Mud Lakes Trail - A True Wilderness Experience
Updated: Jul 21
Distance from Mt. Forge: 40 minute drive
To get to this trail, do not follow the AllTrails app location. There is a new trailhead that is maintained much better. The old trailhead on Mud Lake Trail Road is on private property and no longer maintained. Be sure to purchase your recreation permits because it is on tribal land.
Drive to the end of Meinsinger Trail Road here. Then follow the dirt road up several switchbacks for about 20-30 minutes to the parking lot here. There is a sign that says Mud Lake trail at that parking lot and that is the beginning of the new trail.
This was the first ever Montana hike we did outside of Glacier National Park. We were told about it during a scenic flight with Blue Goose Aviation when we flew overhead. Upon arrival we were expecting a 3 mile one way hike, but after failing to find the AllTrails marked trailhead, we asked someone close by for directions and they pointed us towards the new trailhead of Meinsinger Trail Road. We crossed a couple creeks, a boulder field, and then started heading up tons of switchbacks. During the switchbacks we saw a black bear. There's an amazing outlook about 3/4 of the way to the lake. Once we eventually made it to the first lake, it was unbelievable. It's pristine & untouched. We saw a couple of people fishing as well. There are two more lakes further up separated by waterfalls. Since we got a late start we decided to hang out at the first lake for a little while then turn back.
The way back we made a wrong turn where the old trail and new trail meet, so be careful to stay on the right trail back towards the parking lot. According to our iPhones we hiked about 12 miles round trip and it took us about 6-7 hours. This trail is pretty difficult, but we weren't in great shape and still pulled it off. It's a great hike close to Mount Forge and we would love to go back again!