Middle Lake and Gem Lake Trail

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Bitterroot National Forest

Middle Lake and Gem Lake Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Conner, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,358 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


A steep 1 hour accent to Baker Lake, the first of 3 pristine mountain lakes. Staying to the right of Baker Lake's inlet stream head up to Gem Lake past Middle Lake. Gem Lake is a beautiful place, with equally as beautiful campsites, each with their own little alpine paths.  There is a rock face near the outlet of Gem Lake that is perfect for stargazing.

3 days ago

Has anyone tried this in the last couple of days ?

28 days ago

I attempted to hike this yesterday 5/1. The drive up was not very fun, I ended up turning around when I reached some snow on the road up top that my car couldn’t clear. I drive a 4x4 with pretty high clearance too. I’m sure the hike is beautiful and I want to try to get up there again, be aware that it is a nine mile drive up the mountain after you get off of the highway!

no shade
7 months ago

Sat Aug 11 2018

Once you’ve made it to Baker Lake - keep going! Most of the hard part is at the very beginning of the trail. Getting to Gem Lake you can scramble up the rocks from Middle Lake but the trail to the right of the waterfall is the easiest. We all swam and water was chilly but great!

Tue Jul 03 2018

Steep approach but short - put your head down with your backpack and in no time you will be in a wonderful place. We love bringing our dogs with us. It is also possible to climb Trapper Peak from here by heading mostly west from the lake to meet the final ridge approach to Trapper. It is especially beautiful here once the colors turn in autumn.

10 months ago

10 months ago