The Jewel Basin Hiking Area is a large hiking, backpacking and fishing area located close to Kalispell. It boasts over 15,000 acres of hiking area, with trails ranging from easy, like Birch Lake trail, to difficult, like the Pioneer Ridge trail. Most hikes can be completed in a day; however, there are campsites throughout the area. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks stocks some of the 25 lakes in the area with native westslope cutthroat trout.
One popular option is taking the Mount Aeneas trail from the Camp Misery trailhead all the way up to the highest point, Mt. Aeneas, which has an elevation of over 7,500 feet. The Camp Misery trailhead is popular during the summer, and parking can fill up quickly.
No mountain bikes, motorized vehicles or horses are allowed in Jewel Basin. Dogs must be on leashes, and camping permits are not required. For more information, contact the Flathead National Forest at (406) 758-5208 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/flathead.
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