Dutch Lakes – 18.8mi / 30.3km
In the days of homesteading, the hills and meadows in the west area of Glacier buzzed with activity. This is no longer the case, and Dutch Lakes embodies the beautiful seclusion found in remote areas of the Park. Dutch Lakes Trail is a Class 3* trail.
Starting out, you will be in the burned hills of the North Fork area, which will eventually begin to mix with stands of trees that were missed by the fire. The last couple of miles enters a more restricted and forested drainage area. You will gain significant elevation switchbacking up until you reach the basin and into the more alpine area of the trip. The lake is beautiful and gives you wonderful views of Longfellow Peak with its distinct feature: Paul Bunyans Cabin.
Several creek crossings sans bridges require special caution, so be on the alert throughout the hike.
Trailhead: Park on the north side of Dutch Creek on the Inside North Fork Road. Walk along the road until a sharp bend in the road to the left. The unmarked trail will be on your right.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,100ft / 630m
* Class 3 trails are trails that are infrequently maintained by the Park for various reasons. Hikers should expect overgrown trails, downfall, washed out sections, and potential creek fords. Route finding may be necessary on these trails.