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Brooks Lake to

Shale Creek Valley

At the base of North Pole Pass you'll find a long stretch of timber as the trail takes you westward towards Painter Basin. Brooks Lake and Fox Lake will be the first major water bodies you will come to in this stretch. Brooks Lake is a little to the south of the Highline Trail, but it gets a lot less traffic than Fox Lake and is a good option if you are looking for something more remote. The lake is smaller and shallower than Fox Lake, but it makes for good camping and also has fishing opportunities in the deeper sections in the middle of the lake.


Fox Lake is about a mile farther down the trail but is a lot larger in size and has more camping options. The north end of the lake has an sandy bottom which is ideal for wading if you need a place to freshen up. The northeast corner of the lake has several springs and is largely a bog. It should be avoid if possible, especially in August when the water level begins to drop. There is excellent fishing in Fox Lake for good sized cutthroat trout and brook trout. 

On the west end of the lake you'll find a cabin, and immediately after that you'll come to the dam. The Highline Trail will head west from the north end of the dam and can be a little tricky to find. If you get near the south end of Fox Lake then you'll know you've gone too far and are following the wrong trail. From the dam, the trail heads west along Shale Creek which is a fantastic place to fish. It's also a great place to find moose and elk. This section of the trail is very similar to the Whiterocks section of the trail with a little more elevation. There are also sections of the trail in this area that can be difficult to find at times. Water is quite plentiful in this section so there's no need to carry more than you need. 

Camping Potential - 5
Water Availability - 4
Difficulty - 1
Scenery - 5

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