Explore Summer 2017 - 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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A well populated trail. Despite the number of people who fill up the trail, the lake itself is huge, and there is opportunity to spread out a bit once you reach the lake. Nice spots to picnic or take a dip in the lake.

shady, no mile markers, lots of pesky flies! lots of beautiful waterfall options. bring lots of water, you'll need it.

Magic trail, definitely moderate and perfect start to hiking in Bozeman.

Nice moderate hike to chilly lake. Two 60+ hikers and we made it up and back in just over 2 hours hike time. Would recommend. Just over 5 miles out and back.

Ran with my two girls (11/9). We each carried a full hydro pack and brought a lifestraw along. We had plenty of fuel as well. The hike was amazing. We didn't hike to the top of the peak. We hiked to a lower one as I didn't feel safe enough with the last mile with my kids due to terrain.
The girls ran out of water at the peak and used the lifestraw on the way down. The waterfalls were amazing and so were the wildflowers! I would do this hike again in a heartbeat! It took us 5 hours to run/hike/enjoy this. I stopped and took a zillion photos and we spent about 20 minutes at the lake.

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
9 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.

Very nice hike through the forest up to the lake. The path is pretty rocky so be prepared with some hiking shoes. Would recommend getting to the trail head before 8am. Not too many views on the way up, but the lake and the peaks at the top are worth it!

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...

Absolutely gorgeous! Will do it again soon.

hiking
12 days ago

Not a bad trail. Not to challenging. We had a six year old with us and she made it fine.

The many waterfalls and streams are beautiful! We detoured off the trail to see each of the falls, including Grotto, and ended up walking about 13-14 miles. Silken Skein Falls is at least 1/4 mile off the trail and despite climbing up a narrow trail through the trees never got a good view. I will skip it next time. We were able to manage all of the stream crossings without getting wet feet. Closer to the lake, there is a large stream crossing but you can take a trail to the left up the hill along the creek to connect back with the main trail, thereby avoiding two big crossings. The trail has a flour-like dust, so a beer and shower at the end of this dusty trail is advised. We hit the trailhead at 7:30 am on a Tuesday and saw six people ahead of us and about forty in the way back. We didn’t haul water for our dog due to the abundant creeks, but I drank 2.5 L.

hiking
15 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!

We did this after another relatively strenuous hike, so it took a bit longer than expected. The scenery on the way up (and down) isn’t anything remarkable, but the view at the top is totally worth it. This ended up being my favorite hike that we did in Big Sky!

hiking
16 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.

Hiked up with my son and wife today. Found it to be a challenge for our group, and could tell that others were having a tough time on the final 1/4 of the trail at the top. Rocky and steep at parts, and fairly populated. The lake at the top makes it all worth it. This was our favorite trail for our week in Big Sky.

20 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
20 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!

Beautiful hike with my husband and dog. Like some others have said, trail is likely closer to 12 miles, but a nice gradual incline for the most part. The last mile or so had some great wildflowers! We started around 6am on a Tuesday and didn't see anyone until we were about halfway down. Being from an area without grizzlies, we were a bit nervous on the way up, but didn't see any signs of bears. Took us 2h20 to get to the lake and 2h to get back. Cliffs at the lake are impressive! Be prepared for all the bugs - there were more mosquitos than I had ever seen in one place before! Fun hike and glad we went!

Be sure to take a dip in the cool lake to cool off on a hot day. I carried my 4.5 year old in on a backpack carrier and the dip felt great!

This trail has everything: Numerous waterfalls, beautiful lake surrounded by vertical mountains, amazing views down the valley. Not much more you could want.
At the start we had to take the Grotto Falls trail. The additional switchbacks add some distance. My gps read 6.5 miles at the lake , 13 back at the parking lot, making it a long walk.

on Passage Falls

hiking
25 days ago

This is a pretty easy hike until right at the end. There are a few switchbacks that are quite steep at the end to get to the falls. Once you’re there, it’s so beautiful and you are going to love it. It wasn’t too busy either. You walk along a stream most of the way too :) Be sure to wear sunscreen because there’s not much shade along he way.

A little more difficult than the waterfall trail but still the kids loved it. Great views.

hiking
28 days ago

This is a very easy hike UNTIL you get to the Falls. That part is very steep to descend into the Falls part. There will be 2 bridges. The first is easy to know. It’s close to the beginning of the hike up. Stay on the path. The second bridge is deeper in the trail. The trail spilts. DO NOT take the left. Stay to the right. The trail to the left takes you alone the Pine River but passes the Falls.

camping
29 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
29 days ago

Passage Falls is a great mostly level hike with lots of wild flowers. The trail is through the burn area but it’s interesting to see how the forest is regenerating itself. The falls are beautiful and it’s worth it to walk around to the top of them also. Just respect the private property that’s nearby.

Stunning views. Easy trail. Have cold beer for the end

1.5 hours to a beautiful lake with minimal breaks. Pretty "buggy" at the lake and in spots on the trail. Mostly gradual elevation climb from beginning to end. Good workout!

Did this hike Friday (7/13/18) later in the afternoon as a large two family group (8 yoa to 51 yoa). It was warmer and we wished we had brought more water on the trail as most of the trail is rolling and climbing through the forest with not much wind moving.

The lake was beautiful and provided some cool relief. My brother in law who does triathlons (competed in Kona) brought his wetsuit and swam the lake. Another check box filled in his bucket list.

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