Morrell Lake and Morrell Falls are on a national recreation trail north of Seeley Lake via Cottonwood Lakes Road to the east of Highway 83. It’s an easy two-mile hike in to the falls (actually a 100-foot-tall lower fall topped by a series of smaller falls and cascades).
Morrell Mountain Lookout is about 18 miles from the highway via Cottonwood Lakes Road (follow it for nine miles) and Road 4365 (follow it for another nine miles). It’s a rough drive in a passenger car, and it’s wise to check with the ranger station (406/677-2233) for current road conditions. The lookout has views of the Mission Mountains, the Swan Range, and the Blackfoot and Clearwater Valleys.
The Mission Mountains Wilderness Area falls on the eastern part of the mountains’ divide; the western part is the Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness and is managed by the Confederated Kootenai and Salish Tribes. The wilderness managed by the Forest Service has about 45 miles of trails.
There are several trails into the Mission Mountains Wilderness Area: Glacier Creek, Cold Lakes, Piper Creek, Fatty Creek, Beaver Creek, Lindbergh Lake, Jim Lakes, Hemlock Creek, Meadow Lake, and Elk Point. Maps of the Mission Mountains Wilderness or the southern half of the Flathead National Forest are available at the ranger station in Bigfork.
Seeley Lake is a good place to fish for bass, and it’s also stocked with rainbow trout. To the south, Salmon Lake has rainbow and cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon.
Seeley Lake gets pretty snowy in the winter. Most local lodgings are proud to point out that you can ski or snowmobile from your door into a million acres of wilderness.
Find an extensive network of groomed cross-country ski trails one mile east of Seeley Lake, up Morrell Creek Road. These trail loops double as mountain bike trails in the summer.
The Double Arrow Lodge maintains trails on its property and runs an outfitting service (406/677-2411 or 406/677-2317).
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition