I first hiked to George Lake in Paradise Valley south of Livingston in 2008. At that time very few people ever went there, mostly because of the condition of the trail. The last mile or so was virtually nonexistent and most hikers who tried to reach the lake failed. Some even wondered if the lake actually existed. Well, I made it to the lake but it was not an enjoyable hike. In fact, I swore that this was one trail I would never hike again. You can read that story in A Hike To George Lake.
In recent years the Custer Gallatin National Forest has done a lot of maintenance on the lower end of the trail and I recently broke my vow to never return. This time it was a great hike! There is an excellent trail for the first 3 1/2 miles before it climbs steeply down to Cascade Creek. From there it is a mile and 1,100 ft on a decent trail to the lake. The hike is about 10 1/2 miles round trip and is a great option for those who are looking for a lesser known trail. Learn more about the George Lake Trail in Paradise Valley.
So, it took me a dozen years to get back to a place I said I would never go again. I’m glad I put my old feelings aside and made the hike. I sure won’t wait another decade to return!