Edith Lake Trail - Townsend

The Edith Lake Trail is moderately difficult due to uphill grade and rocky surface. The trail climbs above timberline to a saddle where you have views of both the Missouri River Valley and the Smith River Valley. To access the Edith Lake Trail 152, take Highway 12 east of Townsend for about 12 miles; turn left at the Deep Creek Bar on the North Fork of Deep Creek Road 423. Follow the road about 9 miles, turn left on road 423 F1 for about 1 mile.

This trail begins at 6,900 feet elevation at the trailhead and has parking for horse trailers. Edith Lake is 4.5 miles from the trailhead. However, if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, you can drive a mile further. Edith Lake Trail is considered difficult because of the steep grade coming back from the lake. The trail switchbacks up to saddle just north of Mount Edith at an elevation of 8,800 feet with a spectacular view of Townsend, White Sulphur Springs, Mount Baldy and Edith Lake, about one mile away at an elevation of 8,020 feet.

Elk, deer, mountain goats and grouse often may be seen along the way. Interesting geological formations can be seen when descending to Edith Lake. The lake offers good fishing for rainbow trout that can be caught from the shore, and a magnificent view of the sheer cliff coming down from Mount Baldy. This is a great way to spend a summer day, or camp overnight at the water's edge.

Length: 5.3 miles

Trail Begins: Forest Road, Section 26, T 8N, R 4E

Trail Ends: Trail Junction 150 and 149

Area Map: Helena Forest Visitor Map

USGS Map1: Mount Edith

Township 8N; Range 4E; Section 35.


Mailing Address
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Street Address
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Phone: 406-266-3425
Fax: 406-266-5484

Travel east of Townsend on US Highway 12 approximately 11 miles, then north on Forest Road 423 (North Fork of Deep Creek). Follow road for approximately 9 miles, then north on Forest Road 12052 for approximately 1 mile to parking.

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Bird Watching, Hiking, Nature Area, Picnicking, Sightseeing, Walking, Wildlife Viewing