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Bigfork, Montana

Summit Swan Peak

18.49 Miles Total - 6180 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Gavin Pirrie

This hike has everything - stream crossings, scrambling, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, and phenomenal views.

This hike is about an hour drive south from Kalispell. Follow MT-83 S for about 47 mi. towards and past Swan Lake. Take a left on NF-554 and follow the road for 1.6 mi. and take a right on Squeezer Creek Rd. and follow the road for 4 mi. to a gated road and park near the gate.

Follow the gated road (hiking) for about 0.3 mi. and take a left up the near overgrown road. Continue on this road for 1.3 mi. until the trail becomes clear. Follow this trail for about 3.5 mi. while crossing two streams. Continue on this trail for 1.5 mi. to Lower Squeezer Lake. This section is considerably steeper than the first section. Once Lower Squeezer Lake has been reached, there are two routes around the lake. The northern route requires a slight bushwhack and the southern route requires a slight scramble on some rock. Either route is acceptable depending on conditions at the time.

The trail resumes at the eastern side of the lake up the rock field to the south of the waterfall. The trail will lead you up to Upper Squeezer Lake. Follow the shoreline of Upper Squeezer Lake north until the rock portion of the ridge has been reached. Once the rock portion has been reached, climb the rock to the northern saddle and follow the goat trail southeast to the southern saddle. From the southern saddle, throw on helmets and pick your own route to the summit of Swan Peak and enjoy the views from the top.

The descent is identical to the ascent of Swan Peak. 

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Nestled between the Big Belt and Elkhorn Mountains, the Helena Valley offers activities like hiking, biking, climbing, and fishing - just to name a few. Surrounded by three lakes and a blue-ribbon trout fishery, Helena is sure to thrill even the most dedicated of outdoor enthusiasts.

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