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Kalispell, Montana

Hike to Summit of Mount Aeneas

6 Miles Total - 1700 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Katch Silva

Distance: 6 miles round trip. Elevation gain: About 1,700ft. A hidden gem of the Jewel Basin. Amazing views of Glacier National Park, The Bob Marshal Wilderness and The Flathead Valley.

This hike can easily be overlooked since it is in such a geographically rich area, with Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness so close, but it is absolutely a hidden gem that doesn't get enough attention. Mount Aeneas sits at just over 7,500 feet and from the summit it gives amazing 360 degree views of Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Flathead Valley, and Hungry Horse Reservoir.

It is classified as a strenuous hike, but the hardest part is about a mile of steep switchbacks, and it's totally worth the workout for the incredible views. Be sure to check the current status of the trail online, because after particularly harsh winters it tends to open pretty late in the season.

The trail starts at Camp Misery in the Jewel Basin behind the closed gate. This is an old service road that goes up for about 1 miles and narrows into trail #717. This part of the trail offers great views of Lodgepole Pine forests with Flathead Valley down below.

After about another half mile, you will reach a junction with three routes. Take the trail that continues on #717, it begins to climb immediately. Soon, the switchbacks begin which you'll follow up towards the ridge-line. You will come to Microwave Tower, a small relay station. You are almost guaranteed to run into mountain goats up here. It's a good spot for a water or snack break.

On this upper ridge-line and beyond is the most scenic part of the hike. Be very careful, especially if the snow is still melting (as was the case when I hiked it), since the ridge-line drops off drastically on one side. There are other ways to come back down, including a loop that takes you on the other side of the summit, along the nearby lakes, but I just did the shorter hike back along the same trail.

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Tags

Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

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Beautiful and easy summit

Love this hike! Not too difficult with gorgeous views of the Jewel Basin at the summit. (This is a dog friendly trail also, which is a bonus for the adventure pups out there.) Most people hike back down the trail they came up but I prefer taking the loop back to Camp Misery. The initial descent down is a little steep, but you descend quickly into a gorgeous, peaceful hike past wildflower growth and serene ponds. Enjoy!

Beautiful

I hiked this last summer and it was by far one of my favorites. The views are breathtaking!

Summit Aeneas for the Sunrise

This is one of my favorite hikes, it is an easy summit and can be accomplished in a short amount of time. The only downfall of the Jewel is the road to Camp Misery, the washboard and potholes are hard on any vehicle making the ascent. The best time to summit Aeneas is right at sunrise- there are generally about a dozen mountain goats who make the trek every morning, and it's very likely that you will be able to witness the sunrise along with them. After your descent, make sure that you stop by Echo Lake Café and enjoy a big breakfast.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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