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Trail Well Traveled – 9/16

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!

Boulder Lakes Trail #142

A run-of-the-mill hike transforms over several miles into one of the most beautiful journey’s in all of western Montana!


Roundtrip: 16 miles

Elevation Gain: 2700 feet

Directions: First make your way to Helena, and then from Helena east/southeast to Townsend on MT 287. Take MT 12 east for 2.4 miles and turn left onto MT 284. Continue for 16.2 miles and then turn right onto Confederate Gulch Road, about halfway along Canyon Ferry Lake. Follow this dirt road 8.1 miles and then turn right onto Blacktail Road. Follow a couple switchbacks until you see the sign for Trail #142 on your right.

What to expect: There are several trails to Boulder Lakes, but the recommended one starts on a reclaimed road bed, turning off after a few miles and following a dirt-worn trail the remainder of the way.

The first 4-4.5 miles of this hike are not scenic, but once the trail crests a ridge and drops into the drainage of Boulder Creek, the scenic quality significantly increases. Make sure to catch the trail after cresting the ridge! An unmarked social trail goes right and left, but the trail you want to take continues straight ahead and slightly to the right. The travel from the bottom of Boulder Creek up to the lakes is mellow and shaded. An established campsite can be found at the lower lake and is the best place for camping.

The upper lake is worth hiking to, but the last two or three hundred feet are a bushwhack off trail. If you continue on, passing the ridgeline to the east of Mount Boulder, the trail drops down for about a mile, crossing several bridges.


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

Big thanks to Bretz RV & Marine for sponsoring the Trail Well Traveled! Whether you are looking for a travel trailer, motorhome, fifth wheel, toy hauler or boat you will get the best deal at Bretz RV & Marine, 4800 Grant Creek Road or 541-4800!

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