Camas Lake in the Bitterroots

One of the greatest aspects of hiking is the opportunity to explore new areas, even places near your home. Camas Lake is just one of those places…close to home and never explore. That was true until today when Vida and I made the hike to the lake and we were awarded with spectacular views and a great trail. The first stream crossing was…well, let’s say bracing.

Total distance: 6.18 mi
Max elevation: 6949 ft

There are few lakes in the Bitterroot Mountain Range as accessible as Camas Lake with a moderate climb to the lake at about 6 miles out and back. The beginning of the trail winds around the mountain before entering the canyon in a shaded thick timber, and then crossing Camas Creek on two separate footbridges. The pyramidal Camas Peak rises beyond the lake and there are two upper lakes as well.

Getting There:
On Hwy 93 approximately 9 miles south of Hamilton, turn west onto Lost Horse Rd. After a little more than 2 miles veer right at the Forest Service sign for Camas Creek and Coyote Coulee. Follow the dirt road six miles to the marked trailhead.

The wildflowers were not in full bloom yet, but they were still great.

And, finally, the star of the show, Camas Lake.

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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