Montana Creek Trail to Windfall Lake Trail is the only official through hike that Juneau has to offer. Makes for a great run or light overnight with the Windfall Lake cabin along the way. Montana Creek has sustained some heavy damage from rock slides and avalanches in recent years and many of the bridges and structures have been rendered unusable. The Tongass National Forest Ranger district has deemed the trail ‘Extremely Hazardous’.
However, for the adventurous, take caution and the trail still provides access to some of Juneau’s highest bear concentration areas. The bears are here for good reason, Montana Creek is a divine fishing escape. Even a few rare sighting of brown bears have been found in the area (not to be confused with our prevalent cinnamon black bears), which are rare on the main land.
The trail finds its way through narrow canyons and across a myriad of mountain streams over a seven mile stretch before turning into Windfall Lake Trail. From there the trail runs a little over 3 miles down to the road on the other side. The cabin on Windfall Lake commands a beautiful view and works as a base for fishing the area. Regulations are a little different for this area, so please check first. The cabin can be reserved online.
Spaulding Meadow Trail and an old connection to Herbert Glacier trail both branch off along the way, but are made difficult by beaver activity along the way. The Spaulding Meadow connection to Montana Creek is a popular long distance run after snow melt.
The trailhead is located at the end of Montana Creek Road where you will find a gate closing off the end of the road. The other entrance is at mile 27 along the road which is the start of the Windfall Lake Trail.