Hike to Golden Trout Lakes

Portal Creek, Gallatin Canyon - Search Nearby - Added by Derek Tice

Golden trout lakes is a 5-mile rout trip hike with the opportunity to fish for Golden Trout. There are also campspots with fire pits if you want to make it an overnight. 

The Golden Trout lakes offer a scenic getaway just out of the Gallatin Valley Canyon. To access the trail head, turn east onto Portal Creek Road #984 and continue southeast for 6.8 miles. The road is in rough condition and is better suited for vehicles with a higher clearance. The trail head is equipped with adequate parking.

The trail starts off easy and winds past a few small ponds before reaching the cutoff to Hidden Lakes Trail (approx. 0.8 miles). Continue left for the Golden Trout Lakes. The trail begins to gain noticeable elevation as it continues. A few streams cross the trail but are easily maneuvered over via rocks. After passing a large open field (possibly a marsh, depending on weather and time of year), the trail hits a steep section before leveling off for the final approach to the lake.

The lake is calm and serene, tucked into the trees with several camp spots around its perimeter. Eagle Head Mountain borders the lake to the south and provides a nice backdrop to this beautiful scene. In looping around the lake, many fish were noted rising to the surface; however, none were caught. The view is stunning and is a very nice place to escape to, even if just for an hour or so.

If this lake isn't enough, there are two other lakes to the east and west that are accessible and only a distance of 0.3 miles to loop all three.

Distance

5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1300 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Running, Backpacking, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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Overall rating: 

Gold

Fairly mellow and peaceful hike. Few camp spots around the lake. Golden trout are on the smaller side.

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