Rock Lake Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Trout Creek, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.
I completed this hike in late September. The color of the autumn leaves, and the scent in the air, was magical!
Think of this as two different hikes. The hike from the beginning of the trail head to the waterfall is a relatively easy hike with smooth paths, easy inclines, and nothing daunting for the casual hiker. The hike from the waterfall to the lake is a bit more challenging. About 20 meters from the waterfall, there is a trail heading eastward up the mountain. You might miss it at first, because you are looking at the AWESOME waterfall ahead. The trail is a switchback with some considerable elevation gain from the waterfall to the lake. The views from this point on are just amazing! The lake and surrounding mountains are stunningly beautiful.
I was hiking alone, and met a black bear coming down the trail. I moved aside, and it moved aside, and we got past each other without incident. (This is a grizzly habitat, so you might bring some bear spray and leave your picnic basket at home.)
The hike from the waterfall to the lake is well worth the effort to get to the top. This hike is going on to my list of favorites.
Great hike. Lots of viewpoints. A couple of mining buildings 5-6 bridges and a couple of water crossings without bridges. Extra pair of shoes was helpful. Day hikers saw a baby grizzly earlier in the day we only saw traces. Oh and only smart dog owners please. Not a fun way to end a hike. Enough said. 4 miles into the hike there is an amazing waterfall and old mining shaft. Kyle thanks so much for the tip on retracing and finding the trail on the side of the mountain. This is where the trail moves from mild to moderate. You gain a fair amount of altitude in the last 1.5 miles . I had a separate app running and it had a total of 11 miles out and back instead of the listed 10. It is worth every step. We had the lake to ourselves and this was on a weekend.
This is a great hike, moderate difficulty. Along the way there are some fun water crossings including a great bridge. There are some amazing views along the way and a nice waterfall. Also be sure to check out the old mine next to the waterfall on your way up. There is a nice campground when you reach the lake, but there is also a second camping area at the opposite end of the lake. To get there you have to cross the stream that empties out of the lake and trek around the lake to the second camp ground. This camping spot is great and a little more protected if the weather is bad. Also, bring some fishing gear and you'll be able to catch some nice cutthroats for dinner!
Pretty nice hike was raining most the way in but if u wait for a dry sunny day in the northwest youll miss out on a ton of opportunities. Pretty slow goin the begining portion with a few waterfalls to be seen thro the trees and then after passing thro a silent meadow it starts going steeply up hill then u hit the falls and a mine on rock creek pretty cool place to stop. The majority of the elevation gain is the last quarter mile you may miss the trail heading the rest the way up do to the distraction of a gourgeous water fall if so dont fret just back track about 65 yards from the falls and ull see a narrow trail heading uphill that will take you to a gourgeous lake thro the majority of elevation gain. once up at the lake we were amazed to find there was no wind or rain but if u look off to the sides ull notice that the small basin ur in allows for the wind and rain to go around u instead of coming down on you. A larger group would want to stay at one of the 2 camp sites along the way a s the site at the lake is only really big enough to accomidate four tents.