As spring turns to summer and the mountain snow begins to melt the Bitterroot valley becomes a mecca for hiking. Sure, Glacier National Park is great, but the best hikes in Montana are here in the Bitterroot valley! I have spent my entire life here in the valley and have found some wonderful trails. Below I have detailed some of my favorite day hikes and backpacking trips.
Day Hikes In The Bitterroot Valley
Blodget Canyon Overlook: This hike is one of the most popular in Hamilton because it is relatively easy to find and can be done in under two hours. The view at the top is phenomenal as well. It overlooks Blodget canyon and has some great views of the valley. Blodget canyon is a great hike for someone with small kids or someone looking for a quick little trip. It is fairly steep in some spots, but nothing you can’t handle!
Bear Creek: A wonderful hike just outside of Victor with some great views and potential for some huckleberries! A wonderful spot to bring kids and find a nice fishing hole! Bear Creek is a fairly flat trail that is considered moderate to easy. It is a great hike for hot days because it is nicely shaded.
Lake Como: This is one of my favorite running trails! Lake comp is an incredible spot here in the Bitterroot. Here we often refer to it as “the beach”, but its also a great hiking spot. The trail is just under 8 miles around the whole lake, but lots of people hike 3 miles out to a beautiful waterfall at the end of the lake for an easy day hike. This trail does get fairly busy though, so its best to go early in the morning or late in the evening.
Baker Lake: Baker lake is a beautiful lake outside of Darby. This hike is also considered moderate and is a great hike for people with kiddos! It is a bit longer, so plan to spend the whole day hiking and enjoying the lake!
Saint Marys: If your looking to get a glimpse of the whole valley St. Mary’s peak is the place to be! This hike can be quite challenging but is well worth the effort. This hike climbs for about 3.5 miles and upon the summit, you can see the whole valley. A great hike for the early morning or late afternoon and takes about 3 to 5 hours.
Trapper Peak: One of the Bitterroots most challenging trails is Trapper Peak. A 4.25-mile hike straight up is sure the get avid hikers excited! Climbing trapper is on most Bitterrooters bucket list, and is one of my most memorable days! A great spot to find huckleberries too, but make sure to bring extra snacks and plenty of water, you cant make this hike off of huckleberries alone!
Backpacking Trips In The Bitterroot
Blodgett Canyon: Just outside of Hamilton this 26-mile hike is an absolutely incredible spot! Gaining about 3K feet of elevation this beautiful trip meanders through some of the most stunning mountains in Hamilton.
Big Creek Lake: An incredible 18.5-mile hike with some challenging elevation gain. A wonderful two-day trip or spend three days enjoying the lake! Plan on packing some fishing poles and water shoes!
If you find yourself in Montana without a spot to hike give me a call! I have so many incredible hikes planned that I’d love to share with you! I’m always available to talk about the beautiful Bitterroot Valley!