Mount Aeneas in the Jewel basin near Bigfork stands at 7,528 feet and is the highest peak in Flathead National Forest.
The trail is a very scenic loop trail that starts at Camp Misery Trailhead.
The road to Camp Misery is 7 miles on a dirt/gravel very steep and very tight road, and a bit scarier than the hike itself.
Get to the trailhead early if possible especial on weekends, as parking is limited as fills up quickly. If you bring your dog, remember that the dog must be kept on a leash or you risk a $5,000 fine!
There is a bathroom at the trailhead and be sure to pack lots of water and your bear spray.
The trail is considered strenuous with moderate elevation gains of about 1,700ft.
You have options of hiking to the summit and back the way you came or continue on down to the lakes and back to the trail head (loop trail).
The trail at Camp Misery starts on a closed gravel road (Trail #717) and a short way up, about 1 mile, links with two other trails (and an old service road). The main trail #717, goes to the center left (not the service road on the far left, it’s very confusing), the trail to the right goes up to a peak with fantastic views of Flathead valley below.
If you take the trail on the right at the fork to that peak, you’ll need backtrack down and then continue back on the main trail #717 to the summit of Mt. Aeneas.
From the Mt. Aeneas summit you can go back the way you came, which will make for about a 6-mile hike, or, you can continue on down to the lakes and back to Camp Misery in a loop I believe it adds about another 2 to 3 miles but not sure as we did not do the full loop.
Near the summit of Mt. Aeneas there is a Microwave tower building and usually lots of Mountain Goats.
The views of Flathead valley, Glacier National Park, and The Bob Marshal Complex are breathtaking and most certainly worth the hike.
From Whitefish take US-93 south to Hwy 35 towards Bigfork, to Hwy 83 and head East to Echo Lake Road. Head North on Echo Lake road about 3 miles to junction to Foothill Drive.
Take Foothill Drive a short distance to Jewel Basin Road (No. 5392)
Follow this road about 7 miles (dirt/gravel) to the trail head.