Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Hiking - Wise River Ranger District
Gorp.com

This section includes information on the trails of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on the Wise River Ranger District. This includes a description of each trail and notes about each one's difficulty, access, use, location, condition and restrictions that might be in effect.

It is always a good idea to carry a map with you. Most of the trails are clearly marked but it can be a frustrating experience to lose your way or to be unable to find the desired trail connection. The maps vary in their accuracy. The Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness map is very up to date and is highly accurate in its depiction of the trails there. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest map is complete but not very detailed and has a few incorrect depictions. In the Pioneer Mountains it is best to use the appropriate USGS quadrangle map. These maps are very useful and show great detail; however, even some of these are inaccurate in places. Stop in or call the Ranger Station if you are unsure of what the area you wish to travel in may be like. The Foresters there can tell you of any changes on the maps.

The majority of the trails are clear and well marked. However, some of the trails can be hard to follow in spots. Meadowy areas are often overgrown or have several different trail paths that lead through the grass. Deer and elk trails often branch off the main trails and can be confusing. The best solution in these situations is to look for the trail blazes that are eye level on the trees bordering the path. These vary in visibility from small vertical scars to double- and triple-marked scars. Usually they are cut so that one can see from one blaze to the next.

The weather patterns in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest vary drastically from day to day. One can usually count on a rainstorm about once or twice a week on average during the summer months. It may be crystal clear in the morning and pouring rain by afternoon. Most showers occur in the afternoon hours. On any trip into the forest it is wise to take along proper raingear. A wet day can be a miserable experience if one cannot keep dry and warm.

Oreamnos Lake Trail #37
Length: 1 Mile
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Moderate Use
Difficulty: More Difficult
USGS Maps: Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Map, Kelly Lake and Warren Peak Quadrangle Maps
Trail Beginning: Junction with Trail #9 one mile below Pintler Pass
Trail Ending: Oreamnos Lake
Access: Via Trail #9 from Pintler Pass or Via Trail #9 and Pintler Creek Trail #37

Attractions & Considerations: Trail is in good condition, easy to use either on foot or with stock. Oreamnos Lake has no fish in it. There are nice campsites around the lake, but there is limited forage for stock use.

Narrative: The trail continues on from the junction with Trail #9. The walk is fairly even for the first half-mile, and the last one-quarter mile. One half-mile in, there is a short, steep set of switchbacks that pose no problems for the hearty hiker. The trail starts in open forest and continues on into somewhat thicker lodgepole pine and whitebark fir forest. It arrives shortly at Oreamnos Lake which is a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by scenic cliffs.

Foolhen Ridge Trail #86
Length: 3 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Moderate Use
Difficulty: Easiest
USGS Maps: Foolhen Mountain Quadrangle Map or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: Gate closing Bryant Creek Road #1213 at Foolhen Ridge
Trail Ending: Junction with Hiline Trail #9, Trident Peak Trail #99, and Squaw Creek Trail #96
Access: Via Bryant Creek Road #1213 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock unloading ramp at the trailhead, and the parking area is large. Bryant Creek Road #1213 is a long road and is steep and narrow on the last three miles. Single vehicles will not have problems on this road; however, trucks with trailers cannot travel the last three miles. The trailhead is somewhat hard to see; it heads out from the southwest side of the parking area and isn't signed. The trail is clear and easy to follow. It is regularly maintained and in good condition. There is a large stock camp next to Alder Creek for stock users. Also, the trail provides access to Foolhen Cabin, a Forest Service cabin with stove and bunkbeds that is available to the public for use (check with the Ranger Station for reservations and fee information).

Narrative: The trail begins on the Foolhen Ridge and follows it closely for the first two miles. The walk is slightly up and down as it follows the ridgeline, but is never difficult. The trail passes through a dry forest stand of white pine and lodgepole pine with slight undergrowth. The trees open up occasionally to expose nice views of the gently rolling, forested hills below. The trail drops down into meadowland during the last mile and crosses Alder Creek. It is somewhat marshy here. Two & one-half miles in on the trail is Foolhen Cabin which sits on the high side of the meadow looking down across the grasses, to the hills below. The trail travels upward from here to intersect with the Hiline Trail one-half mile later.

