Emerald Lake Trail

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4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Located south of Bozeman past Hyalite Reservoir, Emerald Lake Trail follows the cascading East Fork of Hyalite Creek. The wooded trail has a mix of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and subalpine fir leading to Emerald Lake and Heather Lake. The lakes are a great place to eat lunch while enjoying the pristine alpine meadows and towering rock walls. This trail is great for hikers of all abilities, making it great for families; it's also one fantastic downhill for mountain-bike enthusiasts.

Directions: Take 19th Ave. south to Hyalite Canyon Rd. Turn left and continue past Hyalite Reservoir; when the road splits, take the left fork toward Palisade Falls. Continue past Palisade Falls to the end of the road. The trail is open to mountain bikers with timeshare restrictions from July 16th – September 4.

For a map of this trail, click here. Map courtesy of Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana.

Reviews

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December 15, 2011 - 1:46pm by: Ryan Krueger
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Best trail around. Great views at the lake and so smooth on the way down!
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5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
February 3, 2014 - 4:21pm by: Mike England
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Classic Bozeman-area hike and mountain-bike ride. Longish, fairly easy uphill with a stream and waterfalls along the way. Cool alpine basin up top (great swim!), then one of the best downhill bike rides around. Just be careful of speed and pay attention to timeshare rules.
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February 2, 2015 - 3:28pm by: Lea Brayton
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The hike up is fun but be ready for mud from the mountain bikers ripping up the trail. It's a timeshare trail, so make note of the day you're going and what activities are allowed. If you take horses up, the meadow at the top is nice and flat and great for a good gallop set. Fisherwomen, the greyling are bountiful so don't forget your rod!
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4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
June 27, 2015 - 11:52pm by: NJM
Great trail. Lea, I'd like to point out that there is good data showing mountain bikes do not erode trails any more than hikers, unless biking is done in mud. This information is catching on, and in-the-know bikers frown on anyone biking in muddy conditions - poor trail etiquette. No question, the most erosion of trails is caused by horses, no matter the trail conditions.
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July 31, 2016 - 7:57am by: CAROLYN POISSANT
Horses also kick up rocks and leave poop that attracts horseflies. I would recommend that equestrians use "horse diapers" on popular trails such as these to keep them usable for everyone into late summer. Also, if you care about trail conditions, I'd suggest volunteering with the Backcountry Horseman's Association, IMBA, or call the Gallatin Ranger District office to see when the next project is.
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August 18, 2016 - 8:08am by: alex
@ Lea Brayton: Horses do WAY more damage to trails than mountain bikers, not to mention poop everywhere: http://www.americantrails.org/resources/ManageMaintain/WKeenImpacts.html

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