In Montana’s deep reservoir of riches, Seeley Lake is one of the favorites. Seeley Lake is located on the Western side of Montana in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. This popular destination offers endless recreational avenues. The reason for this location being so desired by all is because this area is called the Clearwater Chain-of-Lakes. Amazingly so is 24 lakes in Clearwater Valley. All are easily accessed aside off of Montana State Highway 83 with developed campgrounds in place.
Placid and Jocko Lake residing nearby, there are so many hiking spots circling around all three Lakes. One is particular, known to Montanan’s as the best day hike near Seeley is Morrell Lake and falls. This gentle hike is a 2.7 mile hike through Lodge pole Pines, and by 23 acres of Morrell Lake finishing up at the historic series of Morrell Waterfalls. The beginning of the trail is flat through the lodge pole, and then the remainder of forest hike leaves way to a mixture of pine, larch, spruce and fir trees. Wildlife is abundant. Be prepared to see a variety of wildlife like beaver, elk, mountain lions, moose, bobcats, and deer. As in many Montana wildernesses, you also must be prepared for bears. This area is home to both black and grizzly bears. Before you even arrive at the falls, you will hear the roar of the water as the hike winds around the marsh. Then in the clearing, the beauty of the 90 foot falls will unfold before you.
For the Morrell Falls day hike you have the option of walking, mountain biking or even horseback riding. Close to the trailhead is parking for vehicles, as well as undeveloped campsites for those wishing to make it an overnight trip. For those with an enduring spirit there are more difficult trails which branch off from the falls. Grizzly Basin Trail #509 climbs into the Swan Mountains along the east fork of Morrell Creek. This trail is not maintained and runs 6 miles long. Even a more primitive trail is Morrell Creek Trail #383 which takes off from Trail #30 and extends up the west fork of Morrell for 3.5 miles.
To get to this breathtaking hike, travel a half mile north of the town of Seeley staying on Highway 83; turn east (right) on Morrell Creek Road. There will be a green street sign. This becomes Forest Road #477 Cottonwood Lakes Road. After 1.1 miles, turn left on West Morrell Road #4353 for around 6 miles. Turn right on Pyramid Pass Road #4381, go less than .25 miles and take a left on Morrell Falls Road #4364. One more mile and you are at the trailhead! You will see the parking and camping area.
If you are new to the fun of the hike or wilderness exploration, this is the perfect place to begin. At every turn of this recreational area you will discover more and more to do. In a short time, you will understand why this part of Montana rules the heart.