Grouse Lakes Trail #219 Use: Receives little use
Difficulty: More Difficult
Length: 4 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
USGS Maps: Stine Mt. Quadrangle Map or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: One mile in on Pattengail Road #186
Trail Ending: Lower Grouse Lake
Access: Via Pattengail Road #186, Wise River Road #484, and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp further down the road at Pattengail Creek trailhead for stock unloading. Grouse Lakes trail is maintained, and is easy to follow. There are many creek crossings but the trail is always visible. Campsites exist at Lower Grouse Lake, but none are well suited to stock use. There is no trail going up to the Upper Grouse Lakes and cross-country travel in this area is difficult due to tree downfall. The Grouse Lakes all have populations of Rainbow trout.

Narrative: The trail begins steeply. Climbing up and out of the Wise River Valley, the trail follows a dry route over a sagebrush covered hill. Many wildflowers such as Sego Lilly & Hemlock grow on this drier hillside, and the view is panoramic of the immediate valley below from just a short way up the trail before it begins to tread into the wooded area. This first 1/2 mile is the steepest part of the walk, and the trail levels out somewhat after that. It heads back toward Grouse Creek and follows the stream closely for the next three miles. The vegetation is lush in this part due to the creek and the surrounding forest is mostly lodgepole pine. The trail heads up again about 3 1/4 miles in and switchbacks slightly. It is a rocky path here but consistent. About 1/2 mile later it levels out as it arrives at Lower Grouse Lake, a granite basin lake. Here the forest is largely made up of white pine and whitebark fir.

Pattengail Creek Trail #212
Length: 14 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Little to Moderate Use
Difficulty: Easiest
USGS Maps: Stine Mtn., Shaw Mtn., and Proposal Rock Quadrangles and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: End of Pattengail Road #186
Trail Ending: Junction with Pioneer Loop Trail #99
Access: Via Pattengail Road #186, Wise River Road #484 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp on Pattengail Road at the intersection with the Pattengail Jeep Trail. The first four miles of the trail are Jeep road and then it narrows down to a foot trail beyond that. There are two stock camping areas 3 1/2 and 4 miles in, and another one 10 miles in on the trail just above Demijohn Creek. It is possible to reach Sand Lake from the end of the Pattengail Trail by following Sand Creek trail at the Junction one mile below Sand Lake. However, the Sand Creek Trail is not maintained and is a steep, rocky walk. Another route is to follow Pattengail Creek Trail to the junction with Pioneer Loop Trail #99. From there it is possible to go North to Baldy and Sand Lakes, or South to Schwinegar, Lake of the Woods and O'Dell Lake. The trail is open to motorcycles and snowmobiles.

Narrative: The trail begins in a dry lodgepole pine forest area and quickly opens up into the Pattengail Creek meadows. The jeep road is clear and easy walking. It runs along the meadow for approximately two miles providing beautiful views along the meadow area and the mountains in the background. The road then re-enters the wood for 3/4 of a mile and opens again into meadowland for another 1 1/2 miles. The land is dry in this area with lots of sagebrush and other desert plants. At the end of this meadow the trail passes through 2 stock camps and then a gate. Beyond this point the trail becomes a foot path for the rest of the way. The forest becomes more lush as it slowly continues upward, following alongside Pattengail Creek the entire way. There are some muddy areas in the flatlands which are passable.

Bobcat Lakes Trail #50
Length: 3.6 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives little Use
Difficulty: Moderate
USGS Maps: O'Dell Lake Quadrangle Map or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: End of Lacy Creek Road
Trail Ending: Junction of Trail #50 with Copper Creek Trail #143
Access: Via Lacy Creek Road #90, Wise River Road #484, and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp at the trailhead for stock unloading. Parking is somewhat limited but is usually not full. It is possible to hike a loop walk by joining with Trail #143 that heads back down next to Lambrecht Creek to the Lacy Creek Road. There is fishing in the Bobcat Lakes. Trail #50 is clear and maintained. Signs are posted.

Narrative: The trail starts out and climbs slightly for the first mile or so. Leveling out for the second mile, the trail then climbs sharply for a mile up a rocky hillside. Afterward, it levels out again clear through to the first Bobcat Lake, where there are plenty of sites for camping. The trail goes through lodgepole pine forest the entire way and offers occasional views across Bobcat Creek to the ridge on the other side. A nice day walk for those not wishing to camp.

