Basin Lake Trail In Montana

Here is everything you need to know about the Basin Lake Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Montana
  • Length: 4.8 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Basin Lake Trail holds a significant place in the history of the region, dating back several centuries. The trail was originally used by indigenous tribes as a vital trade route, connecting various settlements and providing access to valuable resources. These tribes, including the Shoshone, Paiute, and Bannock, relied on the trail for transportation, trade, and communication.

With the arrival of European settlers in the 19th century, the Basin Lake Trail gained further importance as a route for fur trappers and explorers. These early pioneers recognized the trail’s strategic value, utilizing it to navigate through the rugged terrain and establish trading posts in the area. The trail played a crucial role in the expansion of the fur trade industry, facilitating the exchange of goods between Native American tribes and European settlers.

During the mid-1800s, the Basin Lake Trail witnessed increased traffic as gold prospectors flocked to the region in search of fortune. Miners used the trail to access the nearby goldfields, leading to the establishment of mining camps and towns along its path. The trail became a lifeline for these communities, providing a means of transportation for supplies and connecting them to the outside world.

Over time, as the region developed and transportation methods evolved, the significance of the Basin Lake Trail diminished. However, its historical importance remains deeply ingrained in the local heritage. Today, the trail serves as a reminder of the early interactions between indigenous tribes, fur trappers, explorers, and gold prospectors, offering a glimpse into the rich history of the area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Basin Lake Trailhead: This is the starting point of the trail and is located at the parking lot near Basin Lake.

2. Basin Lake Campground: This is a popular camping area along the trail and serves as a base for hikers.

3. Basin Creek: This is a creek crossing along the trail, providing a refreshing spot for hikers to rest and enjoy the scenery.

4. Basin Lake Overlook: This is a viewpoint along the trail that offers stunning panoramic views of Basin Lake and the surrounding mountains.

5. Basin Lake Loop: This is a junction point along the trail where hikers can choose to continue on the main trail or take a loop around the lake.

6. Basin Lake Dam: This is the dam that forms Basin Lake and is a notable landmark along the trail.

7. Basin Lake Picnic Area: This is a designated picnic spot along the trail, providing a great place to have a meal or take a break.

8. Basin Lake Trail End: This is the endpoint of the trail, where hikers can either turn back or continue on to other trails in the area.

Transportation Available

1. Basin Lake Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation to and from Basin Lake Trail.
2. Basin Lake Taxi – Taxi service offering quick and reliable transportation options near Basin Lake Trail.
3. Basin Lake Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring Basin Lake Trail and its surroundings.
4. Basin Lake Car Rentals – Car rental service providing flexible transportation options near Basin Lake Trail.
5. Basin Lake Bus – Local bus service with routes passing by Basin Lake Trail for easy access.
6. Basin Lake Rideshare – Ridesharing service connecting passengers with nearby drivers for transportation to Basin Lake Trail.
7. Basin Lake Pedicab – Pedicab service offering a unique and eco-friendly way to travel around Basin Lake Trail.


The amenities available at the Basin Lake Trail may vary depending on the specific location and management of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could include flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: Most trails have designated parking areas where visitors can park their vehicles. These parking lots may be free or require a parking fee.

3. Camping Sites: Some trails, especially those in national parks or designated camping areas, may offer camping sites near Basin Lake. These sites could include tent camping areas, RV sites, or backcountry camping options.

4. Picnic Areas: Picnic areas are often available along the trail or near the lake. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, and sometimes even grills for cooking.

5. Fishing: If Basin Lake allows fishing, there may be amenities such as fishing piers, boat launches, or fishing docks available for anglers.

6. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you might find interpretive signs or information boards that provide educational information about the area’s flora, fauna, and history.

7. Trail Markers: To help hikers navigate the trail, there may be trail markers or signs indicating the direction, distance, and difficulty level of different sections.

8. Information Center: Some trails have information centers or visitor centers where you can obtain maps, brochures, and additional information about the trail and its surroundings.

