Â Designated as a Scenic Area in 1964, the Ten Lakes has been set aside for backcountry use for over 30 years. The 1984 Montana Wilderness Study Act recommended the Ten Lakes Scenic Area and segments of the surrounding country as wilderness. While not officially designated, the Kootenai National Forest is managing the area to preserve its wilderness characteristics. Motorized vehicles or equipment of any kind are not allowed in the Scenic Area and portions recommended for Wilderness, except for over-snow vehicles.
The area is comprised of 6,400 acres with an additional 19,000 acres surrounding it. Located along the northeastern edge of the Forest, with the Canadian border as one of its boundaries, the Ten Lakes Area is dominated by a high ridge of the Whitefish Mountains.
Alpine glaciers shaped much of the present rugged scenery. As the glaciers grew they carved deep scallops, or cirques, and high, rim-rocked basins sheltering the many lakes of the area. The area is named for the Ten Lakes basin along the Canadian border. Other alpine lakes, often flanked on one side by subalpine vegetation and on the other by a headwall or rock harboring old snowdrifts, hide in nearly every high basin and cirque. Offering spectacular beauty are the Therriault Lakes and Bluebird Basin areas. Poorman Mountain reaching 7832 feet is the highest peak with Ksanka, Stahl and Independence Peaks ranging from 7505 to 7416 feet scattered throughout the range. Forested areas contain Englemann spruce, subalpine fir, lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, whitebark pine, and the uncommon alpine larch. Wildflowers are abundant in spring and summer and a variety of forbs and shrubs, including huckleberry, grow under and around the trees. Several trails criss-cross the Ten Lakes Scenic Area and are accessed from Highway 93 via various Forest roads. High alpine mountains, cool clear, high mountain lakes, peaceful meandering trails combine to make the Ten Lakes Scenic Area a worthy destination for any traveler to northwest Montana.
Easily reached by Forest Roads # 114 and 319, the Ten Lakes Scenic Area is located in the northwest corner of Montana, 20 miles off Hwy 93 near Eureka.
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