Exploring the Seeley-Swan Valley in Montana is an absolute must. The valley is rich with a trail of lakes. It serves as a major wildlife corridor, especially for bears. You are always surrounded by the Bob Marshall, the Swans and/or the Mission Mountains. The trail is 47-miles long, but you can head out as far as you'd like.

Getting There:

Coming from Seeley Lake, take the road towards Bigfork. Continue until you get to mile marker 27 and turn right into the Morrell/Clearwater turn off. Stay on the road most traveled until you dead end at the trail head roughly 7 miles up the road. Park here.

The Trail:

The trail starts relatively flat and opens up to the valley every now and then. The trail will fork a mile or so in; take the path to the left and with another left you'll end up on the saddle. The view is impeccable. To one side you see the Mission Mountains and the other opens up to valleys beyond valleys. If you keep walking, the trail quickly inclines—be prepared for a real calf workout.

This first trail puts you out on the crest of the Swan Crest Trail, which is roughly 47 miles long. You can make this trip as long as you want to! Those are you who are avid hikers, backpackers, trail runners or just love the great outdoors this area bring the quote " the mountains are calling" to life. I went on a crisp Saturday in the fall when the larch were putting on their fall costumes.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Hiking boots
  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm clothes
  • Camera
  • Bear spray
  • Camping gear if staying overnight
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Activities Camping, Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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