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!
With the long weekend in sight, we’re happy to feature an easy trail in the Mission Mountain Widerness Area (and there’s a firework show on the 4th, just a short drive away in Polson!)
Camas Creek, Trail #125
If you’re looking for quick access to beautiful country and a lake in the Bitterroot Mountains, Camas Creek Trail should be one of your first choices.
Elevation Gain: 1200 feet
Directions: Head south from Hamilton about 8 miles and turn right onto Lost Horse Road after cresting a hill. After 2 miles, turn right onto a gravel forest road (FS-496) and shake, rattle and roll for about 6 miles to the trailhead.
This road can be a bit rough at times, but should be passable by most vehicles without any issues.
What to expect: It’s a short and sweet day hike, it’s kid- and family-friendly, and it pops you right out onto the shores of Camas Lake. Plus, if you want to extend the adventure there’s plenty of add-on options for further hiking and overnight camping.
The first few hundred yards of trail follow an old roadbed through relatively thin forest, crossing Hayes Creek and then at about a mile taking a sharp left turn up the
Camas Creek drainage. For most of the hike the creek is audible; you’ll be accompanied by its sound long before you see it.
The next section is shaded by fir trees and evergreens, with an under story of ferns and moss-covered rocks. Then you’ll cross the creek on a damaged footbridge and another usually dry stream bed before climbing more steeply on switchbacks toward Camas Lake.
The trail levels out a bit and the forest opens up on the final stretch, allowing for views of the ridges and mountains. Pack a picnic, but don’t expect a lot of seclusion unless your bold enough to continue past the lake and further up the canyon on un-maintained trails.
Tip: Stop by Bitter Root Brewery on your way back into town t08o kick back with a cold brew and reflect on the day’s feat!
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!