Explore the most popular forest trails in Bitterroot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

fishing
20 days ago

Many of the descriptions people have posted are incorrect. This is a great hike with several potential destinations. The first are a series of falls about 2 miles in. This area is spectacular and fairly busy. Many hikers stop here. At about 3 miles you cross the creek on either a sketchy log or by wading. From there you have several miles of flat thick forest to hike through. At around 7 miles you reach a series of bedrock creek cascades that are gorgeous. This is a possible camp location as well. Once you progress beyond this, there are fairly frequent flat and relatively open areas if you want to camp below Bryan lake. At about 8 miles, you hit Bryan lake. When we did this trail in 2015, there were quite a few logs over the trail in the upper reaches. I don’t know if they have been cleared since.

Trail is in great shape, still was quite a bit of snow. But well worth it!

rock climbing
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, steep incline at first, but levels out through the canyon, which is breathtaking and impressively tall-walled! Young pine forest surroundings. A friend I visited at Missoula State took me climbing here for my first time and it is a memory I will cherish forever.

Road to trail was good, trail was melting snow/ice.

I only went halfway but loved it.

Beautiful trail, RD to trail head was in great shape. The trail is icey, I suggest micro spikes. If your GPS tries to take you to Jackson LN it's incorrect.

hiking
5 months ago

Lovely and do-able even this late in November.

Great hike

Great trail. Tons of great views and easy scrambling. When we went the creek was out of its banks so we had to take a few detours. About 6 miles in the canyon narrows and is more wooded. Tons of great rapids and scenery.

Roads solid ice, narrow, with cliffs had to bale on it today. Will return in the spring.

This USFS trail does not get a lot of use but is not hard to follow, particularly in early spring or late fall when there is less undergrowth. Great place for isolation, as I've been on it twice and still haven't run into another hiker. Beautiful scenery at some of the clearings as well as nearly panoramic views at the saddle. Good workout too (in my opinion), as the elevation gain is pretty consistent the entire way. The last 1,500 feet was above the snow line when I went, so the last segment was hard (should have brought yaktrax or similar). If you go in summer or when there is less snow, there is a trail downhill and east from the saddle that continues to Burnt Fork Lake, which is apparently beautiful and well-worth it.

October 2017. Lots of down trees, due to the summers fire. Very interesting to hike through the burned areas - some places it burned very hot and there’s nothing left. Some fire retardant still around, which make some areas look like hiking through. a technicolor dreamscape. It’s a different experience than usual, but very interesting. The fallen trees make it more challenging and slower than usual.

Spectacular view :)

backpacking
6 months ago

Beautiful views of the bitterroot mountains! Runoff makes the trail a bit rough and hard to follow. We went in late October and got snowed on in the night. Good tent spots right by the lake. I am definitely going to hike this again in the spring!

hiking
7 months ago

Easy.. Haha Nooooo!! Snowy most of the way, alders covered in snow, draped over the trail in many places. Great view above the clouds, now that I am done I am feeling like a rockstar but damn that was a tough hike!!!

First four miles or so were pretty nice, nothing too extreme. But FUCK whoever rated this as an "easy" trail based on the last mile.

Love this trail, it is a hard hike however we have hiked it 2 times with our 3 children. The baby was in a pack on my back and I was tired but I was able to do it without complications. The older two hiked it with a few breaks, but we made it a mile or two up.

Enjoy!

hiking
7 months ago

5 star view on this one. I highly recommend it.

hiking
7 months ago

Snow ankle deep, but gorgeous!! I did not leave myself enough time to make it to the lake, look forward to doing it again!! Awesome hike..
beautiful :))

37 degrees, snow on the trail the last half mile or so.. great hike!!

Really liked this trail. It had a bit of everything. Rock cliffs, waterfalls, beaver dams...

Loved this trail!
Lots of ups and down with dramatic views of como lake. The sheer mountains on either side constantly change and add new picture oppourtunitys.
Landscape changes quickly from forest to alpine. We did loose the trail twice but found it quickly. The lake was low but clear and cold, could see fish swimming a bit. Would have loved to spend the night and done exploring around as there was so much to do in one day.
Very steep incline. Be prepared this one will take a lot of huffing and puffing!

backpacking
9 months ago

The first three miles are gorgeous. Amazing views of Prinz Ridge and easy access to the creek. The next two miles to the falls are shady and sweet with a sweet payoff at the second set of falls. Another nice, shady two miles gets you into the actual wilderness area and to seven mile meadow where there are decent campsites. Water access here was made difficult by muddy banks, suck diminished the sites appeal. If you're not going all the way to the lake, camp here because the campsites at nine mile meadow are seriously lacking and were beyond infested with mosquitoes. From nine mile meadow, it's roughly three miles to the lake and the trail saves almost all the elevation gain until the end while affording really nice views of the surrounding peaks. The lake itself is tiny with an oily sheen and seemed devoid of fish, we were reluctant to swim though other folks told us they had. Three are several decent campsites I the near side of the lake, but we didn't explore much die to boggy conditions around the lake. The trail itself was overgrown and grabby with deep trenches at intervals that made footing uneasy at times. The initial five miles are the highlight of this trail, as there are far nicer lakes in the Bitterroot corridor.

hiking
9 months ago

I'm not quite sure where the lake is - certainly not at the turn around to make it a 6.3 mile hike. Really scenic with great rock outcroppings for lounging. Guess I'll keep trying to find the lake!

Great views from the falls and the lake. More of a moderate hike with plenty of rocks, overgrowth, and some good inclines.

hiking
9 months ago

My favorite hike! It is closed right now due to fires.

hiking
9 months ago

This is such a fun, exciting hike. The trail was overgrown with several fallen trees on the trail here and there, but the views are well worth it; Lake Bryan is spectacular.

love this trail

Beautiful hike but it needs to be upgraded from easy to moderate. At least 1/3 of the trail is made of lots of big rocks and this makes a bit harder to travel across.

Beautiful hike, we actually went up past the two waterfalls to make it a 12mile round trip. Excellent scenery for the majority of the route, some parts are through trees providing shade but are also a bit overgrown. There were a few mosquitos so I'd recommend bug spray.

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