Explore BULL RIVER - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

BULL RIVER Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
22 days ago

A great destination for an overnight trip.

1 month ago

Did Wanless for the first time in mid-October 2017. Beautiful........ but shoulda had snowshoes! Can’t wait to do this one again!

The water level in the lake is quite low, but the day was impossibly beautiful. The autumn leaves are not quite in full hue, but will surely be at their prime in a few more days.

hiking
1 month ago

Pros: Longer hike for those looking for a challenge, gradual incline, breathtaking rock surrounding the lake
Cons: can be tiring, many spots on upper trail and by lake are un protected, not very many potential campsites
I did an overnight trip here in early Oct 2018. I carried a full backpacking load up the (7 miles) trail to the lake. I did pretty well pace wise until the last 1.5 miles or so, when the incline increased a bit and the altitude became more of a factor. That being said, I was blown away by the scenery, especially the rock formations, surrounding this lake. Definitely in my top 3 for North Idaho alpine lake scenery. The first half of the trail is goes through lush forest, and in the fall, is awash in yellows and reds. As a backpacker, I recognized the scarcity of potential camp sites by the lake, and while I was alone this time, I would attempt to arrive at the lake early in peak season. The lake shore is rather unprotected, and there aren't that many options for gathering deadfall for firewood. At 14 miles round trip, this trail is not for the endurance challenged, though it is achievable with proper pacing. Some of the creeks that you cross on the way up may be dry in Summer, so bring water. Overall, I highly recommend this trail for fit hikers.
At one point the road advises "high clearance vehicles only" , however this is only partially true. A cautious driver could get a van or some similar vehicle to the trailhead, in my opinion

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail over Labor Day 2018. Perfect day, 74 degrees and partly cloudy. About 2.5 miles to the waterfall/old mine which is a good place to break for lunch. Mild to moderate trail incline to this location. We continued to the lake and this is where the trail gets steeper, but the views on the way up and the lake are well worth the additional 2.5 miles.

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome trail, long hike but gradual climb. We stayed two nights at upper cedar lake and enjoyed the views from Dome Mountain.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this in light rain. The leaves are started to turn their autumn colors. I'd say in another week or two, it should be full autumn at Rock Lake. By the way, the hike is just under 10 miles in and out.

The hike itself is very beautiful and serene.

Potential to see Bears as we saw some scat on the trail as we hiked.

I would definitely recommend mud or hiking boots, as there are small streams that run through the trail at different spots. Bring a change of socks and proper footwear etc.

Very secluded when we went but there was one other car parked at the base.

Also its a rough ride to get to the trail, so be prepared for about 25 min of unpaved road.

Would definitely agree it's an experienced to moderate path.

backpacking
2 months ago

Did this trail as an overnight. Saw a few other hikers and Hunters. Everyone was very polite and had great trail etiquette.
The hike itself is a constant incline so if anyone you are going with isn't in decent shape it will be strenuous and potentially slow going. The views are totally worth it a highly recommend. There is a bear box provided which was very appreciated. At the lake there are limited options for pitching a tent so get there first if it's a popular weekend.

Not much to see on most of the hike, but when you get on top your rewarded with a spectacular view of Lake Pend Orielle and the surrounding mountains including Scotchman Peak. What makes this hike hard is the fact that it’s a roller coaster climb that is as easily hard to get to the top, but just as hard or even harder on the way out. Wish the trails wouldn’t be so damn rocky, or else this trail would be a lot easier on the feet.

backpacking
2 months ago

This trip starts high up on a mountain. If you enjoy a lung buster uphill grade in a full pack this trip is for you. My two Labs and I did an overnight there a couple of nights ago. The weather was beautiful sunny and in the low 70's. As I said the trail starts for the first mile going pretty much straight up. Once you reach the ridge things ease up. you follow a ridge for the next section. The trail weaves back and forth over the ridge giving you views of the Kootenai valley way below and next you are looking into the Cabinets and down at Engle Lake if that is your destination. I had intended to go and spend the night and get up the next morning to explore the Peak which has a trail to the top. But when I got to the lake I found huge patches of unpicked Huckleberries so I had to pick abou13 cups. But getting back to the trail. you follow the ridge and all of a sudden it drops off the side of the mountain going down towards the Kootenay valley. Don't dispear as I did. This will get you to the lake you just have to drop off that side of the mountain to cut through a boulder field. Once you go back up the other side the trail to the lake awaits. It is a steep drop of 3/4 mile down to the lake. It is a pretty lake. Lots of fish were jumping. There are two nice campgrounds on either side of the outlet we camped o the far side it is more level. take plenty of water as there is none along the way. I'm going back again this week to get more huckleberries.

