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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
11.00 mi (17.70 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

The Hyalite Lake Trail offers some of the best sights in the Hyalite Recreation Area. This long day hike passes 11 waterfalls in a forested canyon en route to an alpine lake surrounded by beautiful rocky peaks. Peak baggers can also hike the extra 2 miles (one way) to the 10,288-foot Hyalite Peak for stunning views of the Gallatin Range and access to the Gallatin Crest Trail.

The first mile is incredibly popular with families because it is a gentle and short climb to Grotto Falls. This is the first of many waterfalls along Hyalite Creek’s long descent from Hyalite Lake to the reservoir. Leave the crowds at Grotto Falls and follow the dirt track up around the boulder field before taking a right at the first junction.

The trail never strays too far from the creek, so you’ll have quick access to the other waterfalls. Silken Skein Falls has its own spur trail and is the farthest you’ll have to go to see a waterfall. Waterfalls can also be seen running down the canyon walls. After Grotto Falls, keep an eye through the tree openings for Twin Falls running down the western wall of the canyon.

After the bridge crossing and a nice view of Apex Falls, begin the steep, switchbacked climb to the lake. The trail eventually emerges out of the forest for a well-earned view of the wide glacier-carved canyon and Divide Peak. Wildflowers are also equally beautiful here in the early summer.

At last, approach Hyalite Lake with its rocky cirque background. The peak directly in view from the trail is the 10,150-foot Fridley Peak. Take time to enjoy the lake or choose to stay overnight before heading back down.

Hyalite is a colorless type of opal found in the canyon. Hyalite Creek was once named Middle Creek until a local businessman petitioned the Gallatin National Forest in 1927 to change the name to something more distinctive and representative of the area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Many waterfalls. Alpine lake. Peak access.

Cons

First mile is heavily trafficked.

Trailhead Elevation

6,890.00 ft (2,100.07 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,900.00 ft (579.12 m)

Address

Hyalite Canyon Rd
Livingston, MT 59047
United States

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Big Game Watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana
Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana

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