Swan Mountains, Range in Montana

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Swan Mountains

Rugged and wild, the Swan Mountains see fewer visitors than their other neighboring ranges. The northern portion includes the Jewel Basin, but the towering Holland Peak, is located in the south.

  • Hike from Camp Misery to the sparkling shores of Twin Lake and pass through deep fir forests and alpine meadows.
  • A popular spot for local anglers, Birch Lake is stocked with nice-sized Westslope cutthroat trout. 
  • On the way to the 9,356 foot summit of Holland Peak, you’ll pass plenty of mountain goats and big horn sheep navigating the rocky paths.

What can I do at the Swan Mountain Range?


  • Alpine Trail: For an extended backpacking trip with awesome backcountry trails and camping try the 50-mile long Alpine Trail #7. The trail begins at Columbia Mountain, in Columbia Falls and runs south along the crest of the Swan Range through the Jewel Basin, passing alpine meadows and sweeping mountain views. With a 3,500 foot elevation gain and backcountry-camping this trek is not for the rookie backpacker. 
  • Bond and Trinkus Lakes: The trailhead for Bond and Trinkus Lakes starts just south of the tiny village of Swan Lake. The 14-mile round trip has a strenuous 2,500 feet elevation gain, but offers great views of the lake below. 
  • Jewel Basin: Jewel Basin offers 35 miles of hiking trails just outside of Bigfork. A favorite is the 2.5 miles Trail #8 from Camp Misery to Twin Lakes. Trail #8 is a moderate hike which features a 700 foot elevation with great view of the two “jewel” lakes. 
  • Free Guided Hike: For a great day of hiking with a local guide, go to the Echo Lake Café on Saturday mornings to join in a free day hike with the Swan Mountain Rangers. Throughout the year locals and tourists meet up on Saturday mornings to enjoy a different hiking adventure.

No matter which lake you choose to dip your pole, the Swan Mountain Range’s lakes are regularly stocked with Westslope cutthroat trout, which are great for fly-fishing. Birch, Black, Crater and Martha Lakes are all favorites for local anglers.

Wildlife Viewing
With Holland Peak towering at 9,356 feet the Swan Mountain Range is home to a sizeable population of mountain goats and bighorn sheep. The Flathead and Lolo Forest traverse these mountains, which are home to Montana’s biggest game animals like: 

  • Bear 
  • Moose 
  • Elk 
  • Mountain lion

Due to its dense alpine forests, high peaks and remote hiking be prepared for wildlife encounters.

Where is Swan Mountain Range?

For almost 100 miles the Swan Mountain range stretches from north to south from Clearwater Junction to Columbia Falls. Flanked by the Mission Mountains and Flathead Lake to the west and Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east, the Swan Mountain Range offers great views of the surrounding majestic landscape.

How much does cost to visit the Swan Range?


Who can I call if I have more questions?

Flathead National Forest/Swan Lake Ranger District 406-837-7503