Hiking around Flathead Lake

Hiking

Hiking around Flathead LakeThere are many quality hiking very close to Montana’s Flathead Lake.  The views from these hikes around Flathead Lake are both beautiful and vast.  Hiking is a great way to explore the area while experiencing nature and wildlife. We have created a list of trails you may enjoy.  The list of trails when hiking Flathead Lake can be found below.

Each trail offers an adventure into the vast openness of untouched country and environment.

First things first, when hiking around Flathead lake you should be sure to carry bear spray.  Be sure to carry it with your finger in the hole, and your thumb on the safety.  Really, be safe, carry bear spray.  With that said there are ample hiking opportunities around Flathead Lake.

Flathead Lake Hikes

Get your  150+ page Flathead Lake trail guide. or visit the website: GoHikeWithMike.com

Hiking Trail: Crane Mountain Trail #314

Of the three trails on this page, this trail is best if you are looking for aerial views of Flathead Lake. The Crane Mountain trail is 2.1 miles long (total of 3.5 miles from trailhead) and climbs about 330 feet. It begins at the junction with the Beardance Trail #76 and ends at the junction with Road #10218 near Crane Mtn Rd. From the Beardance trailhead this is one of three trails that climb up Crane Mountain. This lesser known trail starts winding up a few switchbacks through a larch/pine forest with thick undergrowth. It then straightens out and parallels Crane Creek to an old road bed. Turning left, follow the level road out to the upper trailhead. The trail is open for the following uses: hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

From Bigfork, go south on Highway 35 past Woods Bay and turn right after mile marker 23, entering the Beardance trail head parking. The trailhead is on the east side of the highway.

Hiking Trail: Noisy Creek Trail #8

The Noisy Creek trail is 1.9 miles long and climbs 850 feet. It begins at the end of Jewel Basin Road #5392 and ends at the junction with Alpine Trail #7. This is one of many accesses to the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. The trail is open primarily for the following uses: Hiking. Other uses are allowed, but not recommended, up to the Hiking Area boundary.

From Bigfork, go north on Highway 35 for 2.3 miles and turn right onto Hwy 83. Stay on Hwy. 83 for 2.8 miles and turn left onto Echo Lake Road. After 2.2 miles, turn slightly right onto the Foothills Road. After 1.1 miles, turn right onto Rd. # 5392, following the Jewel Basin Road signs. The trailhead is 6.6 miles at the end of the road. Trail #8 starts at parking lot see information boards to make sure you are starting on the right trail as there are several that leave the parking lot.

It doesn’t matter if you are a novice hiker or you love a challenge: Jewel Basin has a hike for you. You’ll discover 15,349 acres of wilderness, 27 lakes and nearly 50 miles of hike-only trails.

The Jewel Basin is located just outside of Bigfork in the Flathead National Forest. To access the trailhead from Bigfork, take Hwy 35 north to Hwy 83.  Head east on Hwy 83 to the junction of the Echo Lake Road. Head north on Echo Lake Road about 3 miles to junction with the Jewel Basin Road (No. 5392).  Follow this road approx. 7 miles to the trailhead.

Hiking Trail: Crater Notch Trail #187

The Crater Notch Trail is 3.7 miles long and climbs about 3,000 feet. It begins 1/2 mile up the Echo-Brokenleg Trail #544 and ends at the Alpine Trail #7 leading to In-thlam-keh Lake. The trail is open for the following uses for the first 2.7 miles: hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. After 3.5 miles the trail enters the Jewel Basin Hiking Area where the only allowed use is hiking. Please respect these guidelines.

From Bigfork, go north on Highway 35 for 2.3 miles and turn right onto Hwy. 83. Stay on 83 for 2.8 miles, turning left onto Echo Lake Rd. After 2.2 miles, merge slightly right onto the Foothills Road. After 1.1 miles turn right onto Road #5392 also called Jewel Basin Rd. The trailhead is about two miles up the road on the right.

