Choteau, Montana

Hike Jones Creek

4 Miles Total - 300 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Jen Weir

The Jones Creek hike is gorgeous no matter which way you turn -- as you meander through a gorgeous green and forested valley, you're surrounded by peaks on all sides.

The trail head to Jones Creeks is just off of Teton River Road (the road that takes you up to Teton Pass Ski Area) and is marked with a sign, however it's only visible when you're coming down from Teton Pass. If you miss the sign, keep in mind it's about two miles past the Cave Mountain Forest Service campground. Aside from a campfire ring, there are no other facilities at the trail head.

To begin the hike, you'll have to cross a small creek -- it's narrow enough you can jump it or use the board that's been placed across it. From here, simply follow the single-track dirt trail that meanders along the valley between Choteau Mountain to the east and other peaks to the west (unnamed as far as I know).

The trail is mostly shaded although you will have some places where the trees thin out and you can take in the views. When we hiked it at the end of May, there were quite a few wildflowers, including wild crocus that were in full bloom. Wildlife is plentiful, although we didn't see much. Keep in mind, this is grizzly country so be on alert and make plenty of noise through the thick-timbered parts of the trail.

Continue along the trail until you reach Jones Creek, you'll know it when you see it. Despite the heavy spring rains we received, the creek was pretty meager -- most of the snow had already melted, so runoff was minimal. If you hit it earlier in the spring or when the weather isn't as warm early on, you'll likely be met with much more water than we had.

To complete the Jones Creek hike, take in the views, enjoy the cold creek water, then turn around and return back to the trail head. If you want to continue on, rather than turning around, you can take Trail No. 156 up the West Fork of Jones Creek, which is known as the Choteau Mountain Climb, about a 3,000 foot gain in elevation. If you're hiking with kids, I'd recommend heading back to the fire pit for some hot dogs and s'mores. 

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Tags

Fitness
Camping
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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