Explore the most popular camping trails in Gallatin 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.

This is a really nice hike to a very pretty lake. Go early.

This is a really nice hike to a very pretty lake. Go early.

fishing
28 days ago

Bring fly pole for Graylings, also if want can try bottom fishing and get some cutthroats. Very fun hike and fishing!

Really amazing trail! I hiked it solo on 9/16/18. I was afraid of bears but did have spray. Just like everyone has posted, it is a moderately rocky trail so watch your step, almost no flat portions but no exposed slabs or anything like like, worth the hike!!!! Note, the rocks were a bit slippery because it had rained the night before. Make sure to wear hiking shoes. The trail took me under 2 hours to summit and a bit over an hour to descend. I am from CT and am used to hiking steep trails in the White Mountains but I am not used to the elevation. Bring water, a snack, and take your time.

The lake is freezing but I recommend jumping in anyway.

hiking
1 month ago

Bring a fly rod for graylings.

hiking
1 month 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.

Busy trail. Best to head up early and on the weekday. Bring your fly rod, water and bear spray. Worth the rocky hike.

Beautiful views. At the right time of year, the wildflowers are amazing. Bring water and bear spray.

Loved this hike. I’m a beginner hiker so this was a bit difficult but it was beautiful and worth it. There are not very many flat spots so it continuously goes uphill but the lake at the top is breath taking!

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

Great hike, my son even made it and he’s only 5. Beautiful spot.

backpacking
1 month ago

The previous reviewer is correct about the elevation. It is ALL uphill and very rocky. It was a tough hike with a backpack on. This was my first hike at this high of altitude, too, and it took a while to adjust. Once my ears popped a few times I felt so much better! Even though it was difficult, it was absolutely beautiful! Lots of amazing views and waterfalls. There's also many places you can access water along the way. A good portion of the trail is also shaded which was nice because it was a very hot day. The third bridge is still down but there are two logs set up that are easy to cross, one to walk on, and one to hold on to. Went to Blue Lake this time and will be definitely be doing this hike again to check out Twin Lakes.

Great views, saw a Moose and two black bear at the lake.

Great trail - very scenic, easy at times and hard at times. It’s worth the view at the top. Our group consisted of 4 amateur hikers ages 46-72 and we made it. We earned our beer at Moonlight Basin afterward!

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

It was cold at the top - bring long sleeves to throw on once you’re up there! It was stunning as usual. Moderate hike with light traffic.

A little rocky but is is worth the view

I found this one extremely tough yet rewarding! As it has been mentioned there is a couple of false summits which you need to prepare yourself for. When we got to the last one, we meet a young couple who had to turn back they just couldn’t go any further. They where only one last push from the top...
At the top there is a book to sign and like a geo cash where you can put something in and take something out, so fun. And the view is spectacular!!
I would encourage you to bring water, a snack and a clean pair of socks to change out at the top to help alleviate blisters. ( I didn’t and paid for it) But for all you Athletics... You’ve got this. Lol enjoy!

Awesome hike! Saw a deer and a moose. The “lake” at the top is very much a small pond, but it’s worth it to hike up to the top of the rocks at the end for the beautiful panorama! Big and beautiful blue sky yesterday (8/26) but was pretty chilly at the top, make sure to bring layers!

Nice hike. Continue on a bit further on to Heather Lake via the trail that leads right of Emerald Lake once you reach the lake. It's a bit more private and quiet for this trail which gets a ton of multi-use traffick.

Gradual grade with occasional slightly steep climbing. The views at the top are spectacular.
Small parking lot but that means it’s not terribly crowded though there are plenty of people along the trail.

This is always a great hike. Haven’t been here for several years. Beautiful lake at the top and clearly the results of a very good snow year there were still some wild flowers.

Good hike! Lots of people. My fit bit tracked it at 8.75 miles round trip. BRING WIND PROOF COAT FOR SITTING AROUND LAKE IF TAKING BREAK. Saw a really Nice 4 point BUCK on way out. Others on trail reported moose but we never did see it. Wildflowers are awesome especially at the base of upper pond.

1 month ago

Great hike. Got there about 9am, there was only one other car in the parking lot. The wildflowers are still out in full force. Smoky views from the top looking toward Lone Peak due to all the wildfires.

hiking
1 month ago

It says 18.2 miles, but tracked 19.6 on the Garmin GPS watch. We also cut off almost a mile and took the steep
route from the M to the bottom. Excellent hike but it is definitely long and difficult. Including breaks for food and water/general rest, 10.5 hours from start to finish. Worth doing for sure! Hiked North to South. Baldy to the bottom is definitely a long brutal downhill.

This was a nice slow hike through the woods. I got to the parking lot at around 830 am on a Friday thinking it would be crowded, but I was one of a couple of vehicles there. The trail is rocky but very doable. I had no problems with the trail or the hike. I seemed to be the only person on the trail at that time of day. it wasn't until I was getting close to the lake that younger hikers started passing me. It is a beautiful lake with wonderful views. On the return hike to the parking lot, the crowds were just heading up.

1 month ago

been there many times. I always enjoy the varying terrain and scenery.

Rocky trail with some interesting creek crossing structures that work well until the it goes down a bit. Lots of friendly people and dogs out and about. Great destination for a quick break before you head back down.
And if you enjoy wild strawberries those should be ripe in the next few weeks!

Load More