Less busy trail. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including brown trout, northern pike, rainbow trout and whitefish here. At this point, there is a decent sized parking area. 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. 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. A Hidden Lakes permit is needed to fish at Hidden Lakes. The trout grow large here. dozens of hidden lakes dot the Crazy Mountains range, some of which are teaming with wild trout just waiting to be caught. The original Big Creek Cabin was built in 1907 and it still stands on this site. To get to Golden Trout Lakes, head north out of Big Sky on highway 191 for 5.1 miles. The trail begins to gain noticeable elevation as it continues. A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. CODY, WYOMING'S FRIENDLIEST FLY SHOP AND FISHIEST GUIDE SERVICE. Few camp spots around the lake. The entire hike covers 1300′ of elevation gain and is 5 miles round trip. Stay on the trail marked NFS 83 at the bifurcation to hidden lake cutoff. Even the drive up Portal Creek Road is breathtaking!!!! Golden Trout Lake – The hike to Golden Trout Lakes begins at the Upper Portal Creek Trailhead. While not as rugged as the Sierra to the north, this If you’re still not sure where to begin your Big Sky fly fishing adventure, check out MontanaAngler.com or better yet, hire one of Big Sky country’s world class fly fishing guides. Not to be unexpected with all the snow! Mosquitos are vicious in the parking lot so plan ahead to make a quick getaway- they lighten up as you go but bug juice is recommended. Thread starter mcnerney; Start date Sep 27, 2018; mcnerney Administrator. Road was still closed due to runoff so we had to hike 4 miles just to get to the trailhead. The golden trout is a California species that was introduced in Montana in 1907. First stocked in 1938, the golden trout at Sylvan Lake are well known in Montana for their genetic purity. Trail is 2.5 miles according to my watch. Success! Although a lesser known area of the High Sierra, it offers sublime alpine country with an elevation from about 9,000 to 10,000 feet for most of the trip. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. The ponds at Hidden Lakes are stocked in April and October with trout. Definitely more than that... once we got there it was completely frozen over. Some of the best spots to cast a fly include Spanish Lakes, Hidden Lakes, or Golden Trout Lakes. Neither trail is terribly difficult. Golden Trout Lakes Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gallatin Gateway, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The Golden Trout Lakes trail (Trail #89) is located up Portal Creek in the Gallatin Canyon near Big Sky. Not true. 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. Do NOT GO ON THIS TRAIL RIGHT NOW! In fact, much of the South Fork of the Kern River is only accessible to the dedicated outdoorsmen who are willing to ride in by horseback. Starting in Bozeman, travel south of Gallatin Gateway about 5 miles on Hwy 191 and turn left on to Storm Castle Creek Road. 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. The road gets a bit bumpier for another 2.2 miles. The fly fishing options in Big Sky country are endless. There are currently about 20 golden trout populations in the high mountain lakes of western and southcentral Montana. The drive is doable, we were in a pick up truck with four wheel drive and it took about 35 mins. They provide a unique opportunity to catch a beautiful fish in a pristine environment. One of the best in Big Sky. 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. A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. Generally you can’t just do a quick day trip for these ornate fish. Some popular destinations are Lightning Lake, Cave Lake, the Hidden Lakes (Gallatin Range) and the Golden Trout Lakes. Lassen Trout works to stock 500 pounds of lightning trout, and 700 pounds of rainbow trout at … Most lakes in this area can be reached in a few hours on a day hike, while others are best enjoyed with a wilderness camping trip. Please explore responsibly! Recommend bait is half a worm on a small hook with a weight 20-26 inches up your line. It is currently 8+ feet of snow! At this fork you can go to Windy Pass and Golden Trout Lakes or Hidden Lakes. Rocky Basin Lakes: Series of 4 lakes at an elevation of 10,800 feet. Turned around .5 miles in on the trail due to snow. BULL TROUT. Be the first to rate! The Golden Trout lakes offer a scenic getaway just out of the Gallatin Valley Canyon. Wyoming's record golden trout, which is also the current world record (an 11-pounder measuring 28 inches), was caught at Cook Lake in 1948. Quite scenic. adventures and follow local regulations. I went last spring, there was a lot of water over the path and some post holing to be done. The trail starts off easy and winds past a few small ponds before reaching the cutoff to Hidden Lakes Trail (approx. Like Cottonwood Lakes, the portion of the Kern River where golden trout can be found is extremely tricky to get to. Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout sits on the apex of Garnet Mountain, at an elevation of 8,245 feet. Like elsewhere in Montana, some of the Absaroka-Beartooth’s roughly 300 trout lakes produce trout naturally and some are … The largest Golden Trout are located in high mountain lakes of Wyoming and Montana, but there are also fish in Utah and Idaho. A sign indicates heading left to Windy Pass and Golden Trout Lakes, but bear right at the fork and continue another 2.2 miles to the Hidden Lakes trailhead. Golden Trout. Fishing Permits . Nice n easy hike. The portal creek road is challenging, best to have 4x4 or AWD with high clearance. This hidden gem sits at 9075′ and is a perfect lake to catch a fish or take a dip. Wyoming's record golden trout, which is also the current world record (an 11-pounder measuring 28 inches), was caught at Cook Lake in 1948. Golden Trout Lakes Trail: Rough roads to the Golden Trout Lakes - See 4 traveler reviews, 3 candid photos, and great deals for Gallatin Gateway, MT, at Tripadvisor. In fact, much of the South Fork of the Kern River is only accessible to the dedicated outdoorsmen who are willing to ride in by horseback. Continue left for the Golden Trout Lakes. Gorgeous views make this fairly strenuous climb worth it. Worth the drive and hike. The trailhead serves double duty as it's the jumping off place for two trails. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! In Montana, that's not terribly difficult through the MFISH database. this is an awesome trail to a beautiful and quiet lake....there are a lot of great little streams and plenty of shade through many portions of the trail. Veer right for Hidden Lakes. A few streams cross the trail but are easily maneuvered over via rocks. 0.8 miles). We've found that both lures and flies work excellently in the little known lakes in the Crazy Mountains. 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. The last mile is rough - very steep. Beautiful hike, and we had a great time fishing!! Others are the perfect place for a … We walked 15 miles round trip! All adults age 16 and older are required to have a Hidden Lakes permit. Pack only the necessities if you're going to fish! It was a beautiful blast in our eyes but if you are looking to fish, look somewhere else!! Since these fish put Golden Trout Creek at risk in maintaining genetic purity, they have been removed by gill netting in 2001 to 2003. Throw the smallest fly you have out as far as you can cast and just sit there and wait. 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. Since these fish put Golden Trout Creek at risk in maintaining genetic purity, they have been removed by gill netting in 2001 to 2003. These two lakes are found close to the Madison River at $3 Bridge. Beautiful short and easy hike. Fishing too. If you're fishing, look for the inlet across the lake form where you arrive. Golden Trout Lakes Trail: Rough roads to the Golden Trout Lakes - See 4 traveler reviews, 3 candid photos, and great deals for Gallatin Gateway, MT, at Tripadvisor. Golden Trout Lakes trail is a 5 mile out and back hike to a beautiful alpine lake in the Gallatin Range of SW Montana. Was a nice hike in a wooded area to the lake. I just drove right up to the creek located at about 7000 ft elevation in my Jeep 4+4 and started to fish. BULL TROUT. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. The map also shows hotspots where our fishing junkies have caught lunkers and posted photos and stories. After passing a large open field (possibly a marsh, depending on weather and time of year), the trail hits a steep section before leveling off for the final approach to the lake. For those of you that are up there for the fishing! Fishing Permits . They provide a unique opportunity to catch a beautiful fish in a pristine environment. Not sure when this trail will be ready to use but not anytime soon! A Hidden Lakes permit is needed to fish at Hidden Lakes. This was a great trail! The lake is calm and serene, tucked into the trees with several camp spots around its perimeter. When we got to the lake could maybe see ten feet out! Road up to lake is nice however you need 4wd in some spots and there are no signs until you're right at the spot to park at the top of the mountain. The TripCome and explore the secluded and scenic northeastern section of the Golden Trout Wilderness, which is located on the expansive Kern Plateau south of Mount Whitney. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The road is in rough condition and is better suited for vehicles with a higher clearance. If you take the time to drive up the gravel road there a few miles, you will discover two of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Montana. 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. The road in is really rocky but easily drivable with an appropriate car and tires- my explorer was fine- but plan on 30-45 minutes or so to drive the 6 miles from 191 to the trailhead. 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. Generally you can’t just do a quick day trip for these ornate fish. Follow this road for about 3.5 miles until the road ends. The trail has about 4 steep sections followed by flat sections to catch your breathe. But for those who make the trip, catching a golden trout, the state fish, is worth the effort. These lakes were planted with Golden Hybrids from the Cottonwood spawning program. This is actually a collection of three lakes, though we just went to the main one. But for those who make the trip, catching a golden trout, the state fish, is worth the effort. Another sign about half way will point you toward the Hidden Lakes parking area and trailhead. I waited for 30 minutes until I got my first bite but damn it was worth it. Fly-fishing for golden trout is a time-consuming, obsession-creating adventure of a time. We will be back to see the lake! Hiking to an alpine lake is a rewarding adventure. There are also campspots with fire pits if you want to make it an overnight. The Hidden Lakes and Golden Trout Lakes offer easy access to golden trout, and beautiful Ramshorn Lake holds nice-sized cutthroat. These lakes were planted with Golden Hybrids from the Cottonwood spawning program. If you’re still not sure where to begin your Big Sky fly fishing adventure, check out MontanaAngler.com or better yet, hire one of Big Sky country’s world class fly fishing guides. Hiking to an alpine lake is a rewarding adventure. Eagle Head Mountain borders the lake to the south and provides a nice backdrop to this beautiful scene. We were just hiking in for fun! While not as rugged as the Sierra to the north, this The trout grow large here. Good hike, rough road getting up there. My first ever! Neither trail is terribly difficult. Golden Lake is one of those lakes with incredible views and world class Cutthroat Trout. 