Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Montana with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

camping
19 hours ago

As other reviewers have stated, this is a gradual steady climb to the top (meaning completely downhill on the way out). The trail was moderately crowded with hikers and dogs. The bugs were insane--flies and mosquitos all over the shore of Emerald Lake. Fishing was great, lots of grayling and cutthroat. We camped near the lake and were disappointed to have multiple groups walk through our camp between 8 and 9 PM. There were probably close to 10 different groups camping that night (Saturday 7/14) and one camp stayed up drinking and yelling until after midnight. The only plus to that was that because I was awake, I left the tent to use the bathroom and caught an amazing star show around 1 AM. Would not camp here again, but I would likely hike the trail up and back for some good exercise.

Well, that was pretty neat

hiking
20 hours ago

The best hardest hike I’ve ever done but so worth it! We went up and back the same day. It’s a well traveled trail so I wasn’t as concerned about the bear presence. Take your walking poles!

Yes I agree with the previous post. We hiked about 5 1/2 miles. It’s an easy hike through the forest then it opens up to the river and meadows. There were cows everywhere in the woods so don’t let them scare you!! A nice easy hike!

Awesome hike, short but steep. No rock climbing required. The hardest part is getting to blue lake as the road is not maintained past box canyon and is very difficult to traverse. There may be snow on the road up or on the saddle leading to the summit. To avoid snow, wait till at least late July to go.

mountain biking
1 day ago

Great hiking trails all over, if your looking for a great trail to off-road try the Wild Bill trail. Lots of fun near by.

The trail (going counter-clockwise) was very quiet and peaceful. Even though it was 90 degrees when we started out, it was comfortable in the shade. There are basically no trail markings so it is easy to stray. Although there were a few miles of trail through a pretty but not particularly interesting forest, much of the trail is scenic and varied. A vigorous hike but I would have rated it as moderate. Only the length might have someone thinking it is hard. The climb covers about four and a half miles but is very steady - maybe a 7 degree slope - and on even track.

Love this trial. Short & sweet with a little thrill (-;

Awesome! Just Awesome! Hiked up to the north lake stayed the night and saw Wolves in the morning then hiked out.

Amazing overlook, surprised by the width and depth of it. Worth the drive up!

Well-maintained trail. Only a bit of water on the trail in some spots. The lake is beautiful! We took the spur to Kidney Lake, which requires a semi-difficult river crossing and a steeper incline. But worth it.

Steady incline. Precarious at times. Lots of bugs. AMAZING views from the top. Loved this hike! Will def do again.

so many horseflies

just a gravel road. would be good for beginners on bikes

1.5 hours to a beautiful lake with minimal breaks. Pretty "buggy" at the lake and in spots on the trail. Mostly gradual elevation climb from beginning to end. Good workout!

hiking
2 days ago

An hour up to the first overlook (meadow) with beautiful flowers and a great view of the valley. Lots of bugs near the bottom of the trail. Didn't proceed past the first overlook but a nice 2-hour RT workout.

As of 7/15/18, this is a beautiful area but nothing breathtaking like the river canyons of Hamilton. It easy to see the area has been burned quite a while ago and some areas struggle to recover. You’re going to have to get your feet wet right away or hike an alternate trail on the West of Welcome Creek to find a log to cross on. Then the trail turns brushy for quite a majority of what’s shown on this track file. You stay on the East side of the river until you get to a log bridge with handle and the site of an old log cabin that’s gone. I had trouble finding the trail after the cabin site but it switches to the West side of the river and goes a bit higher above the river and is sometimes carved into the shale rock side. It’s actually less brushy here but I got tired of the trail and turned around.

3 days ago

Beautiful hike , although when you start the switch backs at upper twin lakes the trail is moderately blocked with fallen trees. Once you get over tree line there are still substantial snow fields. We ended up bouldering a bit when we got off trail. There ARE cairns that we noticed on the way back down. But when you are in fields of rocks, stacked rocks are not super obvious. Regardless, stellar hike. Pack bug spray and most of the trail on the lower end is flooded with run off. Highly recommend water proof boots.