Lacy Creek Trail #259
Length: 5.5 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Heavy Use
Difficulty: More Difficult
USGS Maps: O'Dell Lake Quadrangle Map, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: End of Lacy Creek Road
Trail Ending: Junction with Pioneer Loop Trail #99
Access: Via Lacy Creek Road #90, Wise River Road #484, end Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is stock ramp at the trailhead for stock unloading. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. It is in good condition, and regularly maintained. The walk is suitable for stock, foot and motorcycle traffic, but is rocky in the last 2 miles. Lacy Creek trail provides access to the Pioneer Loop Trail that leads to Schwinegar, Baldy, and Sand Lakes. It also provides access to Lake of the Woods, O'Dell Lake and the Skull Creek Trail #141 to the South. A perfect trial for day hikes.

Narrative: The trail begins in somewhat dry lodgepole pine forest. The walk is level in this section. After one mile the trail opens into 1 1/2 miles of meadow. The trail can be somewhat boggy in this area, but is easily passable. Beautiful views here of the meadow land. It is possible to see moose grazing this area if one is lucky and attentive. The trail then begins to climb slowly as it continues. The forest becomes more lush with lupine and grasses growing thickly alongside the Trail. It is slightly steeper on the last mile.

Hiline Trail #99 (part of Pioneer Loop Trail #99)
Length: 16 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Little Use
Difficulty: More Difficult
USGS Maps: Foolhen Mtn., Shaw Mtn., Proposal Rock, Stewart Mtn., and O'Dell Lake Quadrangle Maps or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: Intersection of the Foolhen Ridge Trail #86, Squaw Creek Trail #96, and Trident Peak Trail #99
Trail Ending: Schwinegar Lake
Access: Via Foolhen Ridge Trail #86, Squaw Creek Trail #96, Trident Peak Trail, Alder Creek Trail #8, or Lacy Creek Trail to the South

Attractions & Considerations: There are stock ramps at several of the trailheads of several of the trails that give access to Hiline Trail, including Lacy Creek Trail #2, Pattengail Trail #245, and Foolhen Ridge Trail #86. All roads are passable in two-wheel drive vehicles; however, Lacy Creek Road #90 is very rough and Bryant Creek Road #1213 is not passable to vehicles with trailers in the last three miles. The Hiline Trail itself is in good condition and is regularly maintained, however it does become somewhat vague in meadow areas. The trail is open to motorized vehicles. For stock users, stock ramps exist at either end of the trail, one is below Foolhen Cabin and the other at Sand Lake.

Narrative: The Hiline Trail, as its name suggests, is a ridgetop trail that extends along the length of the backbone of the West Pioneer Mountains. There are many stunning views to both the east and west. The trail begins at a relatively high elevation at the four-way intersection with Foolhen Ridge Trail #86, Squaw Creek Trail #96, and Trident Peak Trail #99. The forest land is dry here on the ridge, made up of white pine, lodgepole pine and whitebark fir. The trail follows a path south just to the east of Foolhen Mtn. The walk is generally level here but dips down somewhat steeply after it passes by the mountain top. The trail then climbs slightly and drops again as it leads one down into the next valley. The somewhat dry, but still dense forest is consistent all along these five miles of the trail. Further on it becomes more lush as it dips down toward Effie Creek, but dries up again as it climbs the saddle just southeast of Shaw Mtn. The trail drops quickly from here and settles into a wet meadowy area one mile later. Here it is possible to see moose and deer feeding. The trail passes through wet, lush meadowlands and forest areas as it follows a small creek. Then the trail climbs again as it heads for the drier ridgetop once again. Far-reaching panoramas are visible from this part of the walk, west toward Wisdom and the plains below. The trail continues on this ridgeline for about 2 1/2 miles and then drops once again to cross a creek bed before climbing slowly into the Sand Lake area, a large flat meadowy area with a large lake in the center of it. The trail becomes vague in the meadow areas here but it is easy to find again as it heads away from Sand Lake from the northeast side of the lake. The fields here are marshy and green and have a plethora of flowers including lugrine and parry Townsendia. The trail then climbs a short 1/2 mile out of the lake basin and parallels the ridgeline to reach Baldy Lake 1 mile later, which sits at the base of a steep granite talus slope. The rocky trail then drops down from Baldy Lake and levels out as it passes through some meadow land and white pine forest to reach Schwinegar Lake.

