Golden Trout Lakes Trail is a 7.7 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gallatin Gateway, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.7 km Elevation Gain: 348 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Users have reported that the road leading to the trailhead might require 4WD with high clearance.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Great trail with nice reward at the end. The last mile is pretty tough, but I’d label the rest as moderate. Lots of shade. Very few people on the trail for a Saturday in August. Nice lake at the end. Didn’t catch any trout, but saw plenty grabbing bugs off the surface.

hiking
bridge out
bugs
muddy
rocky
10 months ago

this is an awesome trail to a beautiful and quiet lake....there are a lot of great little streams and plenty of shade through many portions of the trail

hiking
10 months ago

This was a great trail! Definitely worth the hike up there! It was a little more difficult than I expected, but doable. There were 2 water crossings, plus a field that was pretty much just marsh, so be prepared to get your feet wet if that hasn’t dried up. Also, the mosquitos were terrible, so wear bug spray and bring extra to reapply at the top! Lastly, we made it to the top in 2 wheel drive, it’s not too bad of a drive, and really the biggest time clearance came into question was coming back down and honestly, if you’re a good driver, you could make it in something like a Subaru Outback. Easily in anything higher than that, I would say. We did it in my 4Runner and had zero issues.

hiking
Sat May 11 2019

I went last spring, there was a lot of water over the path and some post holing to be done. It was well worth it though, very pretty and secluded.

Wed Sep 12 2018

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.

Sat Aug 04 2018

Nice n easy hike. Quite scenic. Stay on the trail marked NFS 83 at the bifurcation to hidden lake cutoff. Ran into hikers that made the mistake of following the arrow pointing right rather than straight and ended up in the wrong location. Moderately trafficked with people at the destination. Road conditions leading up are tremendously bad.

hiking
Sun Jul 15 2018

Was a nice hike in a wooded area to the lake. It had some steeper inclines but we were able to stop and rest by a beautiful stream. The meadow and wildflowers were awesome! The thing that didn’t make it worth doing again was the road to the trailhead. For the last 3 miles it was very rough with rocks and pot holes. Took a while to get there in our truck.

Thu Jul 12 2018

The trail has about 4 steep sections followed by flat sections to catch your breathe. I made it to the lake in an hour. Some people were fishing, not sure if they were having any luck. Good hike, rough road getting up there. Glad I borrowed a friends truck.

Sun Jun 24 2018

Trail had snow on parts and a small lake from snow melting towards the last stretch of the hike that we had to go around but omg was it worth it!!! The hike and the lake are breathtaking. Even the drive up Portal Creek Road is breathtaking!!!! Was much colder at the lake so didn’t stay long. Definitely coming again to try to catch some golden trout. Lots of evidence of bears being in the area so be on alert!!! 06/23/2018

backpacking
Tue Oct 17 2017

Lake is frozen over as of 10/15/17. Road up to lake is nice however you need 4wd in some spots and there are no signs until you're right at the spot to park at the top of the mountain.

hiking
Mon Aug 07 2017

Great trail with a beautiful and quiet lake at the top. Quite a commitment to get to the trail though as a 6 mile dirt road takes about half hour to drive because it's so rough but it's worth it

fishing
Thu Jul 27 2017

Pack only the necessities if you're going to fish! The trail is rough if you have a lot of weight on you. About an hour and 20 minutes to get to the lake at a moderate pace, so calculate that into when you want to start fishing. Our group caught a total of 9 fish for the day before it got cut short by a mean rain/hail storm. Recommend bait is half a worm on a small hook with a weight 20-26 inches up your line. Beautiful fish!

hiking
Sun May 21 2017

Do NOT GO ON THIS TRAIL RIGHT NOW! It is absolutely beautiful but I can imagine it is much more manageable when you can drive to the trail head and hike. It is currently 8+ feet of snow! We did the entire thing just so our dogs could explore. We walked 1 1/2 + miles from the closed road to the sign that states 3 miles to trail head. Once we go to the actual trail head it stated 2.5 miles to the lake. Definitely more than that... once we got there it was completely frozen over. Not to be unexpected with all the snow! We were just hiking in for fun! Not sure when this trail will be ready to use but not anytime soon! We walked 15 miles round trip! It was a beautiful blast in our eyes but if you are looking to fish, look somewhere else!!

hiking
Sun Apr 16 2017

Beautiful hike, and we had a great time fishing!!

hiking
Fri Sep 09 2016

It was difficult driving up the road to get to the beginning of the trail, so I recommend a vehicle that can handle the rough road; preferably a truck or AWD. Once you get to the beginning of the trail, the hike is a nice little workout until you reach the final location of Golden Trout Lakes. I believe that the roundtrip distance is a little off compared to this site in my opinion, but I totally recommend this hike to anyone.

fishing
Fri Aug 12 2016

road frikin stinks, caughts me sum phatees at the top tho

hiking
Sun Jul 31 2016

Beautiful hike, but uncertain footing along much of the rock-strewn trail. Gorgeous views make this fairly strenuous climb worth it. Unfortunately, a storm blew in sent us back down the hill about a quarter-mile from the lakes. #NextTime

hiking
Fri Jul 15 2016

This is a very beautiful trail with a nice reward at the end. I will bring a fishing pole next time. I've been trying to catch a Golden Trout for years! I had no idea they existed in MT. The trail was well marked and in good shape. I would rate this as an easy trail, but then again I'm an experienced hiker.

Mon Sep 28 2015

great hiking, fishing and camping!

fishing
Wed Jul 08 2015

It was a great day hike even for the kids! My 5 yr old made it up and back. We were able to catch a total of 5 Golden Trouts while fishing the lake. It's a gorgeous lake in a beautiful spot!! I would recommend it to others for sure! The road getting there has some rough spots and certainly isn't great for cars.

Thu Aug 07 2014

This trailhead is somewhat difficult to find. You go up portal creek rd until you see upper portal creek trailhead. Note: the road is not in the best shape and may be difficult to drive a sedan. Then you can park and walk past the trailhead sign and see the golden trout lakes trailhead which will take you about 1.5 miles then you will find trail number 83 to the left and veer off that direction. Great Lake. Great golden trout

Wed Jan 15 2014

Good place to try to catch a Golden Trout. Nice hike, starts out pretty flat then gains pretty quick.

hiking
Tue Jan 14 2014

This is a great little hidden gem in the Gallatin Canyon. The trail is definitely a challenge, but the pay off is worth the work. Crystal clear water, soaring peaks to the south, and as much sky as your eyes can take in. Bring your fly rod if you can brave the chilly alpine waters. If you want to hike further, there is additional trail that will take you to the peak to the south. Great place for lunch and photos!

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

recorded Golden Trout Lakes Trail

hiking
9 months ago

camping
9 months ago

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