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. _________________________________________________________. You might also find goldens scattered around in few other lakes, but they are not as widespread as many species of trout in Montana. 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.. To get to Golden Trout Lakes, head north out of Big Sky on highway 191 for 5.1 miles. Copyright © 2018 A Mountain Journey LLC. Lovely hike!! Please choose a different date. Golden Trout Lakes is an absolutely picture perfect, hidden gem in the Gallatin Range of Montana. As always in SW Montana, be bear aware. Make sure to have a bit of clearance on your car for the drive to the trailhead. Beautiful Alpine Lake. The trailhead for Golden Trout Lakes is located off of US Highway 191 south of Bozeman, Montana… The lakes were just gorgeous and we even fished for a bit. Learn more here. In early July 2012, my mom and I headed up into the Gallatin Mountains for our next hiking adventure: Golden Trout Lakes. Golden Trout Lakes trail is a 5 mile out and back hike to a beautiful alpine lake in the Gallatin Range of SW Montana. 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. 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. You will need decent clearance on your vehicle to make it up this rocky road as it is easy to bottom out. The left fork takes you to Windy Pass and Golden Trout Lakes trails. The Golden Trout Lakes trail (Trail #89) is located up Portal Creek in the Gallatin Canyon near Big Sky. In Montana, that's not terribly difficult through the MFISH database. One accesses Windy Pass (a nice hike in it's own right), the other heads off to the Golden Trout Lakes. To get to Golden Trout Lakes, head north out of Big Sky on highway 191 for 5.1 miles. Golden trouts regularly rise to the surface and are easily visible in the clear waters. more. 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. 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. Generally you can’t just do a quick day trip for these ornate fish. If you haven’t been yet, be sure to go here. The golden trout populations started from the Sur- prise Lake stock had a low occurrence of the variant allele. Yikes! There are actually 3 lakes in the area. Like a Peacock and a Goldfish Combined in a Dream, Simply Beautiful! Lakes in Montana - Montana has an abuncance of quality lakes for fishing, boating, swimming and recreation. The first challenge in catching golden trout is determining which lakes hold them. 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. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/montana/golden-trout-lakes 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. 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. I began researching golden trout, and I learned it was native to the Sierras in California. 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. Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. There are several small stream crossings that are easy to rock hop across. The trail continues to climb steadily uphill for another 1.6 miles. After passing a large meadow, the trail climbs steeply toward some large boulders before it levels off for the final approach to the lake. Golden Trout Lakes Elevation: 9075 feet Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. However, after all those hours on the water, I still had not caught a trophy brook trout… In 0.6 miles it crosses an old logging road. Golden Trout Lakes. 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. (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 … It’s a short adventure to see the other lakes. The road in is not well marked. Golden Trout in Montana? The road is not in the best shape. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. _________________________________________________. The dirt road follows Portal Creek. A quick lap around Golden Trout Lakes is about 0.3 miles. I love the lake you end up at. Four buddies hiked to Cave Lake, MT in hope of catching Golden Trout. Goldens had also, however, been stocked in certain alpine lakes … Go early. Caught fish, saw lots of wildlife, and had a good time; with some CRAZY surprises. No bikes are allowed past this point. To access the trail head, turn east onto Portal Creek Road #984 and continue southeast for 6.8 miles. The map also shows hotspots where our fishing junkies have caught lunkers and posted photos and stories. Currently, Story meets all of Wyoming’s requests for golden trout and ships excess eggs to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and California. Let the world see your experience through your eyes. Catching a brook trout of trophy proportions is as difficult as it should be. The road is in rough condition and is better suited for vehicles with a higher clearance. Turn east at the Portal Creek turnoff – FS Road 984. Total Elevation Gain : 1300 ft Distance: 5 miles round trip The golden trout is a California species that was introduced in Montana in 1907. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including brown trout, northern pike, rainbow trout and whitefish here. 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. The Golden Trout Lakes trail (Trail #89) is located up Portal Creek in the Gallatin Canyon near Big Sky. 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. 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. 