Cherry Creek Trail #123
Length: 3 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Heavy Use
Difficulty: Easiest to Moderate
USGS Maps: Vipond Park Quadrangle Map or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: End of Cherry Creek Road #1011
Trail Ending: Cherry, Granite, and Green Lakes
Access: Via Cherry Creek Road #1011, Trapper Creek Road #187, and Interstate Highway 15 at Melrose Exit

Attractions & Considerations: There is stock ramp at the trailhead for stock unload and the last mile of the Cherry Creek Road #1011 is eroded, passable only by 4-wheel drive vehicles. Trail bikes and snowmobiles are allowed. The Cherry Creek Trail provides access to three lakes, Cherry, Granite, and Green Lakes, and all have established campsites. All three support trout populations of either Cutthroat, Rainbow, or both. Cherry Creek Trail #123 is clear and regularly maintained. There is no sign at the Junction of the trail and the cut off to Granite Lake.

Narrative: The trail begins in a wooded area just on the north site of Cherry Creek. The first mile is low and gentle as it climb slowly along the base of Storm Peak. The trail is wide old jeep road, and so is very easy to follow. There are a few mud holes and stream crossings. The forest is made up of spruce and white pine, and the trail is lush in these lower elevations. The trail then begins to climb through drier forest and sagebrush covered hillsides as it follows Cherry Creek up its canyon toward the lake. The walk is somewhat steeper here. At about the end of the second mile, the trail passes by an old miners' cabin, which gives one a picture of the old pioneer life here. (The mine was abandoned years ago after it proved unprofitable). The trail then makes its final climb toward the lakes, crossing two large meadow areas. Here flowers such as lupine, Indian Paintbrush, and yarrow decorate the landscape. The short 1/2 mile trail that leads to Granite Lake is a somewhat steep trail, but offers stunning views of the mountainous countryside as it ascends. The trail to Cherry Lake is not as steep and is more enclosed.

Odell Lake Trail #928
Length: 5 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Heavy Use
Difficulty: More Difficult
USGS Maps: Odell Lake Quadrangle Map or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Ending: Junction with Lacy Creek Trail #259
Access: Via Odell Creek Road#928, Wise River Road #484 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp and hitch rails at the trailhead for stock unloading; however, the Odell Creek Road #928 is a very rough road, and so will be hard to travel with a horse trailer. it is passable in a regular two-wheel drive vehicle, but four-wheel is recommended. The trail itself is regularly maintained and is in good condition. It is open to motorized vehicles, but may be closed to trailbikes in the wet summer months. The trail provides access to Odell Lake, and Lake of the Woods. Within four miles, on the Baldy Lake trail are Schwinegar, Baldy and Sand Lakes. All have populations of trout.

Narrative: The Odell Lake Trail begins in the low meadowlands of Odell Creek. The trail follows alongside the creek, leading one through the edge of the lodgepole pine forest on the north side of the creek. It passes through occasional small meadows where wildflowers and grasses abound. In the second mile, the walls of the creek bed valley become a bit steeper and the trail cuts a path along the bottom edge of the northeast wall, crossing the base of a rocky talus slope along the way. the walk is somewhat steep in this area, climbing steadily as the trail continues on. The walk levels out more as it comes closer to Odell Lake and passes alternately through white pine forest and meadow areas. The last half mile is a scenic walk through a large meadow area just south of Odell Lake. From here one can see a panorama of gentle, rolling. forested hillsides and a field of wildflowers of all kings. The trail passes by Odell Lake and then switchbacks sharply for 1/2 mile to reach Lake of the Woods. From here the trail drops somewhat steeply to join 1/2 mile late with the Lacy Creek Trail #259.

David Creek Trail #56
Length: 8 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Moderate Use
Difficulty: Easiest
USGS Maps: Maurice Mountain, Vipond Park, and Torrey Mountain Quadrangle Maps or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: Junction with Brown's Lake Trail #2, 3 miles in from Mono Creek Campground
Trail Ending: Torrey Lake
Access: Via Brown's Lake Trail #2, Wise River Road #484 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp at Mono Creek Campground for stock unloading. The junction of Trail #2 and the David Creek Trail #56 is well marked three miles in on Trail #2. The trail is well marked and clear to follow all the way in to Torrey Lake. Motorized use is allowed, but is restricted in the lake area. Campsites exist at Torrey Lake; however, there are few good areas for stock camping. Torrey Lake supports Rainbow and Cutthroat trout populations. There is no trail access to Glacier Lake.

