A couple of years ago while staying in Kalispell our friend Bernie took us on a great hike to Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. We also discovered a grueling uphill hike to Strawberry Lake in the Jewel Basin on our own. This year our new friends Larry and Nancy wanted to take us on a hike once again in the beautiful area known as Jewel Basin. A great source for information on Jewel Basin can be found here.
Jewel Basin consists of 15,349 acres of mountainous wilderness with 35 miles of trails but the best part is that there are 27 named lakes here and they are the “jewels” in this wilderness. This is the area locals come to hike while the summer tourists all flock to Glacier National Park. Since this area is exclusively for hikers and campers it is a peaceful place to take in the sights on a warm sunny summer day in this part of Montana.
Larry and Nancy picked us up bright and early (really early for Sharon) and off we went.About an hour later we were well up the long dirt road into Jewel Basin and found the Camp Misery Trailhead for the Twin Lakes Hike. We took what was a steady, but gradual, uphill climb toward the summit. All along the way we ecstatic to finally see some of the elusive huckleberries. We had been skunked this year so far finding nary a berry! But alas along this trail were huckleberries!! There weren't a lot but certainly enough for us to pick some while hiking as a wonderful morning snack!
At the top of the slope we took a small fork trail over to see the Twin Lakes. Wildflowers were everywhere at the top where it is still technically spring and not summer due to the climate. From the Twin Lakes we continued hiking on top of the mountain in a beautiful meadow with scattered stands of subalpine fir. At the end of this trail and before heading down we stopped to sit on a fallen tree to enjoy lunch on top of the world. The views of the Flathead Valley below were impressive from above despite a bit of smoke haze from faraway fires.
After lunch we started the hike down and all along the way we picked huckleberries filling our now empty water bottle. Larry and Nancy helped pick berries and by the time we got back to the car we had nearly a quart of these small but explosive flavorful treats. Once back at the RV Sharon whipped up a batch of Huckleberry Macaroons for us all to share while we relaxed outside reminiscing about our great day! Thanks Larry and Nancy!
NOTE: We are in Kalispell Montana until September 12, 2016. Then we will head over toward Spokane Washington most likely…