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Howe Lake Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

3.6 mile 5.9 kilometer point to point
91% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 775' 236 m
Descent: -217' -66 m
High: 4,514' 1,376 m
Low: 3,898' 1,188 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Jake Bramante

A nice run through an old burn to a lake popular with waterfowl, especially Common Loons.

Jake Bramante

Features Birding · Lake · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Runner Notes

Swampy in the spring and downfall is fairly common.

Description

The trail to Howe Lake is a nice spring run due to the flowers and birds. The trailhead is on the Inside North Fork Road, however, which doesn't open up until later in the year. Access in spring is done either by biking the road or parking at the Huckleberry Lookout Trail trailhead and using the McGee Meadow Ski Trail to cross McGee Meadow.

From the trailhead, the trail works its way through an older burn area with short sections of older stands of trees. This alternating habitat creates a nice variety of birds from warblers to chickadees to woodpeckers. This trail can be pretty swampy in the spring, so make sure you have appropriate shoes.

Howe Lake is two bodies of water joined by a swampy wetland. After a short run, you get to the shoreline of the first body of water. This lake is a frequent nesting site for Common Loons and they generally choose the upper body of water. Signs in the area state the restricted area.

Most visitors to Howe Lake turn around at the first lake, but you can continue on as it gradually climbs up through almost exclusively burn area to the poorly maintained Howe Ridge Trail. This section from the lake to the ridge line frequently has downed trees.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to run.

Flora & Fauna

Forest flowers such as arnica, beargrass, and fireweed later in the summer are very common. Squirrels and deer are frequent while bear are occasionally seen. Birding is great from chickadees to warblers to woodpeckers as well as some raptors.

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Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#10

in North Fork

#21073

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  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#10

in North Fork

#383

in Montana

#21,073

Overall
23 Views Last Month
633 Since Sep 2, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

View of upper section of Howe Lake.
Jun 6, 2016 near Apgar, MT
Hike up Howe Ridge and down to Howe Lake.
Jun 6, 2016 near Apgar, MT

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