Mount Aeneas Trail #717 ushers you through sub-alpine spruce forest before climbing up to a ridge traverse to Mount Aeneas (7,528 feet), the highest point in the hikers-only Jewel Basin. Hike out-and-back to summit or drop down to Picnic Lakes for a loop hike back to Camp Misery Trailhead. From the summit enjoy dramatic views of the area's 15,349 acres wildflower meadows, mountains and pristine lakes and beyond to Glacier National Park to the north and Flathead Valley to the west.
It is likely you will encounter or spot mountain goats on the summit. If they happen to be on trail give them plenty of space and either wait for them to move along or hike off trail long enough to get around them.
Trail Vertical Gain or Loss
1,800 feet gain
Full Description of this Recreation Trail
From Camp Misery Trailhead, go to gated dirt road and begin hike up Trail #717. It will be an easy ascent to the first ridge where the road transitions into a trail about 0.8 miles in. At trail fork take the middle trail (Trail #717) and ascend up to next ridge. Continue about a mile up long switchbacks to the top of ridge. Follow ridge trail to the south to Mount Aeneas Summit.
Opt to hike a loop and continue on Trail #717 down north side of Mount Aeneas to Picnic Lakes (take Trail #392 from Picnic Lakes to return to Camp Misery Trailhead) or retrace your steps back to Camp Misery Trailhead via Trail #717.
Camp Misery Trailhead is the most popular trailhead for the Jewel Basin Hiking Area and parking area can fill up quickly on weekends. Beat the crowds and plan on hiking weekdays or arrive early on Saturday or later on Sundays.
4 - 6 miles depending on chosen route
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark
From Bigfork, Montana take Hwy 35 north to Hwy 83. Head east on Hwy 83 to the junction of the Echo Lake Road. Head north on Echo Lake Road about 3 miles to junction with the Jewel Basin Road (No. 5392). Follow this road approximalty 7 miles to the trailhead. CAUTION: The last 5 miles are steep. Use headlights for safety. Caution advised for low clearance vehicles. Trailers not recommended.