Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

lovely hike! there is a small parking lot at the trailhead. walk across the dam (yes, really) then stay to the left for the "public access trail." very scenic views! we only went part of the way (maybe half?) to a point where the trail was a bit washed away and our six-year-old panicked; adults could have made it past this point, but be aware if you have small children.

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.

This is a great afternoon walk with access to some really great fishing spots.

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of switchbacks, not lots of sun exposure so it’s chilly this time of year. Other hikers, mountain bikers, dogs. There are shorter trails in here you can take. About hour to go 3.4 miles

Cross the dam and follow the signs for the public access trail. It’s been a year since my last hike and this felt more moderate to me. Very scenic and enjoyable hike nonetheless.

Did this hike today. Easy hike with scenic views the whole way

11 months ago

absolutely beautiful Trail! Would highly recommend!

hiking
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Spectacular views of the Missouri River. There were lots of fly fisherman out on a misty morning and were enjoyable to watch. I was a bit appalled by the garbage left by other hikers, they seem to think the fenced in area near the dam in a dump.

hiking
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Full disclosure. Couldn't find overlook due to too much snow. Climbed the nearest rock and can't believe that the true trail's end view could possibly be any better.

Loved this moderately challenging trail and the views at the end were spectacular.

hiking
Friday, March 03, 2017

Did a few elk hunts out here, elevation gain is mild over easy terrain. Very beautiful area!

hiking
Friday, October 21, 2016

The trail is on the far side of the dam and follows some form of bermed ditch likely mining related. The hike has virtually no grade and you hike on the berm for like 1.5 miles to a big marshy area and back. it is perfect for dogs and people wanting to walk in the forest. Very Nice! Park Lake is a hidden gem of a place.

camping
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Great spot for close by camping and kayaking with the kids.

hiking
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Great hike, the views were constant through the hike.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hiked Flesher Pass to Stemple Pass. Great views. Good open areas. Don't get confused by the junction at mile 3.1. Go straight.

hiking
Monday, March 14, 2016

A steep start, but once you get over that, the hike is still moderate, but spectacular. Reaching the ridge crest, you can veer off to Edith Peak, or continue on the trail. It drops down to Edith Lake. One end of the lake is a HUGE boulder field. Fun to go rock hopping, but I would not want to be there when another HOUSE SIZE boulder makes its way down from above.

I'm going to hit this trail again, the day I did it, there was so much deadfall it was a challenge. That's just an observation. Trees fall. It's all good. And it's close enough to Helena to be a good day-hike that doesn't necessarily consume the whole day.

fishing
Thursday, December 03, 2015

Beautiful lake that's very isolated! If you get the chance stay until it gets dark, the stars are amazing! Highly recommend!

snowshoeing
Friday, August 14, 2015

I like to snowshoe on Flesher Pass. The trails there are very friendly toward this activity and the views from this Continental Divide crossing are amazing.

cross country skiing
Friday, August 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.

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

Rodney Ridge trail is one that can be done in a variety of lengths and as an edge-of-town hike is very easy to get to. (Except in winter, the road to the trailhead is very steep, and the parking area is equally steep. Ice on both of these means you should park your vehicle at the bottom of Rodney Street and walk up with traction devices on your boots.)

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

Whoever said they did this hike as a 7-miler in 2-hours did NOT do it in knee deep snow like I did in October of 2013. Actual distance is 8+ and took nearly 8-hours to reach the peak and return to our starting point of Moose Creek Cabin. I cannot testify to the trail really because of the deep snow. Navigation was strictly by GPS with the trail laid out. Not sure I will ever want to repeat this despite the spectacular view from the top where a lookout used to stand.

hiking
Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Hanging Valley trail weeds out the weak right from the start with a very steep first mile. What makes this hike strenuous is the distance combined with a gross elevation gain of 3700 feet. Fortunately, that 3700 is broken up. First you will climb up 2600 feet in about 4-1/2 miles, then drop down to the beautiful Hanging Valley ledge. The climb back up is what adds up to the gross number.

This trail is mostly wooded, but there are several spectacular points where you can see over trees into the valley. The trail is well maintained, but be advised a summer morning hike will result in dew from low plants soaking your pants and then into your boots. It would be wise to carry spare socks.

My experience was that this hike actually added up to 13.82 miles vs the published 12.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Long drive from Clancy, takes about 40 minutes, but goes through beautiful country and gives many opportunities for viewing wildlife. I often see elk, deer, moose and bear on the drive up. The lake itself is not very big, but has a very active population of grayling that are a blast to fish. Just remember to catch and release, as grayling cannot be kept in that district. There are some hiking trails around the lake too, but most are clogged pretty severely with deadfall. Enjoyable spot to camp and fish.

skiing
Saturday, March 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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Not bad, long dry hike stay hydrated, the view isn't bad either!

Nice views hiking. However the trails in that area lack signs, and don't take a normal car up there. About 4 miles of large, sharp rocks on the dirt road getting up there. Once there though, it's a pleasant bit of exercise and scenery.

mountain biking
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rode this mid May. It was apparent this trail is seldom used. There were many fallen trees blocking the path on the lower portion. The climb was difficult and had to push most of it; however, the views from the top were amazing and the ride down very entertaining.

mountain biking
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This trail isnt a bad trail aimed more towrds the intermediate level riders. Mainly to some of the small technical aspects of it all a few small but steep drops and plenty spots to grab som air. All and all its not bad at all since Helena really dosnt offer a whole lot of technical riding.

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