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Hit Those Trails!

Why stay inside all summer when you can go explore some of the gorgeous views of Montana?

When summer finally hits, staying inside feels just…wrong. The sun is out, the days are long, and you’ve been cooped up inside all winter.

So, this summer, why not check out a few of the hiking trails in the Tobacco Valley (and beyond)? With such gorgeous scenery and beautiful summer weather, getting outside is a must.

We’ve compiled a list of three trails, starting with a very short and easy (but still scenic) stroll and ending with a multi-day hike (that you’ll have to travel for!). 

Please be aware and realistic about your hiking level as you plan out your trips this summer, our final recommendation is only for experienced hikers and backpackers.

Beginner: Little Therriault Lake Trail

Whether you have little kids or little dogs, finding a hiking trail that is beautiful but easy enough for little feet can be challenging. You want something that will be visually stunning, but not so long that you have to carry crying kiddos for miles back to your vehicle.

Little Therriault Lake Trail is perfect for families, folks with dogs, and beginning hikers. Located in the Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area, the trail consists of a single-mile loop, so you end back where you started. You might run into other people walking or running the loop during the summer months, especially in the mid-to-late summer. 

More of an angler than a hiker? This is also a popular trail for fishing!

Moderate to Advanced: Bluebird Lake via Highline Trail

We’re leveling up a bit with our next recommendation. Bluebird Lake via Highline Trail in the Kootenai National Forest is a gorgeous but moderately challenging hike. Plan an afternoon to hike Bluebird Lake via Highline Trail. This 4.3-mile out-and-back hike is scenic with great views of the lake and over 1100 feet of elevation. Like Little Therriault Lake Trail, Bluebird Lake via Highline Trail is friendly to leashed dogs. This less-traveled trail is a great choice if you prefer to watch for wildlife instead of people while you explore. Check it out during June and July especially!

Experts Only: Goat Haunt Ferry via Boulder Pass and Waterton Lake Trail

Maybe you’re not just a hiker, but you’re experienced. You’ve hiked the Tobacco Valley trails backwards and forwards and in all types of weather. You need a challenge. A mile or five or ten just won’t cut it.

If you want a challenge and have a few days to spare, pack your backpack, hop into your vehicle, and drive east (for about three hours) to Glacier National Park, near Polebridge, MT. There, you’ll find the Goat Haunt Ferry via Boulder Pass and Waterton Lake Trail.

With over 4800 feet of elevation, this trail is not for the novice or even moderate hiker. At 30.3 miles, this point-to-point trail takes most folks around 14 hours of hiking to complete. While it would be possible to do it in a single summer day, if you get a VERY early start, we think it’d be more fun to camp on the trail for a night or two. Why wouldn’t you want to sleep under the stars in the most remote and scenic part of North America? 

As an FYI, Goat Haunt winds along the Canadian border, so you will need to be aware of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) rules, including reporting your entry at least five hours before you enter Goat Haunt. You can do this through the CBP ROAM app or at a partner location in the Waterton Townsite. And don’t forget to make sure you’ve secured your backpacking and camping permits through the National Park Service!