Heart Lake Trail 171
Location: Trout Creek Road
Elevation: 4665 ft.
End Location: Stateline Trail 738.1
End Elevation: 6800 ft.
Area: Superior South
Season Start: Mid Spring End: Mid Fall
Usage: Medium to Heavy
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
From Superior, 20.2 miles southwest on Pierce-Superior Road 250 (Trout Creek Road) to switchback. Ample parking for 5 or 6 vehicles.
From Superior, travel 24.8 miles southwest on Peirce-Superior Road 250 (Trout Creek Roud) to Hoodoo Pass. Ample parking for 4 or 5 vehicles. Hike Stateline Trail 738 for 3.5 miles to Trail 171. Access increases total length to 7.8 miles.
Attractions and Comments:
From Access 1, Heart Lake Trail follows the South Fork of Trout Creek and crosses several tributary streams in the drainage. Hikers should be prepared to make numerous fords; waterproof footwear is advisable.
A variety of wildflower species and berries can be found enroute. Heart Lake, the largest lake in the Superior Ranger District, provides an excellent opportunity for swimming, fishing, and camping.
Heart Lake Trail is one of the most popular trails in the SUperior Ranger District. Hikers will find themselved travelig through a variety of forest habitats. Beautiful, parklike timber stands; grassy meadow; and dense thickets charcterize the forest environment through the South Fork Trout Creek drainage.
In the springtime, waterfalls descend the rock face canyon walls along the west side of the trail. Wildflowers and lush plant growth border the trail.
Camping, swimming, and fishing can all be enjoyed at Heart Lake. Evidence of the great forest fire of 1910 (called "The Great Burn") can still be seen on the charred eastern slope above the lake. From the lake, the trail passes through alpine meadows of heather, rabbit brush, and elephant's head as it proceeds to Stateline Trail 738.1.
Stateline ridge is reached by transversing the steep switchbacks to the west of Heart Lake. The trail thead between Heart Lake and Stateline becomes faint and somewhat difficult to locate. Although
Stateline ridge is very distinctive, a topographic map may prove helpful along this section of the route. The summit of the ridge provides a panoramic view of the mountain ranges of Montana and Idaho. To locate Stateline Trail 738.1, follow the rock cairns along the ridgetop. The climb to the ridgetop can be hot and dry during the summer months; remember to pack an ample supply of drinking water.
Heart Lake Trail used to be called Trail 175
Access: Hiking, Horseback Riding
Facilities: Scenery, Lake, River/Creek Walk, Wildflowers, Fishing
Connections: Trail 738.1, Heart Lake
Topo View - Heart Lake Trail 171
Photo View - Heart Lake Trail 171