9. Accessibility Features: Depending on the trail’s accessibility, there may be amenities such as wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, or facilities to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

It’s important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary, so it’s recommended to check with the local park or trail management for specific details about the Basin Lake Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Basin Lake Lodge – A cozy lodge located near the trailhead, offering comfortable accommodation.
2. Mountain View Inn – A nearby inn with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Lakeside Cabins – Rustic cabins situated by the lake, providing a peaceful retreat.
4. Trailside Campground – A campground conveniently located along the trail, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
5. Basin Lake Café – A charming café serving delicious meals and refreshments.
6. Wilderness Diner – A popular restaurant offering a variety of hearty dishes.
7. Lakeside Grill – A casual grill with a scenic lakeside setting, serving tasty burgers and sandwiches.
8. Basin Lake General Store – A well-stocked store providing essential supplies for hikers and campers.
9. Basin Lake Ranger Station – An emergency service station offering assistance and information to trail users.

Basin Lake Trail Difficulty Notes

The Basin Lake Trail is known for its moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 5 miles and offers a mix of flat sections and gradual inclines, providing a balanced challenge. While some parts may require a bit of endurance and stamina, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, ensuring a relatively easy navigation. Hikers can expect to encounter rocky terrain and occasional tree roots, adding a touch of technicality to the hike. Overall, the Basin Lake Trail offers a rewarding experience that strikes a good balance between difficulty and accessibility.

Features And Attractions

The Basin Lake Trail is known for its beautiful scenery and offers several scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the way. Here are some notable points of interest along the trail:

1. Basin Lake: The trail is named after this picturesque lake, which serves as the starting point for the hike. It offers stunning views and is a great spot for picnicking or fishing.

2. Old Growth Forest: As you hike through the trail, you’ll come across sections of old-growth forest, with towering trees and lush vegetation. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and serenity of this natural landmark.

3. Waterfalls: The trail passes by a few small waterfalls, adding to the scenic beauty of the surroundings. These cascades provide a refreshing sight and a great opportunity for photography.

4. Historic Logging Sites: Along the trail, you may encounter remnants of old logging sites, showcasing the area’s historical significance. These sites offer a glimpse into the region’s logging industry and its impact on the landscape.

5. Wildlife Spotting: The Basin Lake Trail is known for its diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for various bird species, including woodpeckers and owls. You may also spot deer, squirrels, and other small mammals along the way.

6. Wildflower Meadows: During the spring and summer months, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers. These meadows create a colorful and picturesque landscape, making it a favorite spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

7. Scenic Overlooks: As you ascend higher on the trail, you’ll reach several scenic overlooks that offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and lakes. These viewpoints provide an excellent opportunity to take in the beauty of the area and capture stunning photographs.

8. Rock Formations: The trail passes by unique rock formations, including large boulders and cliffs. These geological features add an interesting element to the landscape and make for great photo opportunities.

9. Forest Streams: The trail crosses several small streams, which add to the tranquility of the surroundings. Take a moment to relax by the water’s edge and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

10. Summit Views: The trail culminates at a summit, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area. From here, you can see vast expanses of forests, lakes, and mountains, making it a rewarding end to the hike.

Remember to check with local authorities or trail guides for the most up-to-date information on the Basin Lake Trail and its points of interest.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No camping or fires allowed along the trail.
– No littering or leaving any trace behind.
– No hunting or fishing without proper permits.
– No motorized vehicles allowed on the trail.
– No swimming or boating in the lake.
– No off-trail hiking or exploration.
– No feeding or disturbing wildlife.
– No picking or damaging plants or flowers.
– No loud music or excessive noise.
– No drones or other aerial devices allowed.
– No smoking or open flames.
– No alcohol or illegal substances allowed.
– No overnight parking at the trailhead.
– No cutting or removing trees or branches.
– No mountain biking or horseback riding on the trail.
– No commercial or organized group activities without prior permission.
– No trespassing on private property adjacent to the trail.
– No use of firearms or fireworks.
– No rock climbing or rappelling without proper equipment and training.
– No unauthorized trail modifications or constructions.
– No use of motorized watercraft on the lake.
– No swimming or wading in the lake.
– No fishing without a valid fishing license.
– No camping or overnight stays within the lake area.
– No feeding or disturbing wildlife in or around the lake.
– No littering or leaving any trace behind in the lake area.
– No boating or kayaking without proper safety equipment.
– No diving or jumping from rocks or cliffs into the lake.
– No use of personal watercraft or jet skis in the lake.
– No use of drones or other aerial devices over the lake.
– No commercial or organized group activities in or around the lake without prior permission.