Narrative: The trail begins by crossing Jacobson Creek just before the creek joins with David Creek coming in from the south. It then turns southeast through lodgepole pine forest. The wall is very even and straight through these woods and comes out only occasionally to cross through a small meadow. It is fairly dry on the lower parts of the trail but gradually becomes more lush as the trail climbs higher. Lupine and Indian Paintbrush decorate the meadow areas, and white pine and whitebark fir slowly take over from the lodgepole pine as the trail continues up. The climb is very gradual during the first seven miles and then cuts up more steeply away from David Creek to climb the hillside into Torrey Lake. This section is more rocky. At last the trail comes into Torrey Lake which sits at the base of Torrey Mountain and its neighboring ring of craggy high peaks. Deer frequent the area, and other animals such as elk, hoary marmots, and mountain goats may show themselves occasionally.

Brown's Lake Trail #2 (to Tahepia Lake)
Length: 6 miles to Tahepia Lake
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Moderate to Heavy Use
Difficulty: More Difficult (Much of the trail is level except for two steep sections, one 3 miles in and one on the last 1 1/2 miles)
USGS Maps: Maurice Mountain, Vipond Park Quadrangle Maps or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: Trailhead is just before Mono Creek Campground on Wise River Road #484
Trail Ending: Ends at Tahepia Lake. Trail #2 continues on toward Brown's Lake
Access: Via Wise River Road #484 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp for stock unloading. In Mono Creek Campground there are toilet facilities and parking as well. Motorcycles and snowmobiles are allowed but are restricted in the lake areas due to the delicate nature of the lakeshore soils. It is possible to hike a loop through to Little Joe Meadows or to Gold Creek via trail #269. It is also possible to travel through to Brown's Lake. There is fishing in all three lakes (Tahepia, and Upper and Lower Schultz). The trail between Tahepia and the top Schulz lakes is not regularly maintained, but is in good condition and easy to follow. Trail #2 is maintained and is signed.

Narrative: The trail starts out easily in the lodgepole pine forest just on the edge of Jacobson Meadows. The beginning is slightly up and down but smoothes out as the trail comes to run alongside the meadow. There is lots of wildlife in the area from moose to chipmunks. The trai1 leaves the meadow behind at the junction with the David Creek Trail #56. It begins to climb sharply here, and continues up steeply for approximately 1/2 mile. The walk then levels out and follows Jacobson Creek through a lush forest. There are lots of wildflowers in this area featuring lupine and white yarrow. The trail begins to climb again after the junction with the Schulz Lake Trail and continues steeply until it reaches Tahepia Lake a mile later. Incredible views here as you turn and look back down the valley. All three lakes are surrounded by high rocky peaks, and it is possible to see mountain goats on the high rocks if one watches carefully. Two old pioneer cabins sit next to the shore of Lower Schulz Lake.

West Fork Fishtrap Creek
Length: 8 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November (Snow may still be on passes nearby)
Use: Receives Moderate Use
Difficulty: Easiest
USGS Maps: Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Map and Warren Peak Quadrangle Map
Trail Beginning: trailhead is just off Road #1203 two miles up from Junction with Road #1223
Trail Ending: Junction with Trail #9
Access: Via Road #1203, Calvert Creek Road #1223, and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: The trailhead has a stock ramp and hitch rails for unloading stock animals. Parking area is not large, but is usually empty. Use is restricted to foot and horse travel in the Wilderness area. It is possible to do loop walks by connecting up with Continental Divide Trail #9 in either direction. To the west is Rainbow Lake with trail connections there to Palisade Creek Trail #133, or continuing on Trail #9 to Johnson Lake. To the east is Warren Lake, and further on, either Cutaway Pass or West Fork LaMarche Creek, Trail #126. Trail #130 is a regularly maintained trail. It is not as frequently used as other Trails, and thus in spots the trail becomes a bit vague as it becomes overgrown; however, the trail is easy to follow.

Narrative: The trail starts out in fairly dry lodgepole pine forest and continues up following the West fork Fishtrap Creek. Many wildflowers grow in the open areas along the trail including lupine, Sego Lily, and hemlock flowers. The trail continues on into more lush vegetation as it slowly climbs. The walk is gentle the entire way with a few moderately uphill sections. It is possible to see moose grazing in the meadows if one is attentive and lucky. Other wildlife also are visible occasionally from the trail including grouse and deer.

West Fork LaMarche Trail #126
Length: 11 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives Moderate Use
Difficulty: Easiest
USGS Maps: Lower Seymour Lake, Long Peak, and Warren Peak Quadrangle Maps or Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Map
Trail Beginning: One half mile from the Sundance Lodge Road #935
Trail Ending: Junction with Continental Divide Trail #9
Access: Via Sundance Lodge Road #935 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is stock unloading ramp and hitch rails at the trailhead for stock unloading. The Sundance Lodge Road #935 is clear and easy enough to travel with any vehicle. The West Fork LaMarche Trail is regularly maintained, clearly marked, and easy to follow. Though it is gentle, it is a somewhat long trail and does have several sites for possible camping along the way. The trail provides access to Cutaway Pass and Warren Lake, both on Continental Divide Trail #9. No motorized vehicles are allowed into the Wilderness area.

