Missoula, MT: Clearwater Crossing

This 29.5-mile backcountry circuit in Lolo National Forest traces the Bitterroot Divide, visits several lakes, and reveals far-reaching views.
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This 29.5-mile backcountry circuit in Lolo National Forest traces the Bitterroot Divide, visits several lakes, and reveals far-reaching views.

-Mapped by Jason Kauffman

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 47.4

Waypoints

CLR001

Location: 46.908573, -114.803438

From the Clearwater Crossing Ranger Station, hike west along the North Fork Fish Creek on Trail 103.

CLR002

Location: 46.910464, -114.815068

Continue straight at the trail fork where Straight Creek flows into the North Fork Fish Creek.

CLR003

Location: 46.943715, -114.841397

Pass Whiterock Gulch on the right.

CLR004

Location: 46.960764, -114.872768

Continue straight at trail fork, heading west.

CLR005

Location: 46.957161, -114.891801

Keep left at the junction with French Lake Trail.

CLR006

Location: 46.945862, -114.909348

Hike past a massive cedar.

CLR007

Location: 46.942616, -114.913087

Pass a colossal grove of trees.

CLR008

Location: 46.940169, -114.917657

Continue straight along the North Fork Fish Creek.

CLR009

Location: 46.919566, -114.935532

Follow the Stateline Trail south and descend to Goose Lake.

CLR010

Location: 46.917383, -114.935875

Stay left at the trail fork and begin a switchback climb to the top of the ridge.

CLR011

Location: 46.904864, -114.930811

The trail crests the ridgetop (also the Idaho-Montana state line) and winds to the south.

CLR012

Location: 46.857183, -114.942312

Summit the route's 7,322-foot highpoint, then hike east.

CLR013

Location: 46.85397, -114.928451

Leave the ridge and tackle a cross-country route that drops to Siamese Lake.

CLR014

Location: 46.835184, -114.907744

Turn left on Trail 101, heading northeast. Ahead, the trail follows the West Fork Fish Creek.

CLR015

Location: 46.858196, -114.836183

Turn left.

CLR016

Location: 46.86606, -114.822149

Continue straight at 3-way junction. The trail on the left climbs to the summit of Cedar Peak.

CLR017

Location: 46.873277, -114.812944

Turn left and hike north.

CLR018

Location: 46.875125, -114.811742

Pass a swimming hole on the left.