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Axolotl Lakes
Wildlife Watching > Axolotl Lakes (MT) 
70 miles northeast of Dillon, Montana.
The Axolotl (“Ak-suh-lot-ul”) Lakes Wilderness Study Area and 40 adjacent acres make up this unique and relatively remote recreation area. Axolotl Lakes lies on the northern edge of the Greenhorn Mountains at an elevation of roughly 6,900 feet. The entire Madison Range and valley are visible from the heights of the property. The land is characterized by lush meadows interspersed with rolling foothills, rocky ledges, and outcrops. The area is known for its scenic beauty, fishing opportunities, and diversity of wildlife. Several small, unnamed lakes and potholes throughout the area are inhabited by rainbow and cutthroat trout.
From Dillon, travel north 40 miles on State Highway 41 to Twin Bridges. Then travel 50 miles east on State Highway 287. Turn south on Gravelly Range Road and drive about 7 miles. Turn west on Axolotl Lakes Road and go about 5 miles to the recreation area entrance.
Visitor Activities
Hiking, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and hunting.
Special Features
Riparian and wetland areas are interspersed throughout the area. In addition, fluvial Arctic graylings are reared in Upper Twin Lake, accessible via the recreation area, providing brood stock for the reintroduction and recovery of the grayling in Montana. A great diversity of wildlife inhabits the area, including elk, antelope, mule deer, moose, bald and golden eagles, nesting ospreys, and many other species.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
Camping and Lodging
Only dispersed, primitive camping is permitted. The nearest lodging is in Virginia City, 10 miles east on State Highway 287, and Ennis, 30 miles east on State Highway 287.
Food and Supplies
Food, supplies, and commercial services are available in Virginia City and Ennis.
First Aid
The nearest hospital is in Ennis.
Additional Information
Vehicle travel in this area is limited to designated routes. Roads in this area are not maintained; a high-clearance vehicle is required. Foot travel may be necessary.
Contact Information
BLM - Dillon Field Office
1005 Selway Drive
Dillon, MT 59725
Tel: (406) 683-2337                            
Fax: (406) 683-2970

Axolotl Lakes Website


Axolotl Lakes Map

Axolotl Lakes Photo

Numerous small lakes and potholes in the remote Axolotl Lakes area provide high-elevation habitat for rainbow and cutthroat trout. (BLM)

Last updated: 10-23-2009