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Backpacker Magazine – January 2014

Alpine Lakes

Kick back at one of these campsites—where nothing but an idyllic, high-country pool separates you from the Rockies skyline.

by: Maren Kasselik

Photo by Glenn Randall
Photo by BP0114MTW_Randall_IceLakeBasin_bjk445x260.jpg
Photo by Glenn Randall

Lee Metcalf Wilderness, MT
Spanish Lakes

It’s a lake-lover’s paradise: Set up camp beside these cerulean, trout-rich pools, and explore a half-dozen others from your waterfront property on this 16-mile out-and-back. On Trail #407, walk 4 easy miles through cream-colored bear grass and crimson Indian paintbrush (blooms peak late in summer), looking out for grizzlies feasting on cow parsnip. Turn west onto Trail #411 and continue 4 miles to the rocky banks of Lower Spanish Lake. “Pitch a tent off the eastern shore, angled west to catch the sunrise turning the jagged cirque hot pink,” says Amanda Cram. Keep an eye out for mountain goats on slabs above and eagles and hawks fishing in the lake.

 

Trailhead 45.415000, -111.417000; 29 miles southwest of Bozeman off Jack Creek Rd. INFO (406) 683-8020; Website





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