Emerald Lake - TRAIL

Emerald Lake - Trail, Bozeman, Montana

Great 4.5 mile singletrack with a little over 2000 ft. elevation gain. Some great technical sections but the the trail can be conqered by most reasonably fit riders on a good mountain bike. I'd suggest riding around the lake for some really great views of box canyon and surrounding area. Travel past the lake another mile or so for some really technical singletrack to Heather lake.

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
fiz1ct   Racer [Sep 04, 2009]

This is one of my favorite trails in the Bozeman area. Be warned though, it is one rocky and root ridden trail, all the way. I love the challenge though and it will give you some great practice for other technical climbs. The climb isn't super difficult, the only real difficulty is keeping momentum up the steeper climbs while going over/around roots and rocks. It's a great technical climb with the majority being heavily wooded until you reach the lake. Once you get to the top be ready to be blown away by the view. It truly is incredible and in my opinion one of the best in the area.

Customer Service

As stated below. It's pretty easy to find.

Similar Products Used: Bangtail Ridge or Sypes Canyon.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
browntown   Weekend Warrior [Feb 27, 2009]

Hylite canyon is so darn pretty, and this trail up to emerald lake is going to knock your socks off if your not from montana. Only 4 miles to the top, but a pretty hefty vertical and lots of tree roots to negotiate. Its a tough climb but worth every lungfull. The top puts you in a beautiful basin of hylite peak, cant beat the scenery and secludedness of the ride. Coming down is fast, rough and its thick forest most of the way, great ride and a must do for cross country riders, down hillers will have to work real hard to get up.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
venom600   Cross Country Rider [Aug 05, 2006]

Just rode to Emerald Lake this morning for the first time. I'd gone up the trail before, but never all the way to the lake. The lower 2/3 of the trail is moderate, climb-wise. The last 1/3 will work you out though. It's a constant uphill for the 4.5 miles into the lake, with almost 2000 ft elevation gain (ending around 8900 ft). I was pretty wiped out when I hit the lake.

Lots of rolling single track and some relatively technical (and steep) switchbacks make for a great ride. A little bit of everything. Coming back down was an absolute blast (wish I'd been riding a full suspension bike, though).

The lake is an absolutely gorgeous mountain lake. Beautiful surroundings and nice cool water. Everybody who rides in this area should put this trail on their 'must do' list.

Customer Service

Drive to Hyalite Reservoir (not lake) and follow the road around the lake past the youth camp. Take a left at the fork leading to Palisade Falls. Follow this road until it ends and you'll be at the trailhead. As others have mentioned, the road between Palisade Falls trailhead and Emerald/Heather Lake trailhead can be rough. Wouldn't hurt to park at Palisade Falls trailhead and pedal to the end of the road.

Similar Products Used: Moser Creek is a fun ride in the Hyalite area.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
abegold   Cross Country Rider [Mar 19, 2006]

The singletrack has been widened by ATVs. The climb is non-stop to Emrald Lake with water crossings and deep, lush forest. Once you get to Emrald Lake the view is stellar. Maybe the most beautiful alpine lake I've seen. That's when I realized no camera. The climb above was flowing so not wanting to leave tire track I didn't go there. The ride down afterwards was lots of fun but there are hikers.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Aaron Griffith   [Apr 22, 2001]

One more thing about this trail. Before you think of kamikazeeing down this trail too fast remember to Use caution when riding because it is used by many other hikers, horseback riders etc. Remember to yield to others so we can keep these trails open to mountain bikes for years to come.

Similar Products Used: Hylite Lake (not reservior), Cottonwood canyon, Moser creek, Mystic lake / Bear Canyon, Leverich Canyon
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Chris   [Apr 26, 2001]

What a trail. The uphill is smooth and rolling, and leads you up to a sweet lake. Views are incredible the whole way. Downhill, one of the best. Rollers, jumps, and a few streams. Like it was said before though. Be aware that this is a popular trail and respect the others. She's fast and fun. Enjoy

Customer Service

Up Hyalite Canyon road. Keep going around the lake. Take a left at the first chance. Road is bumpy so go slow. All the way to the end. Park and Ride.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Kail Marks   [May 01, 2001]

I agree with the other posts - this trail is very, very sweet, but there are a lot of other users, so let's be courteous to them. I've discovered that a better time to ride this trail is in the evenings, because there are less hikers then. This is my favorite trail - anywhere. It can be ridden by novice riders, but is still very fun for experts. The climb may be difficult for people who don't ride more than twice a week. The view, the climb, and especially the descent are unrivalled by all but the best trails in the world.

Customer Service

Same as above, although to save some wear and tear on your vehicle, park at the Palisade Falls parking lot and pedal to the Emerald Lake trailhead. This will also get the blood pumping at a fair rate before you hit the over 2000'elevation gain.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Chris Brownfield   [Aug 17, 2002]

Similar to ride to Hyalite Lake, but the lake is more beautiful; I didn't make it to Heather Lake as I was plenty pooped at Emerald Lake...those last switchbacks aren't too technical but they are fairly steep and will work you. Excellent descent, but watch for horsies and hikies...be very nice to them!

Customer Service

Yes, park at Palisade Falls, it's an easier drive and gives you a little more warm up.

Similar Products Used: Hyalite Lake, History Rock Loop via Langohr
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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