Our Lake Perfect Hike after Smoke and Heat of Last Few Weeks
Two GIG groups left Great Falls as 7 a.m. for a hike to Our Lake aka Hidden Lake, about 30 miles out of Choteau. It was a clear, blue sky morning with the feel of fall in the air,a welcome relief from the hot, smoky days the past weeks. Viki met us in Choteau. Another group from Conrad met us at the trailhead. The faster group (Sara, Viki, Bonnie J, and Maria) headed up the trail first and were quickly out of sight. Then, the leisurely group (Jo Ann, Carol S, Bonnie W, Shelley and two non-GIG friends, Louellen and Kathy) started up the trail. We arrived at the lake about 20 minutes after the faster group.
Our Lake sits at 7,295 feet, a 1506ft climb in 3 1/2 miles, mostly forested with a series of gradual switchbacks, scenic viewpoints, and a waterfall at 2.7 miles. A few wildflowers were in bloom: Harebell, Indian Paintbrush, Explorer’s Gentian, Fringed Grass of Parnassus, Arrow Leaved Groundsel, Elk Thistle and Aster. Most had gone to seed.
Both groups ate lunch above the lake, a spectacular view but windy. Frequently, mountain goats traverse the cliffs above the lake, but none were in view today. After lunch and photos, the faster group headed down the trail, soon out of sight. Then, the leisurely group followed.
Everyone stopped at the Log Cabin in Choteau for pie and/or burgers. We socially distanced into three groups. Delicious food, especially the huckleberry/rhubarb and huckleberry/cherry pie. Yummy!
A beautiful day in the mountains with friends rejuvenates the spirit. This hike was a first for Maria and Viki. Everyone said they had a great day. We arrived in Great Falls a little after 6 p.m.