Sioux Charley Lake: A trail for all ages and skill levels

Sioux Charley Lake Trail

First glimpse of Sioux Charley Lake from the trail!

Nye, Mont. – It’s incredible to me that I’ve lived in Montana for eight years and I just recently hiked to Sioux Charley Lake for the first time. What a gem! It has long been on my “list” of trails to check out, but I never prioritized it over my other favorite hiking spots – or other new hiking spots. I’m so glad I finally did!

Sioux Charley Lake is a perfect day hike for the whole family. It’s a popular hike, so the trail is well worn – which makes it great for little feet and big feet alike. If you’re looking for a secluded hike, this probably isn’t going to be it.

Happy Hiker!

Located near Nye, Montana, Sioux Charley Lake Trail is about 6.5 miles round trip and can easily be completed in an afternoon. The trail is technically called “Stillwater Trail.” Beyond Sioux Charley Lake, the trail continues on for about another 23 miles to Lake Abundance.

If you’re looking to make a day of it, hit the trail in the morning and enjoy the stunning views at a leisurely pace. The first couple miles of the trail weave alongside the Stillwater River. There are plenty of spots to veer off the trail and perch yourself on a giant boulder. You can’t help but become mesmerized by the thunderous rapids tumbling by. Late spring/early summer is the best time for big rapids due to the spring run-off.

Even if you don’t pause to sit by the river, you can still easily take in the sights of the Stillwater as you traipse along the trail.

Stillwater River

Stillwater River thundering down the drainage.

With a total elevation gain of only 600 feet, this hike is fairly low impact. The steepest point comes when you’re about a third of the way to the lake – but I wouldn’t even call it “steep.” This section of the trail offers a very picturesque view of Sioux Charley Lake, so have your camera handy!

Perfect photo op!

The final mile of the hike is a descent through the forest down and to the lake. Once there, find your perfect spot along the shoreline and take in the gorgeous view!
Sioux Charley Lake

Hot from your hike? Cool off in crisp, mountain water of Sioux Charley Lake! Or, depending on the time of year, just enjoy watching your dog splash through the water – completely unfazed by the chilly water. :)

Sitting by the lake.

The mountains are our happy place!

How to get there:
Take Highway 419 towards Nye. Continue past Nye, the Stillwater Mine and the forest boundary. Highway 419 ends at the trailhead to Sioux Charley Lake (you’ll pass Woodbine Campground on the left just before you arrive). There’s a parking lot and toilets.

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