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The Trail Well Traveled – 7/22

Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!

Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give one lucky listener some cool goodies to help them embark on their journey!

Hazel and Hub Lakes

These lakes are among the many great attractions within the Great Burn Proposed Wilderness, which is less than an hour from Missoula and offers deep cedar forests, big ridgeline views and plentiful lakes. This trail highlights the best of it all!

Roundtrip: 6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1750 feet

Directions: Continue down I-90 west of St. Regis, take Exit 25 and then get back onto the interstate headed east. Now take Exit 26 and drive south on Ward Creek Road #899 for 6.3 miles. The trailhead is on the right. If you cross Ward Creek, you’ve gone too far!

What to expect: Suitable for avid hikers or first-timers, this hike traverses the Ward-Eagle Roadless Area, one of the jewels in the “String of Pearls” wildlands that stretch between Lolo and Lookout Passes.  Showcasing some of the best of the unprotected Great Burn region west of Missoula, the trail climbs from cathedral forests to sub-alpine lakes perched beneath the Idaho-Montana border.

It also features a scenic overlook of crashing Dipper Falls and a couple fun creek crossings.

Soon after beginning the hike on Ward Creek Trail 262, you’ll enter an awe-inspiring grove of ancient

western red cedars – some measuring 10 feet in diameter and survived the Great Fire of 1910!  After a steep mid-section, the trail gradually climbs to the sub-alpine basins of Hazel and Hub Lakes.  Enjoy a leisurely lunch and some fishing at the lakes, or test your endurance by climbing another 1,500 feet over one mile to Ward or Eagle Peaks for views to eternity.

We hear Hazel Lake is better fishing, but Hub Lake has the better campsites.

Tidbit: With 87 people killed and three million acres burned,, the Great Fire of 1910 is believed to be the largest forest fire in U.S. history. Read more about it HERE.

Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at

And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!

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