trail running
2 months ago

Steady grade up. Take a dip in the river at the bottom.

2 months ago

The trail description is incorrect! It's about 3 1/2 (easy) miles to the waterfall and Heildleberg mine, not sure how many miles (2?) from there to the lake but that is where you will encounter the elevation gain. I've sent Altrails a suggestion to edit the info.

2 months ago

Great trail, moderate hike but long

backpacking
2 months ago

great hike and very gradual elevation gain. there are excellent place to camp and the snow is pretty much gone. I would recommend a fly pole because there is plenty of good fishing.

backpacking
2 months ago

This is a stunning hike. Our Garmin recorded 5mi each way. Trail is as described by others. We were able to get there in our Prius, road is rocky and potholed but with care it's doable. There is a camp just before the trailhead on the left that has space and horse hitches. Plenty of room for cars and trailers, no drop toilet at trailhead. There's a few wooded group camps along the way and a spot right by the falls. Camping at the lake is tricky if there are others there. Like others said, cross the creek and there's a rugged trail you can follow, it's pretty overgrown but there are a few other spots. Bring a hammock too for more options, there isn't much flat ground. Lake is great to swim in. The group next to us caught 4 fish. Hang your food. Great hike, only downside is lack of flat ground at the lake.

hiked and fished,both were great. Very scenic views of the surrounding mountains.

Another example of why it’s so easy to fall in love with the Cabinet Mountains!! Hiked the Geiger Lakes using trail #656 (Forest Service provides good local maps). This is a different trail than the one featured on AllTrail. I picked this one because TH was just a few miles from the outstanding Lake Creek Campground (huge sites, bear lockers, loads of privacy, remote, beautiful). MANY trails leading to and around the Geiger Lake area. Beautiful trails, primarily forested, cool in the summer, fairly well maintained, overgrown in some places. Numerous wildfires made the air Smokey and brown unfortunately. Still absolutely worth doing! Highly recommend this trail and others nearby! It is deep in both black bear and Grizzly country so don’t forget bear spray.

hiking
3 months ago

It’s like you’re in a Grimm’s Fairytale setting!!! Seriously, a must do!! Solitude, beauty, nature on steroids!! I loved every step and hated it to end!!

Most definitely ‘moderate’ — not ‘hard’. It’s all a steady gradual climb in beautiful forest: lots of shade, stream always close by, beautiful flowers and mushrooms. To me it was all about the journey up and less about the lakes at the end. I should say, lake views were tainted by recent/on-going wildfire smoke. Bottom line: if you’re in the area, DO IT! Totally worth a day of your life!!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike. Make sure you don’t stop at the upper lake and make the extra hike up the ridge overlooking both lakes, the views are totally worth it.

If not for the length I’d say it’s a moderate trail, there are very few painfully steep sections and most of it is just a long gradual climb that isn’t bad on the knees. However, I definitely felt it in my legs afterwards so the Hard designation is probably accurate.

Not for the weak of heart.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked to Rock Lake on August 6, 2018. First, the trail is not 2.7 miles - even one way. My GPS clocked it as 9.6 out and back, with a total elevation gain of 3,100 feet. This is from the gate on F-150A. The first three miles is an old mining road with a steady, gradual incline. The swampy area along the way is perfect for Moose. We believe we heard one but never saw it. And although we never saw a bear, there was enough fresh scat on the trail to keep us aware they were around.

