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Bell Lake Trail


  • Southwest Montana
  • National Forest Trail
A hike to a beautiful lake close to the Potosi Campground. Bell Lake Trail (305) starts climbing immediately, following the north side of the creek. It gradually pulls away from the creek, but not so far that you cannot hear the roar below. The first 2.5 miles ascend at a steady grade, but the last mile up to the lake kicks into a dramatic climb. The road-like appearance of the trail reminds users that once full-sized vehicles once drove all the way up to Bell Lake. The trail presents a difficult ride for more advanced motorcyclists and mountain bikers. A clear mountain stream tumbles down through the shade of large spruce trees from Bell Lake to branch into South Willow Creek. The creek and stream both offer fishing just a short distance from the peaceful setting of Potosi Campground. South Willow Creek divides the campground itself, allowing for more fishing and a soothing place to spend the night. Bell Lake is open to motorized vehicles measuring less than 50 inches in total width for the first 2.5 miles, but only motorcycles, foot and horse traffic are allowed beyond the gated area. Length: 7.0 miles round trip. Moderate difficulty. Trail Begins: 2.5 miles southwest from Potosi Campground Trail Ends: Bell Lake USGS Map: Potosi Peak, Pony
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Mailing Address
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
5 Forest Service Road
Ennis, MT 59729
Summer - Fall


Special direction map

Special Directions

Follow US Highway 287 north from Ennis to Harrison. Turn left at Harrison and drive 5 miles down the road to Pony. Just before Pony make a left at the sign for South Willow Creek. Follow the South Willow Creek Road for 11.5 miles, past Potosi Campground, to the trailhead for Bell Lake. The trailhead provides parking for several vehicles and a toilet facility.