Emerald and Heather Lakes
ElevationAscent: 2,106' 642 m
Descent: -2,106' -642 m
High: 9,220' 2,810 m
Low: 7,124' 2,171 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
Popular runs nearby
10.8 mi 17.3 km • Out and Back • 3,573 ft Ascent 1089.2 m Ascent
Sourdough Canyon (Bozeman Creek Trail)
3.8 mi 6.1 km • Out and Back • 268 ft Ascent 81.61 m Ascent
6.8 mi 11.0 km • Out and Back • 1,758 ft Ascent 535.8 m Ascent
4.9 mi 7.9 km • Out and Back • 1,819 ft Ascent 554.53 m Ascent
Spanish Creek and Jerome Rock Lakes Loop
20.3 mi 32.6 km • Loop • 3,721 ft Ascent 1134.15 m Ascent
Sypes Canyon Trail
6.4 mi 10.3 km • Out and Back • 1,599 ft Ascent 487.52 m Ascent
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“Follow the lovely East Hyalite Creek up a beautiful basin to two stunning subalpine lakes encircled by 10,000ft summits.”— Amber Scott
Features Commonly Backpacked · Fishing · Geological Significance · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Because if its popularity, there are many social trails that cut switchbacks or branch off of East Fork Hyalite Creek Trail #434—please be respectful of the valley and limit your impact by staying on the official trail!
Begin up East Fork Hyalite Creek Trail #434 which ascends over 2,000 feet over 5.4 miles, so the elevation gain is substantial but gentle and consistent, making it a fairly mellow climb. Much of the trail passes through coniferous forest, which is fairly dense for the first half, but is interspersed with meadows for the second half. The shade and proximity to water sources for the entire run make this an excellent summer adventure option—be sure to keep an eye out for East Fork Hyalite Creek's numerous waterfalls too!
Emerald Lake appears 4.5 miles up the trail. The shallow lake is stocked with fish (grayling) making it an exciting fishing destination it itself. Then, Heather Lake is another mile farther along the trail, and is similarly stocked with fish. Both lakes offer stunning views of the valley's craggy end. After a snack or lunch, head back down to the trailhead.
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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: USFS - Gallatin National Forest Office