Trail from Lava Lake to first ridge was very easy to find, but snow (3-10 inches) obscured the trail after 8,000 feet (10/1/17)

Beautiful lightly used. Saw cub and mom black bear on way out

Lots of rocks in the trail, so a lot of time looking at your feet. But very much worth the hike, both for the stream that is either always within sound or site, and the peaceful serenity of Moon and Deer lakes. Went in midAugust, and huckleberries and thimbleberries everywhere. Surprised to see so many flowers as well on the upper 2/3 of the hike.

Awesome trail! Spend most of trail above Lava Lake above the Tree line so the views are spectacular. The trail is slightly obscure near the top but cairns easily guide the hiker. Lots of elevation gained but totally worth it.

We hiked in from Big Sky to Lava Lake, ended up being 25 miles or so. It was pretty up on Table Mountain and welcomed flat area!

Great good clean path!

backpacking
7 months ago

Hiked into Bear Trap with the little sister on the 5/2/17. The plan was to backpack into the first campsite(about 3-4 miles in), set up camp, and then day hike back down to the slow and low parts of the river for some fly fishing. Unfortunately for us, we picked a day to hike in where a group of several Conservation Corp members were putting in some serious work on the trail (along the fishable parts of the river), and given the hard work they were doing we didn't want to be continually interrupting by fishing through them repeatedly. So we ended up just setting camp, exploring the immediate area, and enjoying the scenery. We did see a lot of bear sign along the trail, but fortunately had no encounters. The nighttime got pretty cool, given the time of year and how close to the river we'd set up camp. Easy hike in though, and the scenery is pretty nice the whole way.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Great, challenging hike. The lakes are beautiful.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

hiking
Monday, March 14, 2016

More of a stroll than a hike, there is very little elevation change on this trail. It is suitable for all skill levels. And because it's an out-and-back, one is under full control of the distance they wish to cover. Beautiful scenery. The sound of the river comes and goes as the trail alternates being close to and away from the water.

Tough trail for sure, but the lake is gorgeous. Watched a moose getting a drink while I caught my breath.

hiking
Monday, June 22, 2015

From everyone else's review, I would have loved to continue this trail. The river and initial section of the canyon is beautiful. However, within the first mile, the poison ivy was so thick along the single track path, that even long pants and long sleeves would have gotten contaminated. Also had to hop over what I think was a bull snake den - saw the holes and saw the snake in the grasses along the river bank.

hiking
Friday, May 01, 2015

Beautiful hike. I did an overnight hike on this trail this week, and loved it. I plan to go back and do it again this summer. First, a few things I think people should know starting out:
1. Fishing is allowed year round on this trail. This section of the Madison is very popular with Fly Fishers, and produces some huge brown and rainbow trout. I had a ton of difficulty trying to find out the fishing regulations for this stretch of river, so hopefully this will help someone out.
2. This trail has snakes and bugs. Lots of snakes and bugs. If that is bothersome, this trail might not be the one to hike. Be on the lookout for rattle snakes in particular, as they frequent this area, but there are also rubber boas near by that are much less dangerous.
3. The trail is listed as a 14 mile out and back. Along with other reviewers, I feel this falls short. It is probably closer to a 16-17 mile out and back. It is also listed as easy-moderate with little elevation gain. This is false. The entire last half of the trail is a series of steep inclines and declines, that probably gives you alot more elevation gain accumulated than indicated.
4. There are only campsites in the first half of the trail. I was unaware of this, and when I came upon a nice little camp site at around 5 miles in, I decided I still had enough energy to keep going for a bit, and figured I'd turn off at the next campsite within a few miles. There is NO such camp site. I walked, and walked, and walked, and finally came to the dead end Montana Power fence that marks the end of the trail. As I previously mentioned, this last half of the trail has ALOT of steep up and down sections. I was very upset that I now had to walk the 3-4 miles back to the last campsite. You are much better off to stop at one of the campsites along the first half of the trail, set up camp and dump your gear, and then dayhike the rest of the trail.
5. This trail is not dog friendly. While dogs are allowed on the trail, some of the more rocky sections could be pretty damaging to their paws. I brought my dog along, and finally ended up just carrying him across the rockier stretches, after watching his paws get pinched between rocks innumerable times. He never complained, but it was still not fun to watch.
All in all, this was an amazing hike with TONS of beautiful scenery. The craggy peaks and white water rapids make for some excellent views, and the noise of the river is nice to fall asleep to.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Views of the Madison River are wonderful! Watch out for the Poison Ivy
It's loaded along the trail .