Explore the most popular Cross Country Skiing trails in Helena 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views and easy uphill hike towards lookout . Last third of the 6 mile loop hike not recommended. There is a locked gate and private land you have to cross and then you have to bushwhack to find the last two miles. This “trail” is an old mining road or logging skid trail that’s overgrown and has a fair amount of lodge pole blow down which crosses an old power line clearing on the steep north side of the ridge line. We could never find the start of this last section and resorted to bushwhacking down the power line to find it. This trail angles down and out onto the Stemple Pass road for the last mile. The marked trail route suggests crossing private property to climb to the pass and I don’t recommend hiking that way. I believe this route was made by a skier not a hiker four years ago. They crossed a lot of private land on 4 feet of snow that’s a bit tougher to access while hiking. I recommend turning around at the locked gate and retracing the 4 miles unless you’re into a gps adventure.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike starting at the Stemple Pass trail head. We started the trail across the road from the map for the ski area. First 2 1/2 to 3 miles or a steady uphill climb in the path was well delineated. At about 7500 feet elevation you reach the Continental Divide Road go left and you start coming back down. The trail here is not nearly as well marked and you are on fire roads and forest service roads for a little while. At about the halfway point in the loop the trail dead ends at a gate heavily posted private property no trespassing.. We ended up bushwhacking through private property for at least a mile maybe 2 miles to try to find some semblance of the trail to get back to. The 6.6 mile hike described is closer to 8.2 miles the last part being a mile and a half uphill on Stemple Pass Rd. I would rate first half o f this hike five stars. The second half the non existing trail rates one star. I recommend doing this hike as an in and out hike maybe going to the continental divide road and back. Views and trail definitely worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a beautiful trail through the mountains east of Clancy. We encountered one other hiker on the trail, so the sense of isolation was excellent! Near the end of the hike, we came across a small herd of cattle, grazing by the picnic tables. They weren’t the most friendly cows I’ve encountered, so we were forced to turn back after some of them became irritated.

Cute little stream... Hike is through an area that is getting thinned out so there are hundreds of burn pulled stacked everywhere. Lots of grass across the trail towards the end which got itchy on our legs.

hiking
4 months ago

this track file will take you to heart lake which is where I went to. nothing really spectacular, most of the hike is through a regenerating Forest that was burned. the lake is nice.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice gentle walk through a forest across a couple streams.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a lovely gentle hike when you do not want to challenge yourself. Some nice views of the Elkhorn Mountains, refreshing aroma of Springtime Pine, wildflowers and rushing mountain stream with a picnic table at the end. Good.

A nice hike, some pretty good views and nice picnic area at the end near the creek.

hiking
5 months ago

Well marked and maintained. Picnic tables at end.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

Beautiful hike. I was the only one on the trail. Parts of the trail are covered in snow and ice, but not too bad. Crossed the creek at the end and hung a right at the McClellan Creek Trail fork, and was able to go a half mile until there was too much snow.

Beautiful country. Mountains surround the trail, 3 small streams along the way. Mostly flat. 4 miles round trip. Signs of horses,moose, deer, elk. Lots of woods. The trail was clean and maintained l. Old picnic tables at the end you can enjoy relaxing at by a creek bed. Only one other hiker on the trail

hiking
Thu Aug 30 2018

I enjoyed this hike. Saw a few deer, and lots of chipmunks. Absolutely zero people. Pretty hike. Good for the whole family.

This is an easy trail may be closer to 5.5 miles out and back! Will do it again!

hiking
Sun Apr 15 2018

The USFS has closed part of the old road. It now starts at the large parking area where horse trailers are commonly left. You follow the road to the old trail head and then down to the river which you can cross and head to the Casey Peak Loop or down to the Casey peak trail head. There is a vegetation research station along the way. There is even a Willard Creek trail guide (although hard to find) you can read at each guide post. It tells of the history of the area and has a tribute to wild-land firefighters. There are some old picnic tables near the creek at the end. Beware of Moose, very common to find in the area.

cross country skiing
Fri Aug 14 2015

I use Stemple Pass for cross country skiing. There are a variety of trails, each with different difficulties and all with spectacular scenery.

skiing
Sat Mar 28 2015

I don't know what it's like to hike this in the summer or fall, but it is an outstanding place to cross country and telemark ski from about late November through early April. Wild and beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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