Narrative: The West Fork LaMarche Trail is a long easy trail that follows a path along side the West Fork of LaMarche Creek. The trail begins in a somewhat dry forest area of lodgepole pine, passing through some small, open meadows as it quickly nears the meadows of the West Fork LaMarche Creek. For the next three miles the trail borders these meadows, the wet lands lying to the southwest, and the side slope of the valley wall to the northeast. It is possible to see moose grazing in these meadows. In the next six miles the trail lead one through more lush forest land, with stands of white pine, lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir and whitebark fir trees. The trail travels slightly up and down through this area, but remains mostly level. Many wildflowers grow in the area. The last mile of the trail is slightly steeper than the first ten miles, but is not overly difficult. Here the trail heads slightly up away from the West Fork LaMarche Creek to finally intersect with the Continental Divide Trail #9.

Pintler Creek Trail #37
Length: 7.1 Miles
Recommended Season: May through November. Snow may persist until mid June especially in the high country such as Pintler Pass.
Use: Receives Moderate to Heavy Use
USGS Maps: Pintler Lake, Warren Peak Quadrangle Maps, Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Map, or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Difficulty: Easiest; a low, gentle trail
Trail Beginning: End of the Pintler Creek Road #185, 1.5 miles north of Pintler Lake
Trail Ending: Trail ends at the junction with the Continental Divide Trail #9 in Upper Pintler Creek.
Access: Via the Pintler Creek Road #185, North Big Hole Road #1251, and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a large parking area at the trailhead, and there is a stock unloading ramp, hitch rails, feed bunk and toilet. The trailhead is signed and has a visitor registration box. There is a good stock forage at Pintler Meadows, but forage is limited elsewhere. Oreamnos Lake contains no fish. Loop hikes are possible with Trails #177, #127, and #368. Trail #37 is in great shape and is a nice easy walk. Trail is clear and well maintained. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the Wilderness area.

Narrative: Trail #37 starts out in lush lodgepole pine forest and settles quickly into running alongside Pintler Meadows, a beautiful marshy flood plain for Pintler Creek. The trail climbs slightly as Pintler Creek goes back up toward Oreamnos Lake. The walk is even all the way to the Junction with Trail #9. Scenery is lush lodgepole pine forest all along the way also featuring many wildflowers such as lupine and buttercups. Nice campsites exist in the various small meadows the trail passes through and at the Junction of #37 with #9. Stock camping is better in the meadows.

Grouse Lakes Trail #219
Length: 4 Miles
Recommended Season: May to November
Use: Receives little use
Difficulty: More Difficult
USGS Maps: Stine Mt. Quadrangle Map or Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map
Trail Beginning: One mile in on Pattengail Road #186
Trail Ending: Lower Grouse Lake
Access: Via Pattengail Road #186, Wise River Road #484 and River Road #484 and Highway #43

Attractions & Considerations: There is a stock ramp further down the road at Pattengail Creek trailhead for stock unloading. Grouse Lakes trail is maintained, and is easy to follow. There are many creek crossings, but the trail is always visible. Campsites exist at Lower Grouse Lake, but none are well suited to stock use. There is no trail going up to the Upper Grouse Lakes and cross-country travel in this area is difficult due to tree downfall. The Grouse Lakes all have populations of rainbow trout.

Narrative: The trail begins steeply. Climb up and out of the Wise River Valley, the trail follows a dry route over a sagebrush covered hill. Many wildflowers such as Sego Lilly & Hemlock grow on this drier hillside, and the view is panoramic of the immediate valley below from just a short way up the trail before it begins to tread into the wooded area. The first 1/2 mile is the steepest part of the walk and the trail levels out somewhat after that. It heads back toward Grouse Creek and follows the stream closely for the next three miles. The vegetation is lush in this area due to the creek and the surrounding forest is mostly lodgepole pine. The trail heads up again about 3 1/4 miles in and switchbacks slightly. It is rocky here, but consistent. About 1/2 mile later it levels out as it comes into Lower Grouse Lake, a granite basin lake. Here the forest is largely made up of white pine and whitebark fir.


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