Explore the most popular river trails in Flathead 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.

Not muddy or overgrown. Nice trail, lots of switchbacks. I needed to catch my breath a few times but the grade is not so steep that it hurts your knees coming down like some of the steeper trails. There was still quite a bit of snow around the lake. Not the prettiest lake but it was a great cardio session going up. No signs of bears. Saw several groups and families. Parking was a little crowded. Trail is mostly shaded. 2.5 miles uphill then a pretty much level last half mile to the lake once all the switchbacks are done.

Is there parking at the trailhead?

It was a nice trail. Beautiful views. But when we got close to the lake, I was far away from my husband, and then I hear my husband yelling for me "are you coming?". After that, I hear the bushes moving and a trampling noise through the bushes ahead of me. I saw my husband down the hill making rustling noises too. I realized that I heard a huffing of a bear. I did not see the bear. But it came down to the trail between my husband and I. I made sudden advances towards him. That is when my man headed down off the trail into the brush to get some distance from the bear. It was scared, this is the first time my hubby has an encounter like this. We are blesssed to be alive. He was too close to that bear. I love him so much and I want to be with my hubby for a long time.

One of my favorite trails. Switchbacks are challenging but the views are worth it. Tried to hike it today but the top had too much snow to get all the way in.

you gain a lot of elevation... then drop low again. For a backcountry skiier its always a loss when u lose elevation and have to climb and gain it back. but the veiws of the valley are hard to beat!

Great trail if you are looking for a challenge!

1 month ago

trailhead inside bridge construction done

Did this trail years ago with Wes and Sue. Camped and fished at the lake. Slid down the Glacier in July. I remember the bugs were relentless! Good memories.

hiking
6 months ago

quiet and be ready for a swim

mountain biking
7 months ago

Awsome mountain biking trail!!!!!!

Cool Fall day, tons of bear scat, no bears!

hiking
8 months ago

Not what I expected. I was looking for a 10 mile hike and thought this was it. When this says it is 5.3 miles I thought the trail would end. There is a small waterfall at about 2.5 miles but the trail continues on after that. If you want to go to the lookout at the top of the mountain it is about 7.3 miles one way that are pretty steep. Since I didn’t know what to expect on this trail I kept going past the waterfall. If you want to see a better waterfall than the one that is directly on the trail, cross the small river and go up the riverbank on the right. There is about a 20 foot waterfall about 2/8 of a mile up the river. The trail does go up at first and then down and then up. The last 4 miles are really steep so be prepared. The view from the top is breathtaking.

We hiked this trail right after it snowed. Beautiful scenery and a challenging climb. The view from Mt Aeneas was gorgeous. We took a different trail down.

steep but worth it

Great hike. Was definitely interesting there was a nudist at the top!!

Great hike. Great views. LOVED IT! Just know the above info is not correct. My guess is the 3.2 miles is one way. Forgot to charge my GPS or would have a number for you. The map above is not the loop the description talks about either. It shows the hike as basically an out and back trip (ignore the loop it shows). If I had studied the map at the trail head, I would have found 717 goes down the other side of the summit and swings back around to Picnic Lakes. From the lakes you can proceed back the the parking lot finishing your loop. So study the map (or get one to take), know that your hike is likely 6 to 7 miles long and the hike is more than just a gradual incline to the summit. Also, don't forget to enjoy every step. Without the loop (which I would have loved) it's still a fabulous hike!

Awesome views and a great trail to hike! Certainly one of the best trails I have ever hiked!

It was an absolutely beautiful trail. Lots of wildflowers and adorable chipmunks. I only encountered a few people and the lake was small, but completely worth it. The smoke was pretty bad so you couldn't see the valley. However, there were a lot of beautiful things on the trail to keep me distracted. The lake was pretty and a perfect temp to pop in and cool down!
I didn't think it was that hard of a trail. I mean I'm a bit out of shape so I was kind of puffing, but I'm out of shape!

Amazing wildflowers! Shade and blue skies. Bring a map for peace of mind.

Visited from Canada. We hiked to Twin Lakes which was very beautiful. My friend jumped in which was glacier cold. Bring your bug spray!

This trail is amazing. We were there yesterday (July 30th 2017) and practically had the lake to ourselves. We probably saw Allison Frueh for a few minutes up there as there was only one other person there. The hike up is beautiful and if you look at the surrounding flora it is gorgeous. Huge patches of wild raspberries and huckleberries. I would not call it monotonous, the forest is gorgeous and the lake was refreshing on a hot day. It was great for our dog with a creek at the beginning and then another one where he could take a sip about 2.5 miles in. I

The trail itself is uninteresting & monotonous, but the lake is beautiful! Clear, cool water perfect for taking a dip. I was at the lake @ 3 o'clock on a Sunday and had the whole place to myself. Good thing, because it is a small lake and not much area to relax on the shore. The nagging flies drove me away prematurely.
I did see a black bear in the berry bushes 10 mins into the hike. He ran away after I told him to

Fun and challenging hike. Lots of huckleberries along the trail. Lots of elevation changes, and lots of flies along the path. The views are occasionally good, but mainly obstructed. The lake is beautiful, but small.

Perfect hike! The trail is in great shape. Amazing views, and best of all, a beautiful lake to swim in at the end. very much worth the work!

11 months ago

Oh my goodness, this trail has it all. I was worried about bears so I made a lot of noise and saw no wildlife. A lady I met on the trail said she saw mountain goats though. All of the lakes are spectacular. Crater lake it by far the best. So secluded and peaceful. The trail is a bit hard to follow and overgrown in just a few places. Coming out was much easier to follow and very strenuous. Well worth every step though. The views are some of the best I have seen. Do not sell yourself short and stop at Birtch Lake, Crater is well worth the extra hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Pretty but challenging. Loved the water falls! And the view was amazing!

11 months ago

Very steep. Lots of elevation gain. Pretty view at all the top

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike with a few waterfalls along the way. Amazing views of the valley at various points. Hidden waterfalls just off trail that the dog loved to play in. Lots of elevation changes but also had lots of switch backs.

Hiked into Strawberry June 23rd, beautiful sunny day. Trail in great shape & beargrass in full bloom! No scat on trail.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike. We took our dog and loved it. Only one side note: we decided to do this on our drive from Swan Lake to Glacier National Park while towing our travel trailer. The road is narrow, dirt, and eventually reaches a pretty steep drop off the side towards the end. It's a great hike, just do it before you head to your next destination and leave the trailer. Also, there was plenty of snow left in the first mile of the hike.

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