July 22nd, 2015
Montana is filled with many gorgeous and rugged hikes. Jewel Basin’s Trail No. 724 is a lovely hike with the pristine Birch Lake as your goal. This dayhike was not too difficult for our group which had great diversity in ages (12 days old – 59 years old.) There are a few areas where the trail leads along a steep edge with crumbly rocks and hand-holding is necessary for small children or the accident-proned. We all brought food for a lake-side picnic (we left nothing but footprints and a couple cherry pits) and Emil and I tried out our Life Straw for the first time. Jace and Prisicilla also tried the Life Straw and we are happy to say that the water tasted great and none of us became ill. This is a great tool to bring backpacking.
The Birch Lake trail allows hikers to get a birds-eye view of some of the most beauful country in North America. Wild huckleberries grow in patches along the trail and wildflowers add a splash of color to the blue, green, and brown backdrop of the mountains. Some parts of the trail make you feel as if you are in Lord of the Rings hiking along sheer, grassy ledges. I would definitely recommend this hike and hope to be able to tackle Mt. Aeneas, also in the Jewel Basin, before we leave Montana.