We had gorgeous weather during our trip to NE Montana this July! It was a bit dryer than normal and Big Sky was BLUE! You’ll want to get to Trail 717 by 7am to ensure a parking spot. You’ll gain 1,279 feet in 3.1 miles on this moderately rated trail.
Any time we venture out into unfamiliar wilderness, we always stop by the local Forest Service Ranger Station to get up-to-date National Forest trail information. They can tell you about road conditions and provide advice on the best trails. The Jewel Basin is close to our property, so we were excited to explore our public back yard! We actually found out about this area, thanks to a local. Check out Jake’s site at http://www.hike734.com for great videos and Day Hiking Trail Maps for Glacier, Tetons, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion.
The views were awesome, but watching the Mountain Goats in their element was really special. We were so excited to see them right next to the trail at several spots, including this stunningly beautiful one!
For the second half of the day, we took a nearby trail to Birch Lake for more beautiful views and some trout fishing.
A Fly Fishing guide once said, “Trout like beautiful places.” The Swan Mountains make a majestic background for this wilderness lake.