Hike to Blaine Mountain

Rate this Adventure 7.3 miles 2350 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Josh Osborne

This challenging hike to Blaine Mountain passes by the beautiful Jenny Lake, and provides a panoramic view of the Flathead Valley, as well as the body of Glacier National Park. 

To reach the trailhead for this hike, it is about an hour's drive from nearby Kalispell. You will drive around Hungry Horse Reservoir on the West Side Road, and turn off onto Doris Creek Road. Be sure NOT to get this mistaken with the nearby Doris Ridge Road. Once turning onto Doris Creek Road, it is about a 3.7 mile drive to the parking area.

From the parking area, you will see a well-kept ATV trail. This is the beginning of the trail to Jenny Lake. Right as you begin your hike, you will notice a medium grade to the trail. This grade is maintained throughout the majority of the hike to Jenny Lake. About a half mile before reaching Jenny Lake, the trail will get significantly more steep, however once you reach the top of this section you will be rewarded with a nice little alpine lake. 

Once reaching Jenny Lake, you can call this a day, or you can continue on to the top of Blaine Mountain standing above for a view of the Flathead Valley. If you decide to take this route, there is no defined trail to the top. I skirted around the north end of the lake by bushwhacking through the trees until I reached the rocky area on the other side. From here, it was a steep scramble up scree and plates of rock, with vegetation to grab hold of. Be very careful when climbing this section, it is easy to begin sliding back down what you just climbed.

Likewise, be careful coming back down, unless you decide to walk down the ridge to the north of the summit, which may provide a less steep descent, but will require a longer bushwhack to return to the lake. Though I did not take this route on either the ascent or descent, I believe it is a viable option for both.

Once back at the lake, it is worth taking a refreshing dip. The water feels amazing, and if you brought a pole, the lake is fishable! Depending on the amount of time spent at the lake and/or summit, this hike can range from a half-day to full day hike, and there are areas to camp nearby.

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Tags

Camping
Fishing
Photography
Hiking
Lake
Scenic

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