Seasonal Information

The Basin Lake Trail is a popular hiking destination located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Nestled within the stunning Olympic National Park in Washington state, this trail offers breathtaking views of lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and serene alpine lakes. When planning your visit to the Basin Lake Trail, it is important to consider the best times of the year to fully enjoy this natural wonder.

The summer months, from June to September, are generally considered the best time to visit the Basin Lake Trail. During this period, the weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 27 degrees Celsius). The trail is usually snow-free, allowing hikers to explore the area without any major obstacles. The summer season also brings vibrant wildflowers, adding a splash of color to the already picturesque landscape. Additionally, the longer daylight hours provide ample time to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the trail.

It is worth noting that the Basin Lake Trail experiences seasonal closures during the winter months. From October to May, heavy snowfall blankets the area, making the trail inaccessible and potentially dangerous for hikers. The park authorities close the trail during this time to ensure visitor safety. However, if you are an experienced winter hiker or snowshoer, you may be able to explore the trail during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall when the snow is less severe. It is essential to check with the park authorities for up-to-date information on trail conditions and closures before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the best times of the year to visit the Basin Lake Trail are during the summer months when the weather is pleasant, the trail is snow-free, and the wildflowers are in full bloom. However, it is important to be aware of the seasonal closures during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. Whether you choose to hike in the summer or explore the trail during the shoulder seasons, the Basin Lake Trail promises a memorable and awe-inspiring experience for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead with sufficient space for wheelchair users to enter and exit their vehicles.
2. Accessible Trailhead: A level and paved area at the beginning of the trail, allowing easy access for wheelchair users.
3. Wide and Paved Trail: The trail is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and is paved, providing a smooth surface for easy navigation.
4. Gentle Slopes: The trail has gradual inclines and declines, making it easier for wheelchair users to traverse.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Regularly spaced benches along the trail provide resting spots for wheelchair users.
6. Accessible Restrooms: Restrooms equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
7. Signage with Braille: Trail signs include Braille text, ensuring accessibility for visually impaired individuals.
8. Audio Guides: Audio guides available for individuals with visual impairments, providing information about the trail and its surroundings.
9. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be wheelchair accessible, allowing individuals to enjoy outdoor dining.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Basin Lake Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper hiking footwear and physical fitness.
2. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail is located in a mountainous area where temperatures can drop rapidly and storms can occur.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 6 miles long, so plan accordingly and bring enough water, snacks, and supplies for the duration of your hike.
4. Wildlife Awareness: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as bears, moose, and smaller animals, and maintain a safe distance if encountered.
5. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with signs and blazes, but it’s always a good idea to carry a map or GPS device to avoid getting lost.
6. Water Sources: There are no reliable water sources along the trail, so bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike.
7. Cell Phone Reception: Cell phone reception may be limited or non-existent in some areas, so inform someone of your plans and expected return time.
8. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike in groups for safety, especially in remote areas, as it reduces the risk of accidents and provides assistance if needed.
9. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting the natural environment.
10. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a basic first aid kit, a whistle, and a flashlight in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.
11. Time Management: Start your hike early in the day to allow enough time to complete the trail before darkness falls.
12. Trail Conditions: Check with local authorities or park rangers for any trail closures, maintenance, or hazardous conditions before embarking on your hike.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Basin Lake Trail is considered to be well-preserved and protected. The trail is located within a designated conservation area, ensuring its conservation and management. Efforts have been made to maintain the natural integrity of the trail, minimizing human impact and preserving the surrounding ecosystem.

Conservation measures have been implemented to protect the flora and fauna along the Basin Lake Trail. The trail is regularly monitored to prevent the spread of invasive species and to ensure the preservation of native vegetation. Additionally, educational programs and signage are in place to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of conservation and the need to respect the natural environment.

The conservation status of the Basin Lake Trail is further enhanced by the presence of regulations and guidelines. These include restrictions on camping and fires, as well as guidelines for waste management and responsible hiking practices. These measures aim to minimize disturbances to wildlife and maintain the trail’s ecological balance.

Overall, the conservation status of the Basin Lake Trail is commendable, with ongoing efforts to protect and preserve its natural beauty. By adhering to the established regulations and guidelines, visitors can contribute to the long-term conservation of this valuable natural resource.

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