Bozeman: Emerald Lake

Pass a handful of big canyon waterfalls on your way up to an alpine lake with jaw-dropping views on this 9.4-mile out-and-back in Gallatin National Forest.
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Pass a handful of big canyon waterfalls on your way up to an alpine lake with jaw-dropping views on this 9.4-mile out-and-back in Gallatin National Forest.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.6

Waypoints

EMD001

Location: 45.4590606689453, -110.921096801758

Go S on multiuse trail from parking lot

EMD002

Location: 45.4554100036621, -110.915603637695

Continue through aspen and mixed conifers in steep, craggy hillsides before crossing East Fork Hyalite Creek

EMD003

Location: 45.4475898742676, -110.911003112793

Proceed straight on gentle incline; Emerald Lake sits at the head of the East Fork Hyalite in the Gallatin Mountains, an area known for its many waterfalls and superb winter ice-climbing

EMD004

Location: 45.4420394897461, -110.909301757812

Pass the long, braided flows of Horsetail Falls on W wall

EMD005

Location: 45.4323997497559, -110.91130065918

E wall begins closing in; break for views down valley

EMD006

Location: 45.4220314025879, -110.918296813965

Steep switchbacks up loose trail to an unnamed set of falls plunging alongside trail; continue S

EMD007

Location: 45.4177513122559, -110.921798706055

Trail leads into open meadow with Flanders Mtn. and The Mummy looming across the canyon. Cross narrow bridge, staying on Emerald Lake Trail

EMD008

Location: 45.4164886474609, -110.924301147461

The wildflower-sprinkled valley transitions into a U-shaped cirque of near-vertical, often windy cliffs

EMD009

Location: 45.4146690368652, -110.927696228027

Emerald Lake: See the weathered N face of Mt. Chisholm from the shore of this wild blue gem. Overnight camping allowed