Mileage: 6.8-mile round trip
Major Hike Features: From the same trailhead you can access both Spar Peak and Little Spar Lake – which is the largest alpine lake in the Scotchmans! Both of these hikes involve a creek crossing in the first mile that can be difficult in the early season. A solid 1,800 feet of elevation gain provides a reasonable challenge, taking you through a canyon of lush, inland temperate rainforest.
Just remember to come prepared. You’ll want to bring:
- Plenty of water. There is no water along the trail and the first two miles is on a mostly exposed and sunny slope.
- Hiking Poles. The trial is steep with loose rock.
- A map. The trail can be hard to find sometimes.
- Long pants. Overgrown brush, downed trees, can be abundant in early summer before our volunteer trail crew clears the path.
- A trowel to do your business and a bag for your trash. There is not bathroom at the trailhead so you’ll have to bury your business and pack out your toilet paper.
Getting to the Trailhead: From Highway 56 in Montana, turn West onto Arco Mine Rd. Continue on Arco Mine Rd. for about 3 miles before turning right onto National Forest (NF) Rd. 7148 and then continue onto NF Rd 384. Follow NF road 384 for about 5 miles past the Southern end of the lake until the road ends. The trailhead will be at the end of this road.
GPS Coordinates: 48.244668, -115.959050