Mount Aeneas and Picnic Lakes via #717 and #392 Trails is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bigfork, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles
1,925 feet

dogs on leash


mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



Please note that the road leading to the trailhead can be steep and muddy. 4WD is recommended.

2 months ago

Super simple hike, usually quite busy. as in you'll see at least a dozen people on the weekend or more.

I highly recommend you stay the night or a few nights at least make it to Birch or some other lakes.
If you're really gutsy, hit Big Hawk Lake.

Crater Lake is a good lake as well. Very beautiful.

2 months ago

3 MILES AND 1200 FEET IS OLY HALF THE TRAIL. You have to start at the Camp Misery trailhead and then hike in about 1.5 miles to the start of trail 717. The total hike gains about 1800 feet and is out and back, making it a little over 6 miles total.

It’s my favorite hike in the valley. I always see mountain goats and you can see glacier and the entirety of Flathead Lake from the top! Definitely must do. It can be busy but it’s great especially if you’re looking to get away from glacier sized crowds.

If you search for the Mount Aeneas Summit trail here on AllTrails, you’ll find the full trail map and reviews for this hike.

2 months ago

Great trail! Did the 717 to the peak and back down the other side to make the loop by picnic lakes. As others mentioned, the map here and the trail data are wrong. More like 1900’ of elevation and the loop was closer to 7 miles. Make sure to take pic of trail map at trailhead.

Also, do not be afraid of the road going up. Not sure why people mentioned it being difficult. It’s just a basic gravel road, some washboard, and it has a couple of narrow spots, but nothing bad. Small cars can make it fine.
Look for goats !

2 months ago

Loved this hike, beautiful wild flowers. Hike to twin lakes was beautiful as well.

3 months ago

Amazing trails 717 and 8. Both breadth-taking experiences!! Had the best time taking 8 to Twin Lakes where i has lake to myself to camp and and was entertained all night by a momma goat and her baby. It was the best experience I had in Jewel Basin.

NOTE: be aware that road leading to Camp Misery TH is a significant challenge if you’re easily unnerved by very narrow, switch-back, dirt roads with much washboard effect and some drop-offs as you climb/descend. Narrow means 2-car width in some places but many others only 1.5 to 1 car width.

3 months ago

This hike is one of our favorites. Lots of wildflowers in the first couple miles, followed by wonderful views of the Swan Mtns and across Flathead Valley, with the last leg looking into Jewel Basin with the peaks of Glacier NP in the distance as we summit Mount Aeneas with 360 degree views.

All Trails data needs updating as the trailhead is further down the road, there are missing trails in the area, plus at least one trail shown is permanently closed. The total distance is well over 6 miles, not 3.1 miles.

4 months ago

A beautiful trail well worth the effort. The first portion of the trail isn’t bad with gradual switchbacks. Once you reach the end of the switchbacks, it is an easy flat hike overlooking Bigfork and Flathead Lake with an informative wayside about white barks and fire. After the flat section, you come to a crossroads. There are 8 different trails (including the one you just hiked on) that all come together. There were only a couple of signs that told you which trail was which. Luckily, we hiked on a Saturday so there were plenty of people to ask which trail led to Mt. Aeneas. It’s the one trail that goes straight up! This is the strenuous part of the trail that had 3 trees down across it. 1 that you have to climb under and 2 to climb over. Once you reach the Microwave Tower you’re almost there! Continuing to Mt. Aeneas is well worth it. We saw about 15 mountain goats at the top. Beautiful views. We will be back to continue on down to the Picnic Lakes from Mt. Aeneas once some more snow melts.

4 months ago

This was our first hike on our trip from coastal texas(sea level). Beautiful trail all the way up to the summit. Saw a mountain goat up close who was very curious about us , hanging around until he finally let us pass to summit. The last mile and a half was pretty strenuous, with a steady long incline that ended with 23 degree wind chill and heavy snow/ sleet. Absolutely beautiful views 360 degrees. Lots of lakes below. Great mtn vistas. Backside was still covered in snow on july 2. Loved it.

4 months ago

We loved this hike. There was still a lot of snow but the views were stunning and even my seven year old could handle the climbs.

4 months ago

Great trail with stunning views, but definitely still a little early in the season. The trail head was about 1 mile away from where we parked due to the amount of snow on the road, and the first mile or so of the true trail was almost entirely covered with snow. There were quite a few fallen trees and snowy patches along our ascent, but nothing that kept us from making it to the top. Continue up the ridge from the station for some even better views - we were able to come fairly close to some mountain goats! Would absolutely go again, just maybe after some more snow melts.

Monday, September 18, 2017

We hiked this trail right after it snowed. Beautiful scenery and a challenging climb. The view from Mt Aeneas was gorgeous. We took a different trail down.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Great hike. Great views. LOVED IT! Just know the above info is not correct. My guess is the 3.2 miles is one way. Forgot to charge my GPS or would have a number for you. The map above is not the loop the description talks about either. It shows the hike as basically an out and back trip (ignore the loop it shows). If I had studied the map at the trail head, I would have found 717 goes down the other side of the summit and swings back around to Picnic Lakes. From the lakes you can proceed back the the parking lot finishing your loop. So study the map (or get one to take), know that your hike is likely 6 to 7 miles long and the hike is more than just a gradual incline to the summit. Also, don't forget to enjoy every step. Without the loop (which I would have loved) it's still a fabulous hike!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Awesome views and a great trail to hike! Certainly one of the best trails I have ever hiked!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Amazing wildflowers! Shade and blue skies. Bring a map for peace of mind.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Visited from Canada. We hiked to Twin Lakes which was very beautiful. My friend jumped in which was glacier cold. Bring your bug spray!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Great place to start hiking, watch your trail markers, several trails cross over and run along side. Great views of the Lake and South Kalispell. Late spring has been the best time for me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Didn't see any wildlife, but some great views on the way to Birch Lake.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Pretty area. Trail gets a bit narrow and overgrown at points. Good for wildlife and birdwatching.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Great hike. Spectacular views. We even saw a big white mountain goat walking along the trail.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gorgeous -

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

awesome views

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The scenery on this trail is spectacular and is achievable for even novice hikers. The trails are well marked and facilities at the trailhead are well maintained. Be sure to bring plenty of water and don't forget your bear spray.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Only able to do 4 mile hike today, due to time constraints. However, the views are spectatular and the trails are well maintained. I plan to return with more time, and a better map!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Very beautiful hike with multiple views. Would love to do this again. We took the trail to the top of Mt. Aeneas which is in my opinion is better than taking the road.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Took the trail up to Mt. Aenneas and then wrapped back around through the Picnic lakes to the trail head. You can find more details and photos on hikingforliving dot com. Beautiful views at the top! 7 miles or so total.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Did the hike to Birch Lake today. Temps in lower 70's! Problem was smoke from Canadian fires stopped our views of the Flathead Valley. Still some spots of snow. Great hike of approx 6.5 miles.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Friday, August 02, 2013

Started by hiking from Camp Misery up to the Summit of Mount Aeneas. The views the whole way up and on the top were amazing and some of the best I've seen on any hike. Due to fires the sky was a bit hazy but we could still see the flathead valley and the flathead lake as well as all the surrounding mountains. The first part of the hike is moderate, not too bad. Once you start getting to the summit and once on the summit the hiking gets more intense. Go slow and bring water. However, our guest was able to do it with a fake hip and sandals on. Be careful! Going down is rocky and steep. The lakes are so beautiful and the views are so worth it. This is one of my favorite hikes. I highly recommend it. Bring a jacket because even in the summertime it can get cold by the lakes. Picnic lake is a great place for a picnic :).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jewel basin is a well groomed trail system with a number of lakes and overlooks. Trail 717 is simply a connection to a large trail system. The Jewel basin trail system has hikes ranging from 1-10 miles approximately. If you have not visited this trail system I would suggest it, and bring a fishing rod because the fishing is good in many of the lakes, namely Wildcat lake and Strawberry lake.

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