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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-Mapped by Jason Kauffman
- Distance: 47.4
Location: 46.908573, -114.803438
From the Clearwater Crossing Ranger Station, hike west along the North Fork Fish Creek on Trail 103.
Location: 46.910464, -114.815068
Continue straight at the trail fork where Straight Creek flows into the North Fork Fish Creek.
Location: 46.943715, -114.841397
Pass Whiterock Gulch on the right.
Location: 46.960764, -114.872768
Continue straight at trail fork, heading west.
Location: 46.957161, -114.891801
Keep left at the junction with French Lake Trail.
Location: 46.945862, -114.909348
Hike past a massive cedar.
Location: 46.942616, -114.913087
Pass a colossal grove of trees.
Location: 46.940169, -114.917657
Continue straight along the North Fork Fish Creek.
Location: 46.919566, -114.935532
Follow the Stateline Trail south and descend to Goose Lake.
Location: 46.917383, -114.935875
Stay left at the trail fork and begin a switchback climb to the top of the ridge.
Location: 46.904864, -114.930811
The trail crests the ridgetop (also the Idaho-Montana state line) and winds to the south.
Location: 46.857183, -114.942312
Summit the route’s 7,322-foot highpoint, then hike east.
Location: 46.85397, -114.928451
Leave the ridge and tackle a cross-country route that drops to Siamese Lake.
Location: 46.835184, -114.907744
Turn left on Trail 101, heading northeast. Ahead, the trail follows the West Fork Fish Creek.
Location: 46.858196, -114.836183
Location: 46.86606, -114.822149
Continue straight at 3-way junction. The trail on the left climbs to the summit of Cedar Peak.
Location: 46.873277, -114.812944
Turn left and hike north.
Location: 46.875125, -114.811742
Pass a swimming hole on the left.