EXPLORE: Chain Lakes

By Beacon Staff

If you’re looking for a late season hike that isn’t crowded and well worth the trek, try the Chain Lakes Trail No. 377 on the Flathead National Forest north of Olney.

This 1.5-mile journey is steep but worthy.

The climb starts from a Forest Service road and follows a series of switchbacks to the first of two mountain lakes.

The first is about 1 mile from the trailhead, with an elevation gain of more than 900 feet.

To get to the next lake, walk along the shore to the other side where you’ll boulder up along a waterfall before an easy walk to the next lake.

Be careful when hiking the Chain Lakes this time of year because it’s likely you will run into some snow.

How to get there:

From Whitefish, drive west on U.S. Highway 93 to Olney, where you’ll take a right onto Red Meadow/Olney Crossover Road.

This route will take you through the Stillwater State Forest and into the Flathead National Forest, where the road will become Forest Service Road 115.

Take this route about 20 miles, where the road crosses a small creek.

Just before the bridge is a pull off and the trailhead is on the left side of the road, marked with a small sign.

More info: www.fs.usda.gov

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