Like many fisherman and locals, it’s not easy giving up a favorite hiking destination or fishing hole. In this instance, Sheep Lake, is one of my favorite hiking and fishing destinations; but, I am only giving it up because I know that it can be a grueling day hike and most people will forgo it.
On the bright side, however, I made a point of documenting my last trip up Sheep Lake Trail, just a few days ago. It was, perhaps, my best hike up that trail yet.
Montana had such a spectacularly cold winter this past year, that it has made for an equally spectacular display of wild flowers along most of the trails in southwest Montana. Sheep Lake Trail was no exception.
Sheep Lake Trail
The entire length of the trail was still ‘green’, which is not always a given this late in July.
On the way up, or on the way back, be sure to look for the Sheep Creek Falls. Within the first few miles of the trail head, you’ll run into a series of switchbacks. One switchback has an enormous stone at its bend. At this point along the trail, you’ll also notice a change in the sound of the creek…It’s now a tremendous roar. Carefully investigate the other side of this large rock…and, I say ‘carefully’ because the water falls are very close by and you’ll be standing on a cliff face looking down at them. Be careful. :)
For many, the water falls are found within the first hour of hiking and make for a relatively easy day hike.
If you choose to go on, then there are a boat load of wild flowers and mountainous scenes to take in; and, then, of course, you’ll want to fish the lake. :)
For the fisherman in your party, the lake is the destination.
In this fisherman's opinion, Sheep Lake is the easiest fishing you’ll ever have. During each visit to this lake, I have caught trout within minutes of gearing up and casting. Once, I caught a fish on my first cast. All in all, it’s an unbelievable fishing experience. In a nutshell, these fish don’t see many people and they are very, very hungry. :)
Well, now you know what Sheep Lake and its trail look like. You tell me…Is it worth it to hike for hours into a remote alpine lake? :)