The Golden Trout lakes offer a scenic getaway just out of the Gallatin Valley Canyon. Rough roads to the Golden Trout Lakes It was difficult driving up the road to get to the beginning of the trail, so I recommend a vehicle that can handle the rough road; preferably a truck or AWD. There are several small stream crossings that are easy to rock hop across. Time: 2.5 to 3 hours Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity, Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Beautiful Trail; Even More Beautiful Lakes, We did this trail with two other couples in July...it is a beautiful trail that leads to an even more beautiful lake, Golden Trout Lakes. The road is in rough condition and is better suited for vehicles with a higher clearance. First stocked in 1938, the golden trout at Sylvan Lake are well known in Montana for their genetic purity. The trail continues to climb steadily uphill for another 1.6 miles. Stay left for Golden Trout Lakes Trail. The lakes are filled with crystal clear mountain water. Hebgen Lake. June/July. The parking area is large and has plenty of room for lots of vehicles. Golden Lake is one of those lakes with incredible views and world class Cutthroat Trout. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/montana/golden-trout-lakes The first twenty years of my brook trout fishing career where spent happily catching dozens of fish in Montana’s streams and lakes. It is a steep hike and when we went, there was practically no one on the trail. Stay right at the first fork. Goldens had also, however, been stocked in certain alpine lakes … Once you get to the beginning of the trail, the hike is a nice little workout until you reach the final location of. The Golden Trout Lakes fishing map contains information about some of the best fishing spots this lake has to offer as well as the nearby cottages, campgrounds, and bait and tackle shops. The right fork takes you to Hidden Lakes Trail. I believe that the roundtrip distance is a little off compared to this site in my opinion, but I totally recommend this hike to anyone. _________________________________________________. Golden Trout in Montana? The road is not in the best shape. There are several well established campgrounds along the shores of the lakes. Total Elevation Gain : 1300 ft hiking). Lovely hike!! Please choose a different date. Trailhead: 5.1 miles north of Big Sky Turn off, then 6.8 miles east on Portal Creek Road We ran into another set of hikers on the way up and they had on very large bells (they had run into a couple of griz the day before while. Let the world see your experience through your eyes. Catching a brook trout of trophy proportions is as difficult as it should be. At 3.8 miles, there is a well-marked fork in the road. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Once you get to the beginning of the trail, the hike is a nice little workout until you reach the final location of Golden Trout Lakes. Here's a look at some excellent Montana Brook Trout we tracked down last summer. Turn east at the Portal Creek turnoff – FS Road 984. The Golden Trout Lakes trail (Trail #89) is located up Portal Creek in the Gallatin Canyon near Big Sky. The road in is not well marked. Multiple Montana’s state record golden trout weighing around 5 pounds have been taken from Lightning Lake over the years. To get to Golden Trout Lakes, head north out of Big Sky on highway 191 for 5.1 miles. Commonly searched for in Gallatin Gateway. In another 0.2 miles it passes the Hidden Lakes Trail Cut-off Trail. The dirt road follows Portal Creek. Golden Stonefly Nymphs, June and July, size 4-6 Streamers, just about any time but especially in the fall for large brown trout. Golden Trout Lakes trail is a 5 mile out and back hike to a beautiful alpine lake in the Gallatin Range of SW Montana. Distance: 5 miles round trip You see lots of wildflowers in. Golden Trout Lakes from Mapcarta, the free map. Golden trout are most often found in remote, alpine drainages over 9,000 feet in elevation. A quick lap around Golden Trout Lakes is about 0.3 miles. Golden trouts regularly rise to the surface and are easily visible in the clear waters. I began researching golden trout, and I learned it was native to the Sierras in California. The golden trout populations started from the Sur- prise Lake stock had a low occurrence of the variant allele. Currently, Story meets all of Wyoming’s requests for golden trout and ships excess eggs to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and California. Not too strenuous, and a beautiful lake at the end, This is a less busy trail in the area, probably due to the 6 mile dirt road drive on the way in. Golden Trout Lakes is a water feature in Montana and has an elevation of 9078 feet. Caught fish, saw lots of wildlife, and had a good time; with some CRAZY surprises. Thanks! The trailhead for Golden Trout Lakes is located off of US Highway 191 south of Bozeman, Montana… The trailhead serves double duty as it's the jumping off place for two trails. You might also find goldens scattered around in few other lakes, but they are not as widespread as many species of trout in Montana. It was difficult driving up the road to get to the beginning of the trail, so I recommend a vehicle that can handle the rough road; preferably a truck or AWD. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including brown trout, northern pike, rainbow trout and whitefish here. Some popular destinations are Lightning Lake, Cave Lake, the Hidden Lakes (Gallatin Range) and the Golden Trout Lakes. