Statistics: 6 miles roundtrip, ascent 1000 feet.

To reach the trailhead for this hike, we drove a total of 42 miles south of Bozeman on Highway 191, following the Gallatin Canyon to Portal Creek Road.


Our host for the week, my son, Andrew, and his 5-year-old daughter, Della, joined us for today’s trek. He suggested this easier route so that she could enjoy and complete the walk. (Which she did!) The trail began with a gradual, uphill path, eventually becoming steeper with switchbacks up to a forested ridgeline and a reasonably level path that provided occasional views of the parallel ridge across the canyon, Levinski Ridge.

View of Levinski Ridge

Throughout the day we crossed several creeks, this one was just before we arrived at the first small lake.

This first of several Hidden Lakes required a final push uphill again.

The first of the Hidden Lakes

After a few minutes investigating this small, forest-lined lake we moved back to the path and on to the next of these Hidden Lakes, where we all took a rather brief swim in the very cold water. Not being familiar with this trail and the number of lakes we would encounter, we assumed that the next lake was the final Hidden Lake and turned back toward the trailhead at that point.

another of the Hidden Lakes

Walking back, we unsuccessfully attempted to find more Hidden Lakes. Later we discovered that additional lakes were beyond our second lake; there were eight mountain lakes altogether. The largest of these is at the base of a large cirque; the other seven are scattered in the nearby forest, fed by streams coming off the mountainsides. We will have to return to enjoy all 8 lakes! Next time I will bring my GPS!

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