Hidden Lake while still a bit frozen.
As one hikes a ways up from the Headquarters Pass Trailhead, you come to a fork in the trail. One leads right up the side of a mountain to an alpine paradise called "Hidden Lake" or known by us Teton/Cascade County locals as "Our Lake".
The trail, while not giving a HUGE option at a look at the surrounding landscape, is definatly worth the hike. Due to the snow run-off stream that trickles down from Hidden Lake, the area is well known to the wildlife and is frequented mostly by Grizzlies and Mountain Goats, as well as the occasional Mule Deer and Elk.
Hidden Lake Picture. Photo by: Bob Sihler
The trail to Hidden Lake is a popular destination among hikers from the surrounding area due to its tranquility and untouched beauty. The climb is not extremely strenuous and the reward is overwhelming.
Cliffs along the road to Headquarters Pass trailhead. Photo by: Bob Sihler
The area is teeming with life, as Mountain Goats like to raise their young in the vicinity of the lake, and marmots populate the talus areas at the base of the mountainsides. The lake itself is full of Yellowstone Cutthroat trout, and while the fishing is not perfect, it still yields and excellent challenge to a hungry day hiker or overnight camper.
When I hiked the Our Lake trail this July of 2008, the U.S Forest Service had posted a warning of a female grizzly with cub in the general area of Hidden Lake. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex always offers the danger of grizzlies and that danger is heightened while the bears have offspring. If a grizzly is spotted with a cub, OR if the cub is spotted alone, IMMEDIATLY get out of the area, while making loud noises such as whoops, claps, and/or the use of bear bells. Bear spray IS a good idea, however an agitated mother who is protecting her child is unpredictable and very dangerous.
Hidden Lake from Peak 8789's saddle. Photo by: Bob Sihler
Also, posted, the U.S Forest Service has prohibited stock after a certain point on the trail, which is clearly marked.
And finally, posted, the U.S Forest Service has strictly prohibited ANY camping within 1000 feet of the lake itself. However, the area just below the lake offers a very good camping spot next to the waterfall and stream that comes out of the lake. Also, there is always the option of camping at the Mill Falls campground which is located back east of the Headquarters Pass Trailhead along the road and is clearly marked by a sign.
Wind Mountain...Located on the Road to Headquarters Pass/Hidden Lake Trailhead
Begin your journey in the country town of Choteau, Montana. Drive Northwest on Highway 89 for about 5 miles until you see the sign for Eureka Lake Resevoir. Turn at that sign and you are now on Teton Canyon Road. Follow this road for about 20 miles until you get to a turnoff. A sign will point straightward for the W. Teton Fork trails and to the left for the S. Teton Fork trails. Turn left and follow this road. You will know you are going the right way when you pass a large guest ranch on your left. Eventually this road will come to an end at the Headquarters Pass Trailhead. Begin your journey on that trail and eventually you will come to a fork. Bear Northwards on the Our Lake Trail and you will soon come to your destination.