In Montana, United States
How Geocaching Works
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Enjoy a great drive, hike, and lakes in your quest for the cache. Drive about ten miles north of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge into Beaverhead National Forest and hike another 2 miles to find the cache.
Although we called the geocache, Otter Lake, you'll actually see at least four lakes (Elk Lake, Hidden Lake, Goose Lake, and Otter Lake) on your adventure. If you drive in from the east, you'll also pass Henry's Lake too.
To get to the hike and geocache, you can drive in from the east or west.
From the west, you'll exit from I-15 exit Monida, Montana. It's about 35 miles to the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Drive through the Refuge.
From the east, you'll be on US 20. Look for Red Rock Pass Road (also known as Boot Jack Road and FR 053) heading west. The road will turn from pavement to gravel. You'll pass the Continental Divide, leave Idaho, and enter Montana. You'll drive about 20 miles to the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
From either direction, look for Elk Lake Road and turn north (N 44 36.954 W 111 39.086 elevation 6736ft). The sign says Elk Lake Camp and Hidden Lake (11 miles). Set your mileage to 0. At 2.9 miles, you'll leave the Refuge and enter the Beaverhead National Forest. At 4.4 miles, you'll pass Elk Lake. At 5.3 miles you'll see the Elk Lake Camp. At 9.2 miles, you'll park and hike the rest of the way. Park at (N 44 42.828 W 111 36.447 elevation 6800ft).
There are two ways to start your hike. You can start at (N 44 42.829 W 111 36.445 elevation 6628ft) and hike along the spring to the lake. Then, walk along a narrow, rough trail along the shore. Or, you can start at (N 44 42.850 W 111 36.459) and walk through the woods to an overlook of the lake. This start has more elevation gain, but it's an easier trail. Both hikes intersect and continue along the shore of the Hidden Lake. You'll reach the end of the lake in about 1 mile. Then, you'll reach Goose Lake (a small, shallow lake) at about 1.5 miles and Otter Lake at about 1.7 miles. The geocache is a total of 1.78 miles NE of the parking lot on your GPS.
We placed the cache close to the best viewpoint of the lake just off the trail. The tan ammo box cache contains a log book, a camera, and treasures.
Be sure to keep your eye out for wildlife. We saw signs of deer, elk, and bear, but only saw squirrels and a muskrat.
Fellow geocachers Cory the Hooked Trout and Rykybunch will look after the cache during those times when we are not available to attend to it.
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Last Updated: on 1/20/2017 2:06:39 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (10:06 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum