Oct 23

Getaway: Heart Lake

by Martin Kidston

A short drive outside Lincoln, a dusty trail awaits. But a little dust is a good thing when you’re heading into the woods to absorb the scenic attractions found in the Scapegoat Wilderness.

Heart Lake may be first among them. The little gem of a lake gets its name from its shape, though it’s the arctic grayling swimming the cool mountain water that makes this a destination worth placing on your summer bucket list.

Spring flowers are abundant the right time of year. Waterfalls cascading over moss-covered boulders surrounded by ferns are a pleasing attraction any season that doesn’t include snow.

For the angler in the family, the creeks make for good fishing, and the expanse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness lies just beyond. Bears, moose and other large North American mammals are included in this day-long adventure.

To get there, look for Landers Fork Road around seven miles east of Lincoln on Highway 200. It’s hard to miss — it’s there where Landers Fork crosses under the highway.

Drive north on Landers Fork Road for three miles until you reach Copper Creek Road. Head north on Copper Creek for another four miles until you reach the trailhead; it’s well marked and includes accommodations for livestock (think pack animals).

Once you find it, strap on you pack. Heart Lake lies roughly three miles down the trail and represents an easy day hike. The hike is largely flat, though it involves a slight uphill gain the last quarter mile, but even that’s no big deal.

Pack water and bear spray, then relax.


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