Hiking around Flathead Lake Montana. Hiking Trails and Public Access to Flathead National Forest
Flathead National Forest websites: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/flathead/recreation and http://www.fs.usda.gov/flathead
The Flathead National Forest contains 2.4 million acres of public lands home to many species of wildlife. There are numerous lakes, rivers, and streams to fish or otherwise enjoy as well as miles and miles of hiking trails. Untouched land provides a premiere destination for folks looking to experience the American West.
There are recreational activities abound in the Flathead National Forest including three wilderness areas, two ski areas, mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and campgrounds.
Hiking Trails In The Flathead National Forest
Flathead National Forest’s Jewel Basin is a unique 15,000 acre hiking area maintained exclusively for hiking and camping. High Mountain Lake fishing is synonymous with the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. Over 20 lakes provide fishing opportunities to satisfy any type of angler or backpacker. Try “bushwhacking” into some of the more remote lakes or simply take a leisurely hike to Birch Lake. Of course, with every jewel comes the risk of loving it to death. The Jewel Basin receives heavy use due to its close proximity to Kalispell and the valley. The Camp Misery parking lot can be very crowded on blue bird days. So be warned, solitude may be hard to find and expect to share the trail with other users. We encourage you to practice “leave No Trace” principals and be courteous to other Forest users and the resource. Treat this beautiful area special, like wilderness, as it as such.
Hiking around Flathead Lake Montana
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.