The July-August edition of Montana Outdoors has a great article on the "Ten Trails You Have to Try" throughout Montana. The one closest to us is the Blodgett Canyon Overlook. It's a short 2.8 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 400 feet.
There are two main trails. The lower one covers the canyon floor, while the overlook trail offers more spectacular view from a high ridge. From Canyon Creek Trailhead, take the signed path east through large boulders toward the overlook. Interpretive stations explain the cycle of fire, and benches offer scenic tranquil rest spots.
Directions: take the 93 N from Hamilton across the Bitterroot River. Go W onto Bowman Road for .7 m and L onto Richestts Road for 2 m. Continue to Blodgett Camp for 2.5 m until the pavement turns to gravel. Turn W onto Canyon Creek Road for 3 m to the trailhead.
You can't forget the basic M, L, and Rattlesnake hikes but everyone knows about them. If you don't mind a little drive, there's the hikes to weir creek and Jerry Johnson hot springs out on the way to Lolo Pass. I typically forget which one is which but you can spot them by the cars parked by the paths usually.
I found a nice little hike recently. Take Hwy 12, just out of Lolo, and go about 8 miles to a turnoff Elk Meadows. This is easy to miss, so it is on the left and before you get to it you will see an old elementary school on the right.
Dirt road takes you in about 5 miles but instead of continuing up to Elk Meadows (which is nice too) take the left turn to the trailhead of South Fork Lolo Creek. This nice little path goes take you along the S Fork of Lolo Creek up to Bass Lake eventually, although it is 12 miles and the book I purchased "Hikes and Climbs to Bitterroot Mountain Summits" suggests the Bass Creek Trail is the easier way to go.
Robert Sunset wrote: If you don't mind a little drive, there's the hikes to weir creek and Jerry Johnson hot springs out on the way to Lolo Pass. I typically forget which one is which but you can spot them by the cars parked by the paths usually.
For Jerry Johnson
Paul and I just visited there last month. Not a typical picture of the many soaking pools...though I thought it was some beautiful scenery!
Plus, here's my notes on finding it, which you need because there is no cell service out there and you'll likely lose your GPS signal, too:
The Trailhead parking lot is known as Warm Springs Pack Bridge and is located between Mile Markers 151 and 152 on the north side of Highway 12 and is approximately 25 miles west of Lolo Pass, or 78 miles east of the Highway 12/13 junction at Kooskia.
After parking, cross highway 12 and the pack bridge over the Lochsa River, stay on the west main trail and continue for about 1 mile to reach the waterfall pools (source 1 of 3). Continue another .5 miles to locate the additional pools which are visible from the main trail. The trail is typically in great shape and has very little elevation loss/gain.