Hike to Golden Trout Lakes

Rate this Adventure Montana Portal Creek, Gallatin Canyon

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.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Snacks
  • Hiking shoes
  • Fishing Pole
  • Water
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

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

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1300 Feet

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Derek Tice

Adventurer || Designer || Snowboarder

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Upper Layout Creek Trail

Montana / Upper Layout Creek Trailhead

If you park your car at the horse corral and pit toilets you will hike up a gravel road for a little bit.

KayDee Johnson
1 Saves

Kayak to Pig Island

Montana / North Flathead Launch (Somers, MT)

Drive to the North Flathead Launch in Somers, MT (15 miles south of Kalispell). Launch the kayaks and head south towards the yacht club.

Backpack the Triple Divide Pass Trail to Red Eagle Lake

Montana / Cut Bank Trailhead

A couple of notes to keep in mind before you start...

Hunter Day
6 Saves