Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!
Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give one lucky listener some cool goodies to help them embark on their journey!
A three-mile stroll through ancient cedars to a beautiful alpine lake basin with expansive views … And with relatively short access from I-90, this trailhead is accessible earlier in the spring than many – and is easy to get to throughout the summer and fall!
Roundtrip: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1720 feet
Directions: From Missoula, drive west on I-90 through St. Regis to Exit 25. Take the exit and then get back on I-90 headed east. Now take Exit 26 at De Borgia. Drive south on Ward Creek Road #899 for 6.3 miles, and the trailhead is on the right. If you cross the creek, you’ve gone too far!
What to expect: The hike begins immediately in old growth cedars, where you’re likely to pause to take photos with these giants. After wandering through ancient trees for the first mile, the trail intersects with trail #280. Continue straight (right) on that trail towards Hub Lake. From there, the path climbs more steadily, passing by the rim of Hazel Lake at just over 2 miles. At this point, there’s just about 500 feet left to ascend in the final mile up to Hub Lake.
An easy day-trip, hikers to Hub Lake will enjoy all the scenery they could ask for: amazing views near the Montana-Idaho divide, an expansive cedar forest, several stream crossings (plus a waterfall), alpine lakes – and decent campsites, including reports of cutthroat trout hiding at the final destination!
For a shorter hike, just hike 1 mile through the cedars. There you’ll hear the rushing waters of Dipper Falls, a great place to turn around for a shorter, 2-mile roundtrip hike.
Tidbit: Take some buckets (and your appetite) and enjoy some GREAT huckleberry picking along the way!
Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at hikewildmontana.org
And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!