FLATHEAD LAKE TRAIL GUIDE

Hiking in MontanaThe Go Hike with Mike trail guide contains most every trail head in the Flathead and Kootenai Forest as well as the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness.  Click here to purchase your copy.

Hiking Trails: Crater Notch Trail

Trail Guide

Hiking Trail: Crater Notch Trail #187

The Crater Notch Trail is 3.7 miles long and climbs about 3,000 feet. It begins 1/2 mile up the Echo-Brokenleg Trail #544 and ends at the Alpine Trail #7 leading to In-thlam-keh Lake. The trail is open for the following uses for the first 2.7 miles: hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. After 3.5 miles the trail enters the Jewel Basin Hiking Area where the only allowed use is hiking. Please respect these guidelines.

Usage is typically light, closest town is Bigfork
Directions:
From Bigfork, go north on Highway 35 for 2.3 miles and turn right onto Hwy. 83. Stay on 83 for 2.8 miles, turning left onto Echo Lake Rd. After 2.2 miles, merge slightly right onto the Foothills Road. After 1.1 miles turn right onto Road #5392 also called Jewel Basin Rd. The trailhead is about two miles up the road on the right.

Location

Area/Length : 3.7 miles
Elevation : 3,255 feet – 6,175 feet

190 pages packed with trailheads, camping spots, and local information around Flathead Lake.

Don’t need the hiking guide, just some basic trail information, do not fret.  Mike has included some beginner to medium hikes on this website.  Depending on were you as staying there is most likely a trail head near you. Thanks for visiting, hope to see you on the trail.
The trail guide is focused on trails, camping and being in the woods.  Mike’s Flathead Lake Trail Guide breaks the area in five easy to use sections.  North of Flathead lake, including The Talley Lake area and due north to Polebridge. East of Flathead Lake, including the Swan Front, Swan Valley, and on into the Hungry Horse recreation area.  The guide contains most every trail Mike has hiked in the last 20 years or plans to hike in the next 20 years.

Flathead Lake Vacation Guide

Flathead Lake Vacation Guide

Montana’s Flathead Lake Vacations are better with our downloadable guide. The booklet includes restaurants, hotels, motels, vacation rentals, boat rentals, water craft rentals as well as public and private campgrounds. It is the most complete vacation information about Flathead Lake. Download your copy today!

Major tributaries are the Flathead and Swan Rivers. In addition numerous small streams flow directly into The Lake at its shoreline, particularly on the wetter East Shore. Located at the outlet of the Flathead River outside of  Polson is Kerr Dam. Regulations of outflow by the dam maintain the lake level between 2,883 and 2,893 feet above sea level.

Fishing on Flathead Lake

About Montana’s Flathead Lake

There are  185 miles of shoreline and 200 square miles of natural  freshwater.  Therefore earning the title as “the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi”.  There are 13 public access sites around The Lake maintained by  Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

The southern half of The Lake lies within the boundary of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Flathead Reservation, which was created in 1855 by the Hellgate Treaty. The Flathead Nation insists that all non-tribal members purchase a tribal recreation permit to recreate on tribal lands.

Montana Flathead Lake

Public access sites include: Bigfork, Elmo, Juniper Beach, and Sportsman’s Bridge.
There are a number of Public State Parks including: Big Arm, Finley Point, Wayfarers, West Shore State Park, Woods Bay, and Yellow Bay, and Wild Horse Island.

Hiking Around Flathead Lake

This Vacation Guide contains most every public access point around The Lake.  Public and private fishing and camping areas.  So if you are looking for public or private campgrounds around our Lake, this vacation guide has the information you will need to plan your Montana vacation. See what is included, and Read the guides Table of Contents.

How to Purchase

At $4.99 the Booklet costs less then a Subway® sandwich you can buy in Bigfork or Polson. So this will insure you have the information you need to have a Great Montana Lake Vacation. Purchase your booklet using our Pay-Pal option knowing your information is safe and secure and we will see you on the Lake!