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The New World Gulch to Mystic Lake Trail is a moderate 5.3 mile hike. The first 2 miles are very rolling and follow the creek bed closely. At times, the rocky creek bed becomes the trail but with large rocks to step on the water poses minimum hazards. At 2 miles, the trail breaks away from the creek and meanders through open meadows then climbs slightly through lodgepole and spruce stands to the fenced and well-marked divide between New World Gulch and the Bozeman Creek drainage. Motorized vehicles are not permitted into the Bozeman Creek drainage area.
From the divide, the trail is marked with orange tree blazes. Continuing on an easy downhill grade to the north end of the lake, the trail crosses the three small creeks contributing to Mystic Lake then climbs the sidehill above the eastern shore of the lake into a clear-cut area. The trail heads west on an old logging road paralleling Mystic Lake to the Forest Service Station on the southeast end of the lake. This cabin is rentable for stays up to a week. There are dispersed campsites within .25 miles of the cabin.
Forest Road #979 heads south from Mystic Lake along Bozeman Creek to the Bozeman Creek parking area. It is a 10 mile hike via this route.
Trail #436 begins at the west end of Mystic Dam and joins the Bozeman Greek Road #979 after 2.5 miles, then continues along the road for the 5.5 miles to the parking area at Bozeman Creek. This trail is two miles shorter than the road route. If hikers elect to go down Bozeman Creek, they will need a shuttle back to their car at New World Gulch.Directions
From the Bozeman city limits, go east on Interstate 90 for 4.5 miles to the Bear Canyon exit. Then, head west for .5 mile to Bear Canyon Road. Follow Bear Canyon Road south for 3.5 miles.Highlights
The trail follows a creek bed to Mystic Lake for good cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing.