Mount Aeneas and Picnic Lakes via #717 and #392 Trails

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Flathead National Forest

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.

Length6.2 miElevation gain1,925 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsRunningForestLakeViewswild-flowersWildlifeBugsRockyScramble
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities

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

Limited parking is available at the Camp Misery Trailhead. Check in at the Rangers station. Bathrooms are available at the parking lot but NO water

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (197)
Photos (467)
Recordings (109)
Completed (496)
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suzanne vetter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was a great adventure! I did this trail counter clockwise. The first half of the trail was moderately busy. The view of flathead lake was incredible. Then when you reach the ridge, it was insanely beautiful. No mountain goats on 9.29 in the morning, but I had my dog so I was okay with that! After reaching the peak, I found the way to scramble down toward the lakes. Chloe my dog had a great time on a quiet area of the lake, and this half of the trail was much more quiet. Overall, one of my favorite dog friendly hikes in the area

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Arindam Gupta
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 22, 2020
Hiking

We were not able to get up to the trailhead. The last mile was too snowy and we had to very carefully reverse down the mountain before we were able to turn around. Please be careful!

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La Mo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020

I did this on a weekend in early October and there were great views and three mountain goat on the trail at the summit and another popped up on the summit. There is a trail to get to Black Lake that I took with my dogs. It was slippery and difficult to follow in some spots and we had to go between branches. Along the lake we walked on rocks and in water to get back to the main trail. It ended up being worth it because no one was over there. The other part of the trail to the summit was busy. The road in had been graded the week before so it was very doable in a van and car. The bathroom at the trailhead was open.

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Adam Bryant
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Hiking
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Julie Rose
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Hiking

Simply amazing. One of my top 10 hikes ever. The summit was challenging. There was an alpine goat waiting for us that scared the crap out of me. Lots of variety in scenery. Loved it!

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Fiona Jensen-Hitch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

Hiked end of July later in the day (started around 3pm) with a friend and my pup and it was absolutely beautiful. I found it to be a pleasant hike; my friend had just moved here from the east coast so had some trouble with the elevation but not too bad—worth noting if you’re visiting from out of town

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Stefan Hasselblad
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Hiking

As all the other reviews say, great views and a relatively easy hike to the summit. Highly recommend. At least on a rainy September day, the road up was fine. Lots of 2wd sedans in the parking lot. Probably a harder (muddier) drive in April/May.

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Richard Fricke
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HikingGreat!

One of my favorite hikes. Making it to the top is totally worth the work. Fairly easy my 8 and 10 year old had no problems.

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Carissa Reh
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RunningRockyScramble

great work out with incredible views.

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Jason Covert
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Hiking
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Rebecca Brouwer
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Hiking

Even in the haziness of the wildfires, this was a top 10 hike. The first .8 miles is a moderate climb through vegetation, which is starting to burst with color. After you hit the junction at mile 1.5, be ready for some spectacular views and a more steep incline. At the summit, we were excited to encounter 4 mountain goats. Although steep, this is a pretty surefooted hike most of the way. Really enjoyed and would love to see it on a clear day!

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Kirsten Fournier
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Hiking

GREAT hike. We had a small nissan rental car (2wd) and was able to make it, but had a confident driver and went really slow, because there are large potholes. We went in at 2pm and had no trouble finding parking at the trailhead. The way up was a steady climb for 3 miles, but rewarded with amazing views almost the whole way up. No bears and a decently trafficked trail so wasn't too concerned. walking along the ridgeline was chillier, but 360 views is unreal. it was a clear day and you can see for miles. Saw some Mountain Goats and Pheasants along the ridgeline. going down is a little steep/slippery, but doable. Hike ended up being 6.6 miles rather than the 6.2 reported. Bugs was not an issue, but we went on a cooler day (50°) so that may have helped. Would definitely recommend.

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Emily Feldkamp
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HikingNo shade

This trail was amazing! It was tough but far from the hardest trail I’ve ever done. The views up top were great despite the cloudiness today. The trail was busy enough to feel bear safe hiking alone but also empty enough for stretches of solitude. It was a fantastic place to get amazing views without the business of the NP. I you have time I HIGHLY recommend going down to Black Lake from picnic lakes. It was absolutely stunning! The road up was bumpy in places but I got up just fine in a small rental car. I think it totally depends on your level of comfort on kind of crappy gravel roads :) and in rainy weather it would probably be a bit more treacherous.

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Ernest van Panhuys
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HikingGreat!
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Bryan Holekamp
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Hiking

I combined the hike to Crater Lake with the trek up Mount Aeneas. It was a scenic, partly cloudy day - but way too windy. The wind added a chill on the mountain when I broke above tree line and disturbed the otherwise calm lakes. There were few bugs at either lake or on the mountain (Sep 1 and very windy). The views from Mount Aeneas were amazing. There is a good amount of parking (and a compost toilet) at the Camp Misery Trailhead. Still, try to arrive at the trailhead by 11:00 AM, as it fills up quickly. The road up does not require 4WD, but it is very bumpy in some sections.

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Olivia Hakan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
HikingGreat!No shade

The trail was in good condition, we took route 717 up to the summit then came down the other side, visited picnic lakes and returned on the route AllTrails suggested. Markings were clear, most of the trails were maintained well. It was pretty moderate until the last mile up where it got very steep, overall this was a wonderful hike. However, I will say a 4wd car would’ve been very useful getting up to the trailhead and I would highly recommend.

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David Platt
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HikingBugsGreat!

Excellent panoramic views throughout, mountain goats by the station before the peak, and so many funky wildflowers on the way back down! The trail is very well maintained, but at the 5-way intersections the app definitely came in handy. SWARMS of tiny bugs at the lake but no bites. On a dry day the road in was totally doable in a 2WD sedan, but it would had been significantly more pleasant with higher clearance :)

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Joanna Feret
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HikingGreat!

Gorgeous views - so whimsical.

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Dilshan Weerakoon
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HikingGreat!

Views at the top is breathtaking. The first 2.5 - 3 miles is steep climb followed by 0.5 sleep downhill. We saw few mountain goats near microwave tower. 6 mile drive on gravel road to the trail is not much fun though.

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Tina Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!Over grownRocky

First note: the trailhead is called “camp misery” so ensure you search that in your GPS for directions! We got to the trailhead around 7:30am on a Monday and there were only 6 or 7 other cars there. Highly recommend taking a close up picture on your phone of the loop as there are many forks and you won’t want to get lost! We started up trail 717 - took it at a nice slow pace as we live at sea level and knew the altitude would kick our butts. The first mile and a half is a breeze! We got to see the sun come over the mountain behind us and it was simply divine. After 1.5 miles, you’ll come to a fork that splits off 5 ways. Two to the left and three to the right - on the right, take the middle trail. You’ll know you went the right way once you see the “trail no 717” sign a little way up the trail. This is where it starts to get a little more difficult. After going up for about another mile or so, you’ll see a big building (marked as “microwave tower” on the trailhead map). Once you see that you’ll know you’re almost to the top and will come out to a flat part with amazing views and a nice breeze! We stopped here to give our dogs some water and have a snack. From there, you head towards the summit. You do have to walk on a ridge line - nothing too narrow but there are no grips or barriers. A few super steep parts going up to the summit but very doable. Summit views are fantastic! From there, you go down the opposite side of the summit than you came up, and after a short while, you’re hiking through the forest. It’s a beautiful area and listening to all of the sounds of nature around you makes it even better. Eventually you’ll come up on picnic lake - we stopped here for a while to let our lab take a swim :) once you leave the lake, make sure you take the trail that crosses the creek otherwise you’ll find yourself going way out of your way and adding a few miles onto the hike. From there, it does get steep for a minute and you’re going up switchbacks which make you wonder if you’re summitting another mountain! :D For the rest of the way, follow the signs that point towards camp misery trailhead. TRUST ME. You’ll get back to the trailhead no problem. There’s about an hour’s worth of switchbacks to get down to the trailhead so bring your poles to give your knees and ankles some reprieve. There are some roots and rocks in the trail on the way down and you’ll roll your ankle if you aren’t careful. We got back to the trailhead around 2pm and the trailhead parking was full as was the overflow area. We stopped quite a few times for breaks or snacks so weren’t trying to make it in record time. We didn’t pass too many people on the trail which was nice. Overall - we did the hike with 3 dogs and found it to be hard but so worth it!

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Kristina Migaleddi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
HikingGreat!

Gorgeous trail! Very steep on the way up though. Be careful for trail markings, we did get lost. Probably about 7 miles in total instead of 6 miles. But so worth it! Really not a bad hike I would rate it as moderate.

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Fiona Jensen-Hitch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
HikingGreat!

Finally got to do this trail after living here for a year! Started around 3 and finished at 7 (stopped for around an hour total to snack and take in the views) and it was the perfect time to do it, less people. Headed up to the summit and then down to the lakes. Went with a friend and my pup :)

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Erin Bankhardt
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HikingGreat!

Did this hike today with my 2 boys, 12 & 8 and our 4 dogs. The views were amazing! So proud of my guys. It was tough but worth it. No bugs at all, hot but the breeze was perfect! We hiked up Aeneas and then down to picnic lakes and back to camp misery trailhead.

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Wendy U
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

Did this hike today, starting with the summit, and then down past the lakes. I was pleasantly surprised at how gorgeous this hike was. Beautiful wildflowers the whole way, and stunning 360 degree views at the top. The walk down through meadows and trees to the lake is just lovely. Only note is that I clocked it at 7 miles instead of 6.2. Went at 2pm and found parking as others were leaving. Highly recommend this one!

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