Fault Lake is a 12.4 mile out and back trail located near Sandpoint, ID and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.
Great Labor Day weekend for an overnight at Fault Lake. The directions AllTrails sent to Google Maps were perfect, and you'll have no trouble getting to the trailhead in a vehicle with a bit of clearance as some areas of the FS road had water bars that were a bit too deep for a standard rig.
TRAIL - well-marked, well-travelled trail with a LOT of green bushes right up against both sides. While the things is almost 3000 feet gain, it is well spread along the first four miles, while the last bit, the bit in the more alpine area, is a little more of a push. Huckleberries galore once you break out of the bushes.
LAKE - gorgeous lake with nice campsites and a bear box. We got a tip to look North from the lake and up a bit to a couple VERY nice penthouse camp sites on the knob with commanding views of the lake. We had the place to ourselves that night; the evening was charmed for sure.
SURROUNDINGS - a walk up the knob to the north of the lake provides great views of the area, and bailing out over the western side leads you into the northward drainage with a beautiful and secluded campsite a bit further up.
OVERALL - great lake, beautiful alpine sights, sounds, and smells, more berries than you could pick, and a decent workout if you are letting your teenage son set the pace!
Great hike, beautiful views. Trail is over grown in some areas so you'll have to push the branches out or the way. Pretty easy going until the last mile to the lake and that is pretty steep.
To get to the trailhead, continue up Upper Pack Road about 12 miles. PASS THE FIRST NF-293 LEFT HAND TURN. Do not turn up the first NF-293 "Jeru Ridge" road, as I have personally gotten lost up there for hours. They are branching logging roads in very very poor shape, and most of them lead to nowhere. Unless you go up there with the intention of exploring in a heavy duty, high clearance vehicle, do not take that turn! The road you want to take is the second NF-293 road just before crossing the bridge on Upper Pack. It is a gravel road. At the switchback, continue straight. In about a mile you will reach a small parking lot! Just a little note so others don't make the same mistake :)
Beautiful trail, beautiful lake
What this trail has is amazing views of the mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and of course fault lake. There are camp sites at the lake. The scenery is amazing from the trail head all the way to the end.
Half way up there is a waterfall with cascading rock faces and a small pool. Amazing to look at, probably could stop and soak your feet for a while here.
The trail is in good enough condition, but could benefit from some maintenance. The trail is obvious 90% of the route, there is a bit of confusion in the dry creek beds near the lake, but you will still probably find your way. The trail is mildly overgrown in places, be prepared to push branches out of your face. Also there are lots of loose rock in places, make sure you have strong ankles or supportive boots.
The last mile of road to the trail head is advised for high clearance vehicles only, but right now the condition was very good. There is also a large bear box near the lake for food storage.
Great trail with constant views of surrounding peaks, a great overnight backpack. I was at first very hesitant to attempt the road to the trail head as it says "High clearance vehicles only." Although this sign is accurate, I feel it isn't as bad as one might think. I was able to get to the parking area (which is about half a mile or so from the Fault lake exit) in my Toyota corolla, but I would recommend going VERY slow and using caution. The hike itself is great, and most of it is a gentle climb up the mountain without any steep or sketchy areas (very good for hiking with a full pack). There are a few campsites around the lake, but this area is popular and space is limited. I did not hike up to the upper smaller lake, but I believe this may have a few camping spots as well. There is a bear box on this site for food, but as always please keep a clean camp and do not feed wildlife. Cheers!
I did this trail last year, awesome trip and the view of the night sky from the lake cannot be beat. The trail head is easy to find but the road up to it has large parts washed away so bring a truck or suv. A creek crossing gets you on the right path and the trail is a steady climb that will test your legs. Maybe about a mile from the lake the trail become a sharp uphill and narrow with lots of rocks. I found myself stopping consistently just to take in the views around me, totally breathtaking. Theres a small camping ground next to the lake and a running creek that flows down. Also a bear box for storing food. A must to for any backpacker!
This trail is easy to find and follow, start with a creek crossing ( easy hop across a few rocks) then follow double track trail for first few miles, becomes single track for remainder of trail. Several creeks that are easy to hop over and a couple of muddy spots that required a little more effort to avoid, will likely dry up soon. The final portion of trail leads you thru beautiful Alpine meadows, the trail becomes a little harder to follow due to rocks, there are some signs to assist as well as some Cairns to help you find your way.
I seemed to stop every few hundred feet just in awe of the views that surrounded me. Beautiful creek and some small falls greet you just before you reach your destination.
This would also make a great starting point for a longer backpacking trip thru the Selkirks.
See link for more pictures.