Location: Jewel basin is a beautiful hiking area in the Swan Mountains of Montana. The area has over 20 miles of hiking trails which access 20 lakes. The lakes have high populations of cutthroat trout for anglers. All hikers and backpackers need to be aware that Jewel basin and all areas in the Swan range are inhabited by grizzly and black bear. That means backpackers need to hang their food at night and hikers need to be aware of their surroundings potentially hiking with bear spray.
The hike: Today I met my friend Andrew Freeman at 8 am for a hike to Birch lake. We wanted to get started early because the parking lot will fill up with cars by mid morning. We skirted Mt. Aeneas and followed the trail 5 miles one way to Brich lake and one mile beyond on Alpine trail number seven. The weather was beautiful and views were spectacular.
Vegetation and snow around Birch lake