West Fork Gold Creek Rd.

 Location: 1.5 hour drive out of Missoula. 16 miles up Highway 200 past Bonner. Then 5 miles up West Fork Gold Creek road, a very bumpy mountainous road with steep drops leading to the trailhead. Boulder Lake is Located in the Rattlesnake Wilderness in Lolo National Forest.

Sign around 3 miles in to Boulder Lake
Megan realizing her rain jacket isn’t waterproof lol-Still in high spirits at this point.

The Hike: Passes through a wide variety of sights, from small streams with log crossings, marshy lush plains, alpine forests, and burned areas sprouting with new vegitation from a 2003 wildfire. About 6 miles each way, with additional side trails to lookout points.

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30 minutes later it starts snowing… Megan falls to silence and we are beginning to question our life decisions. We keep moving forward in hopes that the weather will improve!
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False. More snow and sleet. Our pants actually begin to crystalize with ice. Awesome!!!

Boulder Point: Overlooks Boulder Lake. 7100 Feet elevation. Such pretty views of the Swan Range and Mission Mountains.

We finally make it to the lake as it is getting dark! Megan’s face really describes the mental, physical, and emotional distress we began to feel when we realized our tent, sleeping bags, and pads are soaked! Classic, ha!
Rough night of sleep for Megan and Ellie but happy we lived to see the daylight. Never been colder in our entire lives!  Look good feel good right?!
Double thumbs up for making successfully hiking out of the lake without falling on the ice or getting lost!
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Reflecting on why I thought this trip was a good idea.
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Pure joy as we realized only 6 miles left on our trip
Pure shock from Megan as we realize the end is near!

Overall a very great and memorable weekend at Boulder Lake! We had a great time once it was over, and we would recommend this trip during the summer!


Grigg, Justin. “Boulder Lake: Lake sits on quieter side of Rattlesnake.” Missoulian. 9     September 2016. http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/recreation/boulder-lake-lake-sits-on-    quieter-side-of-rattlesnake/article_aba28a98-3839-11e4-88d6-0019bb2963f4.html