Hike to Crescent Lake

Rate this Adventure 9 miles 1500 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Chris Engelsman

Located in the Mission Mountains Wilderness, this is a fun day-hike, or turn it into a multi-day trip and camp, fish, and explore the other lakes from the Glacier Lake Trailhead.

An hour drive north of the town of Seeley Lake Montana is the Glacier Lake Trailhead and the starting point for your hike. Glacier Lake Trailhead is a popular trailhead, and the parking lot can fill up quickly on hot summer weekends since it provides access to trails which lead to three different lakes. 

From the Glacier Lake Trailhead, you can access Glacier Lake, Turquoise Lake, along with Crescent and Heart Lakes.

We only had a couple of hours but wanted to hike a bit further than the 3-mile out and back for Glacier Lake, so we chose Crescent Lake and are glad that we did. 

Located in the Mission Mountains Wilderness, horses and pack mule teams are allowed, but no mountain bikes or motorcycles. 

Start off on Trail 690 which follows Glacier Creek. You will cross Crazy Horse Creek and Crescent Creek via small footbridges. A little less than a mile in you will hit a junction, stay right on the Crescent Lake Trail which will lead you up seven switchbacks. 

At the 5th switchback (3-mile mark), you will have magnificent views of Glacier Lake and Glacier Creek descending into it. This overlook is a great place to take a break and take in the views. From the overlook, it's another mile and approximately 300 more vertical feet of climbing.

Once you get to the lake, the trail wraps around the south side of the lake. You can hang out on the rocks, swim, fish, or continue another .7 miles to Heart Lake. We were pressed for time and decided to swim and head back. 

The trail is well traveled, has a consistent grade and few boulders/rocks which make it excellent for trail running. The Mission Mountains Wilderness is bear country (black and brown), so be sure to bring your bear spray.

For some reason, Google Maps doesn't show the road all the way to the trailhead. Head West on Kraft Creek Road from Highway 83 and follow the signs. Stay on the main road, and you'll end up at the Glacier Lake Trailhead, which has a vault toilet as well.  

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Tags

Chillin
Fishing
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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