Backstory: I originally wanted to do Scotchman’s Peak in Idaho but I could not find anyone to go with me. Seth finally contacts me and says he is down, so the morning of, he pitches the idea of doing Hazel and Hub Lake in Montana. I have never heard of it and that made it more enticing. I agreed and now I am telling you guys about it because it was well worth it and you need to do it!
Brain Farts: Apparently if you delete photos on the computer off the SD card instead of formatting it in camera, the camera will sometimes think there are still photos on it, so that sucked. I could only take about 20 photos unfortunately. It was a nice challenge I suppose. Also my girlfriend, Taylor, had my sleeping bag in another city so I tried improvising an hour before leaving and decided I would try and build a backpack out of a wool blanket. I gave up on that and just rolled it super tight and threw it in my backpack. It was actually kind of cool because I have been wanting to use the wool blanket for a while now. It was a good misfortune.
In the beginning of the hike it seemed like Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox had ran through the surrounding woods and knocked a whole bunch of trees down. It was quite a sight with all those huge cedar trees surrounding us. We walked on logs like little adventurous kids exploring the area. After being stunned by scenery we found a sweet waterfall in Ward Creek that you will see off the trail. We threw our packs down and went to check it out. We carefully stepped our way down the steep trail.
Side Note: Seth broke the tripod so we both held the tripod back together and held it as steady as we could. We shot it once and I was like well, I think we’re good.
One of the coolest parts of hiking this beautiful trail is there were huckleberries, so legit. It was my first time picking them and I enjoyed it very much. Seth and I filled up a tin cup I brought and gladly split them between each other like good friends should. We filled a Nalgene bottle up to about the 8oz mark on the way down. I scored some points with my girlfriend on that one.
Side note: Remember to only PICK huckleberries. Some people use nasty tools that damage the whole plant causing the berries to not grow back next season. Treat the Earth with much grace and gratitude and she will keep providing more for us.
The next morning, I rolled out of my hammock and wool blanket and noticed the sunrise was lighting Hazel Lakes’ surrounding mountain walls up in beautiful orange hues. After embracing the sunrise, we sipped on our french pressed coffee that we made out of the fresh glistening alpine lake water. We headed out to see Hub Lake and the abandoned mine. That’s right, a cool abandoned mine. On our way there we saw a bald eagle glide over hub Lake and then soar into the high elevation towards the appropriately named, Eagle Peak. After Checking out Hub Lake a bit we made our way to the mine. We whipped out our headlamps and began trekking into the mine. The walls were slimy and soft from all of the moisture, droplets of water fell from the ceiling that was inches away from our heads. We walked until we hit the end and decided to take a couple photos.
We wandered our way up the mountain side to get a better view Hub Lake. Seth and I found a sweet stream flowing down the mountain side after a tough hike to Hub Lake. Seth had his handy dandy LifeStraw with him and took a sip out of the fresh glacial water. Meanwhile, I decided to drink water from the moss and squeeze it like a lemon, similar to when you make fresh lemonade. Oh man! It was so worth it. Before you ask…Yes I did have to take a photo in my MeUndies. It felt natural, like it was calling my name.
In a nutshell the hike is in Montana by St. Regis area. You will hike roughly 2.5 Miles to Hazel Lake (Look out for the side trail, it goes down to Hazel Lake). Continue hiking another .5 Mile to get to Hub Lake. Out and back it is roughly a 6 mile hike. On a scale of easy, moderate, hard, I would rate this to be hard. It’s all up hill to the lakes and on the way down of course, is downhill; which can be hard on the joints, so take your time if you have to. And don’t forget to pick huckleberries.