I hiked this trail, the deadfall has been cleared and the wild-flowers are out, especially at the start of the trail (by the bridge over the wetlands) and in the high mountain meadows. I saw raspberries growing and huckleberries ripening about 1/2 mile into the hike. Take bear spray, I ran into some scat about 3.9 miles in on the mountain meadow.

Narrow path with lots of horse poop. Be sure to wear long pants because the grass is long in places. The lake at the top is pretty, but quite brown and not very inviting for a swim. We saw bear and wolf tracks, which was pretty cool. The wildflowers and general vegetation were spectacular. The flies were bad (as I imagine they are throughout these parts in summer), so bring ya’ DEET. Not overly strenuous, we made it up in an hour and a half.

Did this hike Friday (7/13/18) later in the afternoon as a large two family group (8 yoa to 51 yoa). It was warmer and we wished we had brought more water on the trail as most of the trail is rolling and climbing through the forest with not much wind moving.

The lake was beautiful and provided some cool relief. My brother in law who does triathlons (competed in Kona) brought his wetsuit and swam the lake. Another check box filled in his bucket list.

Good trail to build the legs. All up hill beautiful falls at the top. I’m just a beginner.

Love this trail. It’s absolutely beautiful and the rocky red canyon walls make it hard to believe it’s just mere minutes outside of the Helena city. You DO walk across the dam (despite the signs and gate making it appear that maybe you cannot) to begin the hike. The first half is walking over rocks that have been positioned into a nice walking path, the second half is a sandy/dirt path through trees. It is incredibly scenic and you’re bound to see quite a few boaters and people fishing along the trail. My dogs love being able to wade around at multiple spots along this hike.
My advice: do not go in the heat of the afternoon as there is no shade on the rocky bits and it gets HOT. So don’t do it on a 98° summer afternoon like I did once, hah. Also, careful with dogs or anyone swimming as the current can be quite strong in most areas! Enjoy.

Serene trail ending in a beautiful lake. The lake is wonderful to swim in during the summer.

We did see a grizzly bear within 10 feet when we turned a corner. It quickly ran away. We also heard from hikers heading down that they had seen a mountain lion around the same location as the bear (~.6 miles in).

Be aware, carry bear spray, don’t hike alone, and be careful if you bring your dog!

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.

A beautiful & scenic hike to Heart Lake! This makes a great day hike to Heart, or a fun backpacking weekend...several places to camp around Heart Lake, then day hike to Pearl & Dalton Lakes, or do an all-day hike on the ridge overlooking the lakes. Lots of mountain goats, wildflowers, & fishing!

Great trail - but the mosquitos were absolutely horrendous 7/14/18.

Very nice trail. It’s my own fault that I went too far (turned around about 8 miles in), particularly since the temperature was in the mid-90s. Up until about 3 miles past the falls it was quite nice. After that the trail starts climbing considerably more steeply without any good views. All the berries along the trail were much appreciated!

hiking
4 days ago

Most importantly - do NOT follow the alltrails map. We did not upload our recording since we went up the alltrails trail up but took the way down recommended by others. We took the swift current chairlift up 2 miles and were then recommended to take bone crusher up to the trail. We took the all trails trail up which is not a trail. If not doing the chairlift, we were told to take moose tracks to bone crusher and then up lone mountain and to take the same way down. Lone mountain was made entirely of shale rocks and felt unstable to walk on. This hike is definitely not for those afraid of heights or unsteadiness. We were told the 'actual trail' is supposedly new and definitely not broken in. We encountered several others on the trail so we knew we were going the right way after going up the wrong way. Ropes were along the ridge but were not secured for grabbing. On the way down (on the way we were instructed to go up) there was more shale rock and a lot of three-point climbs but it was manageable. The experience was worth the hike but hoping that the 'new trail' the locals talked about gets more broken in for others so its a little less sketchy on the rocks.

Beautiful views! Definitely more of a mountain biking trail, especially on the downward part of the loop. You’ll need a vehicle with a high clearance/AWD to get to the trailhead though! The road is incredibly bumpy and we got stuck.

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