06/23/2018. The two aforementioned Fish lakes in Idaho’s Bitterroot Mountains also are thought to have held native bull trout. LIVERMORE, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Ken Altman of Mt. Definitely coming again to try to catch some golden trout. To access the trail head, turn east onto Portal Creek Road #984 and continue southeast for 6.8 miles. Here's a look at some excellent Montana Brook Trout we tracked down last summer. Golden Trout. Permits are … 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. Fairly mellow and peaceful hike. It was well worth it though, very pretty and secluded. My Outback did just fine. The first 20 or so fish I caught were brook trout, but then I landed one that wasn't as dark. The current cabin, a former guard station, was ... Overview It wasn't very big or very bright, but it was a golden! © 2021 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. Some of the best Mountain Lakes in Montana can be hiked into from the Trail Head just above Montana Cabin Rentals. Most lakes in this area can be reached in a few hours on a day hike, while others are best enjoyed with a wilderness camping trip. Go to the Montana Fish and Wildlife website and you can search Golden Trout lakes in Montana. CODY, WYOMING'S FRIENDLIEST FLY SHOP AND FISHIEST GUIDE SERVICE. Another sign about half way will point you toward the Hidden Lakes parking area and trailhead. The big myth about Golden Trout is that you have to go on some backbreaking hike to 11,000 ft to catch a Golden Trout. There are currently about 20 golden trout populations in the high mountain lakes of western and southcentral Montana. The golden trout is a California species that was introduced in Montana in 1907. You might also find goldens scattered around in few other lakes, but they are not as widespread as many species of trout in Montana. Great trail with a beautiful and quiet lake at the top. If you take the time to drive up the gravel road there a few miles, you will discover two of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Montana. It wasn't very big or very bright, but it was a golden! Users have reported that the road leading to the trailhead might require 4WD with high clearance. I just went fishing in the western Sierra and caught a Golden trout even bigger than the one in the picture. 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. Lots of shade. Bring bug spray! Steep hike with some boggy sections that might do better with waterproof boots. The two aforementioned Fish lakes in Idaho’s Bitterroot Mountains also are thought to have held native bull trout. The fly fishing options in Big Sky country are endless. I just went fishing in the western Sierra and caught a Golden trout even bigger than the one in the picture. Also, the mosquitos were terrible, so wear bug spray and bring extra to reapply at the top! 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. It provides a rustic mountain retreat with few amenities, so guests need to bring most of th... Overview Big, gorgeous, tucked up against a wall of rock, and with a little outlet stream to a smaller lake below it. Lots of evidence of bears being in the area so be on alert!!! 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. Rat Lake, made famous by author John Geirach, is accessible by a short hike. We walked 1 1/2 + miles from the closed road to the sign that states 3 miles to trail head. The first 20 or so fish I caught were brook trout, but then I landed one that wasn't as dark. Fly-fishing for golden trout is a time-consuming, obsession-creating adventure of a time. Permits are … Call ahead to see if its open. These two lakes are found close to the Madison River at $3 Bridge. The meadow and wildflowers were awesome! One accesses Windy Pass (a nice hike in it's own right), the other heads off to the Golden Trout Lakes. The last mile is pretty tough, but I’d label the rest as moderate. Thread starter mcnerney; Start date Sep 27, 2018; mcnerney Administrator. Like a Peacock and a Goldfish Combined in a Dream, Simply Beautiful! The TripCome and explore the secluded and scenic northeastern section of the Golden Trout Wilderness, which is located on the expansive Kern Plateau south of Mount Whitney. The Golden Trout Lakes sit in a basin at an elevation of 9,050 feet. 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.. At this fork you can go to Windy Pass and Golden Trout Lakes or Hidden Lakes. I just drove right up to the creek located at about 7000 ft elevation in my Jeep 4+4 and started to fish. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including brown trout, northern pike, rainbow trout and whitefish here. In early July 2012, my mom and I headed up into the Gallatin Mountains for our next hiking adventure: Golden Trout Lakes. Some of the most beautiful fish I’ve ever held in my hands. As golden lakes go, this one was nirvana. Golden trout are on the smaller side. Once we go to the actual trail head it stated 2.5 miles to the lake. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Glad I borrowed a friends truck. 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