WA Peninsula, SC Washington, High Lakes of NW WA, NE Washington & Idaho, NC Washington, NW Montana I,
Low Lakes of NW WA, SE Washington, NW Montana II, NW Montana III, Biography of a Man, A Fisherman's Wildlife, Lakes of North Idaho

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ISBN: 9781457534782
382 pages
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Excerpt from the Book


August 14, 2012; Aeneas Lake, looking northeast.

SIZE: 3 Acres
ELEVATION: 5,995 Feet (estimated)
COUNTY: Flathead, Montana
T28N R18W Sec32Q
Longitude: 113d 54m 22s to 113d 54m 28s West
Latitude: 48d 8m 20s to 48d 8m 25s North



Mount Aeneas rises to an elevation of 7,258 feet to the northwest. It has some vertical rock areas, meadows, and very few trees on the steeper slopes. Timber becomes more prevalent on the lower slopes. The ridge that fills the skyline to the north drops from Mount Aeneas, and is mostly timbered. High mountains are visible in the distance to the southeast.

The area around the lake is sparsely timbered, with brush covering the slopes. The brush cover is dense in the shallow draws. The trees and brush extend to the waters edge all around the lake.

The lake has an arrowhead shape, with the point to the north and an indentation at the middle of the south side.

There are a total of four small bays. With the exception of the bay at the southeast side where the lake drains, the heads of the bays have marshy areas and fairly soft, wet shores. Aquatic grasses fill the ends of the bays.

The brushy shores, combined with marshy areas, make access around the lake somewhat difficult. The best access is on the west side where the lake is reached, and the longest stretch of open shoreline is found.

A rocky point at the southeast corner of the lake is covered with trees and low brush, and the rocky shores there would offer decent access to the water if you made the effort to get to it.

Snags are scattered randomly around the lake. The largest concentration is along the east side.

A small inlet stream enters near the center of the west side of the lake.

The bottom is mostly small rock lying in silt deposits and partially covered with small woody debris.

The water is extremely clear.

A complex trail system surrounds the Jewel Basin area, and has many trailheads that provide access. Because of the excessive distances from most trailheads only one is really practical for accessing Aeneas Lake.

Take Highway 35 to mile 33.3, north of the town of Big Fork, where the junction with Highway 83 is reached.

Turn onto Highway 83, and take it east for 2.7 miles to Echo Lake Road, on the left at mile 88.4. The intersection is marked with flashing lights.

Turn left onto Echo Lake Road, and take it 2.1 miles to Foothill Road, on the right. The end of the road is signed for Jewel Basin.

Turn right onto Foothill Road, and go 1.1 miles to Jewel Basin Road 5392, on the right.

Turn right onto Road 5392, and follow it 6.5 miles to its end at Camp Misery.

The end of the road has a good-sized gravel parking area, a concrete pit toilet, a Forest Service cabin and multiple trailheads. Trail #8 leaves to the left next to the cabin, and Trail #17 starts on a gated road to the right of the informational signboard.

From the Camp Misery trailhead, take Trail #8 for 0.6 miles to the junction with Trail #68, on the right. This section of trail gains about 450 feet.

Take Trail #68 for 0.7 miles to the junction with Trail #7. This section of trail gains about 250 feet.

Take a right onto Trail #7, and go 0.2 miles to a confusing junction of multiple trails at an area that is poorly signed.

At this saddle, Trail #725 continues straight ahead to drop to Road 5392, and is the most easily identified. To the right of Trail #725 is Trail #717, coming up from the parking area. To the extreme right an old 4-wheeler road climbs the ridge to a radio tower.

The first trail to the left of Trail #725 is Trail #7. That is the one you want to take. To the left of that is the continuation of Trail #717, which climbs to Mount Aeneas, and to the hard left is the other end of the old 4-wheeler road that runs to yet another tower.

The Forest Service really needs to improve the trail markers here. In 2012 I met some hikers at Birch Lake that thought they had just reached Wildcat Lake, which is about six miles in the other direction. As confused as they were better signs might not have helped, but they couldn’t hurt.

The lake reportedly holds no fish, and I can’t question the report. I saw no evidence of fish in Aeneas Lake.

* Montana Atlas & Gazetteer, Page 67 (not shown).
* USGS Topographic Map, Montana, Stock Number MT1151
(48113-B8-TF-024-00) Jewel Basin Quadrangle, 7.5 Minute Series.
* USGS Topographic Map, Montana, Stock Number MT1102
Hungry Horse Reservoir Quadrangle, 30x60 Minute Series.