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Handkerchief Lake

Contact Info
Flathead National Forest
8975 Highway 2 East
P.O. Box 190340
Hungry Horse, MT 59919

Year round


Handkerchief Lake is a 51 acre lake that rests in Graves Creek in the South Fork Flathead River drainage. It’s surrounded by avalanche chutes in an otherwise forested setting. Fish from the reservoir cannot access the lake due to a waterfall near the reservoir. Fishing can be hot at times for arctic grayling and Westslope Cutthroat Trout especially when the Callibaetis mayflies are emerging. The current state record grayling, a 3 lb. 4 oz. beauty, was caught from this lake in 1994. Just above the lake you can find Graves Creek Trailhead (Trail #1) that will take you to the splendors of the Jewel Basin Hiking Area and to the many high mountain lakes that dot the landscape.


Arctic Grayling
Cutthroat Trout


Year round
Camping Info
There is a rustic campground on Handkerchief Lake that is made for tent camping. The steep bank down to the lake from the road limits the number of flat spots, so please don’t expect a KOA.


Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Take FS Road No. 895 over Hungry Horse Dam for about 30 miles then right on No. 9796 to No. 897 for about 1 mile. Follow the signs. This lake is made for float tube or canoe fishing. It is difficult to get a heavier boat in and there is no boat ramp. Fish can be caught from shore but you’ll be far more successful on the water. Fishing can also be good in Graves Bay on Hungry Horse Reservoir.

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