The falls at the three-mile mark is beautiful. There is plenty of old mining equipment around. At this point, the trail makes a dramatic change. Just before you reach the falls, the trail makes a sneaky right, up the mountain. You'll probably pass it along the way. After you admire the falls for a bit, turn around, walk about 15 yards and the trail will be on your left.

For the next mile, you will switch back your way up 1,000 feet in elevation to the lake. I hike, often, so this wasn't hard for me, but those of us who weren't used to the climb had to take a few breaks.

The lake is beautiful. As you arrive, there are two camping spots. I crossed the creek and discovered a nice trail along the left side of the lake. I have read that there is a campsite on the other side of the lake, as well. The trail is not what I would call difficult. We had kids with us as young as ten and they did very well.

This is August, so the afternoons can be hot. I suggest that you start early. We were on the trail for 6.5 hours. That includes lunch and tooling around - five hours actually hiking. Bring bear spray and a little bug spray as well. Some of us got bit a couple of times. By the way, there was little if any smoke.

We did this as a day hike, but I could easily pack it in and stay two or three nights. There are several great peaks to explore and I have heard the fishing ain't bad, either. Me, I could take my Bible and my journal, have a seat on one of those rocks and be content for the day.

This hike was number 85 for me this year. It will certainly end up as one of my top 10 in 2018!

camping
3 months ago

So beautiful!
You get to hike by the stream and then you can swim just below a waterfall, and all on your way up!
Me and my friend camped for 1 night by the lake and it was so perfect! Plus tons of huckleberries to eat on your way up! We also got to see s mamma goat and her two babies!
would definitely recommend this trail!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a fairly easy hike. The river crossings and the overgrowth make it more difficult than it needs to be. There is a nice campsite next to a waterfall about 2 1/2 miles in. The lake itself is beautiful. It was so clear, I could see the fish swimming in it. It took my daughter and I about three hours to hike to the lake and 2 1/2 hours to get back to the parking lot. I think this app underestimates the distance. It’s more like 13 miles total.

hiking
3 months ago

About half way up there is a gorgeous waterfall. I thought kids could do the hike to the falls, after that the trail gets more difficult with uneven rockiness, switchbacks and cliffs. The views from the falls to the lake are stunning and there were lots of huckleberries to pick along the way and plenty of shade for rest. The lake is cold and a welcome reward at the top. We didn’t hike up and around the lake, but next time I want to. We had a big group and didn’t see any bears, but we were told it’s grizzly country by the lady at the nearby gas station.

backpacking
3 months ago

I went with my two Labs on an overnight. The weather was dry with temps in the upper 80's. The trail is an old road for the first 3 miles or so. The last section is a trail with switchbacks to the lake. There was plenty of water on this trip between springs, wet meadows and creeks. Perfect for dogs on a hot day. Just before the trail to the lake is an old mine site and a gorgeous waterfall. We reached the lake in late afternoon. The lake is a long one with steep walls of rock surrounding it. There is a campground at the foot of the lake that is capable of supporting 4 - 5 tents. It is the only campsite on the lake. We set up our tent and had a nice leisurely evening. The next morning we took a trip around to the head of the lake on the west side. This entails crossing the creek. I did not find it until our return but if you follow the creek down a little way there is a log jam so you can cross with dry feet. The social trail goes to the head of the lake and through St. Paul pass to St. Paul lake to the North. We did not go all the way to the pass but the trail is navigable. The day was hot enough that I wanted to get down the hot switchbacks before temps really ramped up for the day. I saw a mountain goat, and some dippers at the lake. There were quite a few fish jumping in the water. This would make a very good day hike. It was a fun trip. I'd do it again.

backpacking
4 months ago

This was my second time up to granite lake. I’m so grateful this place isn’t well know yet.

It can be a bit tricky getting there with the river crossings but it is truly one of the most beautiful Alpine Lakes in the entire Northwest.

If anyone gets the chance to bring a machete the last mile is covered in overgrowth.

Have fun!!

Great trail, perfect for the dogs. The lake at the end was more then we expected! Only one other group at the end, who were cooking their fresh caught trout over a fire. Loved it!

My favorite hike! The views are amazing.

Load More