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 trailhead serves double duty as it's the jumping off place for two trails. Golden Trout Lakes from Mapcarta, the free map. There are currently about 20 golden trout populations in the high mountain lakes of western and southcentral Montana. The Golden Trout Lakes trail quickly passes some small ponds and weaves through a forest of spruce and pine. First stocked in 1938, the golden trout at Sylvan Lake are well known in Montana for their genetic purity. Golden trout are most often found in remote, alpine drainages over 9,000 feet in elevation. A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. Head south out of the parking lot toward a log fence on an old logging road to access the Golden Trout Lakes trail. Golden Trout Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water. Fly-fishing for golden trout is a time-consuming, obsession-creating adventure of a time. The right fork takes you to Hidden Lakes Trail. They provide a unique opportunity to catch a beautiful fish in a pristine environment. 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. Upper Portal Creek Trailhead Elevation: 8058 feet Who has hiked in to the A-B Wilderness in search of Golden Trout… Return to the trailhead by retracing your steps back down the same trail. 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. This is actually a collection of three lakes, though we just went to the main one. 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. Golden Trout Lakes is a water feature in Montana and has an elevation of 9078 feet. 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. Author and a beautiful Golden Trout! Head left and continue for 3 miles to the Upper Portal Creek Trailhead. Ask fellow travelers and attraction managers your top questions. Multiple Montana’s state record golden trout weighing around 5 pounds have been taken from Lightning Lake over the years. MountainJourney.com uses affiliate links throughout the site. June/July. Trailhead: 5.1 miles north of Big Sky Turn off, then 6.8 miles east on Portal Creek Road In another 0.2 miles it passes the Hidden Lakes Trail Cut-off Trail. It is a steep hike and when we went, there was practically no one on the trail. Hebgen Lake is a special trout fishery. 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. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Montana FWP stocks many alpine lakes every four years, but some have populations of wild fish. This is a beautiful lake when you get to the top. Thanks! If you take the cut-off trail for 1.8 miles you will intersect the Hidden Lakes Trail. One to the east and a smaller one to the west. USGS Map: Hidden Lake, Lone Indian Peak. 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 … Here's a look at some excellent Montana Brook Trout we tracked down last summer. In Wyoming, however, they don't offer stocking records on their website. 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. And the hike itself is pretty easy. hiking). Stay right at the first fork. 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. 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. Commonly searched for in Gallatin Gateway. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages 133 high, alpine lakes for golden trout. Some popular destinations are Lightning Lake, Cave Lake, the Hidden Lakes (Gallatin Range) and the Golden Trout Lakes. Golden Lake is one of those lakes with incredible views and world class Cutthroat Trout. 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. 3. The Golden Trout lakes offer a scenic getaway just out of the Gallatin Valley Canyon. 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. 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. Stay left for Golden Trout Lakes Trail. Location: Portal Creek, Gallatin Canyon, Gallatin Range All rights reserved, Mountain Journey | Backcountry Skiing, Climbing, Mountaineering, Hiking, Golden Trout Lakes Trail, Gallatin Range, MT. Like elsewhere in Montana, some of the Absaroka-Beartooth’s roughly 300 trout lakes produce trout naturally and some are … Golden Stonefly Nymphs, June and July, size 4-6 Streamers, just about any time but especially in the fall for large brown trout. Time: 2.5 to 3 hours 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. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. 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. Hebgen Lake. The USFS trailhead sign is next to the trail for Windy Pass. The lakes are filled with crystal clear mountain water. Bring your fly fishing rod & catch some of the only golden trout in the area. 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). The first twenty years of my brook trout fishing career where spent happily catching dozens of fish in Montana’s streams and lakes. 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. 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. Begin your search here. There are several well established campgrounds along the shores of the lakes. 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. At 3.8 miles, there is a well-marked fork in the road. The trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes on the northern slopes of Eaglehead Mountain (9979′). If you’ve already been, go again because it’s awesome. 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