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Lakes in Montana - Montana has an abuncance of quality lakes for fishing, boating, swimming and recreation. In early July 2012, my mom and I headed up into the Gallatin Mountains for our next hiking adventure: Golden Trout Lakes. In 0.6 miles it crosses an old logging road. Who has hiked in to the A-B Wilderness in search of Golden Trout… You will need decent clearance on your vehicle to make it up this rocky road as it is easy to bottom out. Like elsewhere in Montana, some of the Absaroka-Beartooth’s roughly 300 trout lakes produce trout naturally and some are … The USFS trailhead sign is next to the trail for Windy Pass. Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. It’s a short adventure to see the other lakes. Author and a beautiful Golden Trout! Sylvan Lake’s golden population is so pure that the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks regularly uses the eggs laid by goldens at Sylvan Lake for stocking other lakes in Montana. It’s a good idea to download Topo Maps for this hike because Golden Trout Lakes is located on the very corner of the Lone Indian Peak USGS Quad map. more. The South Fork Kern River is a designated Wild Trout Water. Montana FWP stocks many alpine lakes every four years, but some have populations of wild fish. To access the trail head, turn east onto Portal Creek Road #984 and continue southeast for 6.8 miles. Four buddies hiked to Cave Lake, MT in hope of catching Golden Trout. Location: Portal Creek, Gallatin Canyon, Gallatin Range DISCUSSION Present Status Of the 14 lake systems in Montana with golden trout in 1981, only Lightning, Sylvan, Sawtooth, Island, Hidden #5, 6 and 7 and Golden Trout lakes appear relatively secure. There are a couple of lakes in Montana's Pioneer Mountains below 8,000 feet where FWP has decided to stock golden trout every six years (only once, in 2014, so far). Head left and continue for 3 miles to the Upper Portal Creek Trailhead. If you haven’t been yet, be sure to go here. Head south out of the parking lot toward a log fence on an old logging road to access the Golden Trout Lakes trail. If you’ve already been, go again because it’s awesome. Bring your fly fishing rod & catch some of the only golden trout in the area. 3. Like a Peacock and a Goldfish Combined in a Dream, Simply Beautiful! No bikes are allowed past this point. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Generally you can’t just do a quick day trip for these ornate fish. It is 303,511 acres (1,228.3 km 2) in size and was created by the US Congress in 1978 as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Beautiful Alpine Lake. Golden trout find conditions in those high, cold lakes to be just what they like, and there are good numbers of them in some lakes. The Golden Trout Lakes trail quickly passes some small ponds and weaves through a forest of spruce and pine. It’s the ideal place to spend the day or a weekend fishing, if you have a MT fishing license, and enjoying the peaceful Gallatin Range. These alpine fisheries are nestled in some of the most beautiful and secluded places, places where anglers can catch large and pristine native cutthroat trout, rare and challenging golden trout, rip-snorting rainbows, and gorgeous grayling. We hiked through so many river crossings and passed around high mountain lakes with great cutthroat and brook trout fishing to reach our target destination. Hotels near Little Bear School House Museum & Historical Society, Horseback Riding Tours in Gallatin Gateway, Nature & Wildlife Tours in Gallatin Gateway, Other Outdoor Activities in Gallatin Gateway, Beer Tastings & Tours in Gallatin Gateway, Wine Tours & Tastings in Gallatin Gateway, Golden Trout Lakes Trail: Tickets & Tours‎, Warren Miller Performing Arts Center: Tickets & Tours‎, Little Bear School House Museum & Historical Society: Tickets & Tours‎, Buffalo Jump Sports Bar & Grill: Tickets & Tours‎. Upper Portal Creek Trailhead Elevation: 8058 feet Copyright © 2018 A Mountain Journey LLC. One accesses Windy Pass (a nice hike in it's own right), the other heads off to the Golden Trout Lakes. Golden Trout Lakes is an absolutely picture perfect, hidden gem in the Gallatin Range of Montana. Finally it was time to wet a line in search for the fish of a lifetime, and soon I would be actually fishing for golden trout. Begin your search here. (Hiking) Golden Trout Lakes, Near Big Sky, Montana By danwgoodman on June 27, 2012 • ( 3 Comments ) Stifling heat and choking smoke may define the legacy of Montana’s 2012 summer, but the state’s high altitude mountain lakes have so far remained havens for outdoor seekers of … There are actually 3 lakes in the area. All waters on the Kern Plateau are open to angling, although many are accessible only by trail since both watersheds are largely encompassed within the Golden Trout … A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. Return to the trailhead by retracing your steps back down the same trail. The map also shows hotspots where our fishing junkies have caught lunkers and posted photos and stories. The lakes were just gorgeous and we even fished for a bit. Yikes! Learn more here. Be sure to enjoy the spectacular views, take a dip in the deep, chilly, clear alpine water, and appreciate the silence of Golden Trout Lakes. This is actually a collection of three lakes, though we just went to the main one. After passing a large meadow, the trail climbs steeply toward some large boulders before it levels off for the final approach to the lake. Once you get to the beginning of the trail, the hike is a nice little workout until you reach the final location of Golden Trout Lakes. If you take the cut-off trail for 1.8 miles you will intersect the Hidden Lakes Trail. The Golden Trout Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County and Inyo County, California.It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest.. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Go early. They provide a unique opportunity to catch a beautiful fish in a pristine environment. As always in SW Montana, be bear aware. Neither trail is terribly difficult. The first challenge in catching golden trout is determining which lakes hold them. In Montana, that's not terribly difficult through the MFISH database. In Wyoming, however, they don't offer stocking records on their website. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages 133 high, alpine lakes for golden trout. Here Ben Bailey, a Fisheries Technician whose spent the last 15 years surveying hundreds, and almost all, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness lakes, describes Montana’s Golden Trout program. _________________________________________________________. These popular lakes contain a salmonid diversity that includes Yellowstone cutthroat trout, golden trout, and arctic grayling, says Ken Frazer, FWP regional fisheries manager in Billings. Golden Trout Lakes trail is a 5 mile out and back hike to a beautiful alpine lake in the Gallatin Range of SW Montana. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. To get to Golden Trout Lakes, head north out of Big Sky on highway 191 for 5.1 miles. One to the east and a smaller one to the west. And the hike itself is pretty easy. Ask fellow travelers and attraction managers your top questions. When you click these links and are redirected to sites like Amazon.com, Backcountry.com, and other online retailers and then proceed to purchase items, it helps to support this site and costs you nothing. The golden trout is a California species that was introduced in Montana in 1907. Golden Trout Lakes is a lake located just 11.9 miles from Big Sky, in Gallatin County, in the state of Montana, United States, near George Norman Trailer Court, MT. MountainJourney.com uses affiliate links throughout the site. Hebgen Lake is a special trout fishery. Golden Trout Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water. Golden Trout Lakes. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Fly-fishing for golden trout is a time-consuming, obsession-creating adventure of a time. All rights reserved, Mountain Journey | Backcountry Skiing, Climbing, Mountaineering, Hiking, Golden Trout Lakes Trail, Gallatin Range, MT. With multiple peaks over 12,000 ft. elevation and hundreds of backcountry lakes, the Beartooth Wilderness/ mountain range is a premier destination for incredible high alpine lake fishing. The Montana Golden Trout at 10,000 feet above sea level in Sylvan Lake showed a marked preference for dry flies while we were there, while those Brook Trout in nearby Crow Lake at an even higher elevation preferred cone-headed wooly buggers. The Golden Trout Lakes trail (Trail #89) is located up Portal Creek in the Gallatin Canyon near Big Sky. USGS Map: Hidden Lake, Lone Indian Peak. Make sure to have a bit of clearance on your car for the drive to the trailhead. However, after all those hours on the water, I still had not caught a trophy brook trout… I love the lake you end up at. There are currently about 20 golden trout populations in the high mountain lakes of western and southcentral Montana. This is a beautiful lake when you get to the top. Mountain Projects – Lists And Maps For Peakbaggers, Mountain Quotes To Inspire & Motivate You, Sphinx Mountain – 10,876′ – Madison Range – Montana, Alternativa Media Presents 7 Years – A Timelapse Film 4K, Outdoor Research Presents How To Set Up A Top Rope Anchor On Two Bolts, REI Presents What To Do In A Bear Encounter (And How To Avoid One), Cody Townsend Presents The Fifty – 1: Intro & Messner Couloir, Watch The Winning Runs From The Freeride World Tour 2019 – Ordino Arcalis Andorra. Rough roads to the Golden Trout Lakes It was difficult driving up the road to get to the beginning of the trail, so I recommend a vehicle that can handle the rough road; preferably a truck or AWD. The California golden trout, or simply the golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita or Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), is a species of trout native to California.The golden trout is normally found in the Golden Trout Creek (tributary to the Kern River), Volcano Creek (tributary to Golden Trout Creek), and the South Fork Kern River.It is the state freshwater fish of California. Golden Trout Lakes Elevation: 9075 feet The trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes on the northern slopes of Eaglehead Mountain (9979′). The left fork takes you to Windy Pass and Golden Trout Lakes trails. Occurrence of the only golden Trout Lakes is an absolutely picture perfect, Hidden gem in the Gallatin Canyon! Some of the variant allele of fish including brown Trout, and had a low occurrence the... 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