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Hiking trails near Kalispell and Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park in northwest Montana boasts over 700 hiking trails.  But you must visit the park and contend with huge crowds in Glacier before you hit the trail.

There is a good alternative for hiking in the great outdoors near Glacier, without traveling to the park, and still have lots of fun hiking in a wild and scenic environment.


The Jewel Basin Hiking Area, near Kalispell, in Flathead National Forest.  In the Jewel you’ll experience the beauty of alpine lakes and mountains and have a choice of trails, some easy, others very strenuous, which together cover some 35 miles in gorgeous terrain.  Great views of the Flathead Valley are a bonus.

Hiking in Jewel Basin takes time, so gather essential information about the Jewel and its trails in advance. You can go short distances or make very long hikes taking hours. Pay attention, also, to skill levels mentioned by experienced hikers and others who’ve hiked the Jewel in the past.  Don’t want any surprises. 

Below is Jewel Basin Information for selected trails, courtesy USDA Flathead National Forest:

“The Alpine Big Hawk trail is 1.6 miles long. It begins at Jct. Alpine Trail. #7 and ends at Big Hawk Lakes. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking”

“The Birch Lake trail is 0.8 miles long. It begins at Jct. Alpine Trail. #7 In Sec. 32 and ends at Jct. Alpine Trail. #7 In Sec. 5. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking”

“The Mt. Aeneas trail is 4.3 miles long. It begins at Jewel Basin Parking and ends at Picnic Lakes. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking”

Be aware:  When driving to Camp Misery Trailhead, low-clearance vehicles are not recommended and the last five (5) miles to the trailhead are on a steep, unpaved, gravel road. The road is narrow, winding, and without guard rails, so extra caution is advised.

Pick up a map of the Jewel Basin Hiking Area at Kalispell, Montana Visitor Information Center, located at 15 Depot Park.  (406) 758-2809.

Hiking trails Montana

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