture of uphill and downhill, a majority being downhill). Then reached a small bridge that went over a nice looking stream. This then led to the meadow section of the trail, about 3-4 miles of this muddy meadow walking. If the meadows weren't covered in mud this wouldn't of been a bad section of the hike but it was pretty terrible walking through foot sinking mid for 3-4 miles. The last section of the trail goes through woods again, mostly flat with a few uphill sections, also about 3-4 miles. If you are trying to get to the bottom of Dunanda falls you must go through campsite 9A3, if you don't you will wind up at the top of the waterfalls on some narrow trails that can be easy to miss. All in all this would've been a great hike had we not had heavy backpacks and been able to pace ourselves instead of racing daylight.

horseback riding
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nice trail for a 2 hours tour go and return with break at the riverside.

backpacking
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hiked in to a backcountry site passed the Yellowstone River suspension bridge. The hike in as most enjoyable with amazing views of landscape and the surrounding mountains. After crossing the suspension bridge we saw what I believe to be an osprey and a bison carcass. The hike out was a bit tonight due to the overnight rain and snow making the trail slick and wet. Overall an amazing hike with many views!!!

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Beautiful lightly used. Saw cub and mom black bear on way out

fishing
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The first 1/3 is fairly steep but not bad. The second 1/3 is flat and has a good view, and the last third to the lake is slightly steep but downhill. The road is rough but passable. I was able to make it there in Subaru Impreza AWD and only scrapped 2-4 times.

Lots of rocks in the trail, so a lot of time looking at your feet. But very much worth the hike, both for the stream that is either always within sound or site, and the peaceful serenity of Moon and Deer lakes. Went in midAugust, and huckleberries and thimbleberries everywhere. Surprised to see so many flowers as well on the upper 2/3 of the hike.

backpacking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fish were too easy to catch at Phantom lake. We lost the trail just below the lake but made our way to the lake and across to the other end where there was a nice place to set up camp near the water. Only ones up there 4th of July weekend.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

Great trail with a beautiful and quiet lake at the top. Quite a commitment to get to the trail though as a 6 mile dirt road takes about half hour to drive because it's so rough but it's worth it

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