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This was one of my favorite backpacking hikes ever. We camped at Pearl and did a day hike to Dalton, well worth it. All of the lakes were gorgeous and the hike was moderate to Pearl, hard if you go onto Dalton because of the extra distance. I do not consider myself an avid hiker and more casual.

This hike was awesome in the fall! The colors were incredible (check out my pics), but the weather was a little iffy with sideways rain/wind. September was the perfect time with gorgeous fall colors. In October or later, I'd expect knee deep snow.

hiking
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Great to see rain forest and old-growth cedar groves, waterfalls, typical Montana forest, and high mountain lakes, all in one trip. My daughter and I left Missoula at 10:30 am, and were back in Missoula 8 hours later. Easy, and great, day trip.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful! Towering cedars at the beginning. We made it to hub lake, not a ton of areas of camping and pretty steep getting down to the lake but well worth it. Made for a pretty awesome weekend.

This is a really great trail especially now with fall colors! Trail wasn’t very crowded but has some spectacular views! Both lakes are really cool and you can continue to a third if you please! Lots of camping room by the lake as well! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists.

backpacking
4 months ago

My boyfriend and I are just starting to get into backpacking and this was our first real backpacking trip! We had a blast however there were a few problems along the trail. The trail was pretty easy to follow until trail 108. In the beginning It was an easy trail for the most part however once we got to the fork of trail 12 and 108, the trail disappeared. They were both clearly labeled and trail 12 looked decently maintained but about 100ft from the fork trail 108 was practically nonexistent.

We decided to keep going however thinking the trail would start to come back or we would be able to find It... we ended up doing this for so long there was a slim chance we could make our way back to the trail. Not the smartest idea, we admit, but It was too late. So we kept going northwest, luckily we had brought a compass and some printed out maps. We kept going northwest knowing we would hit the sawtooth creek or the river.

Finally after about 9 hours of going up and down steep mountains and over/under tons of blown down trees and through shrubs that were taller than our heads, we finally hit the sawtooth creek. We ended up hiking about a mile down and hit the river and knew about a quarter of a mile back was trail 50. So we turned around went back up the creek and got back on trail at that point and completed the loop. It was extremely challenging when we lost the trail and we contacted the forest services afterwords and they said multiple people have complained about the lack of maintenance of that trail. I would advise bringing a compass, a good map, an excellent gps, and a lot of determination. It was a great challenge and I feel a lot more confident surviving in the woods now, but It was not the safest route by far. Good luck!

Beautiful moderate hike. Good camping by lake.as well

The directions on here were wrong for me. They took me up an old logging road which ended up being closed when you can just go straight into superior and follow the signs off the exit to the trailhead. Getting to heart is easy and then getting to pearl and dalton is a little more intense. Heart to pearl trail is a little overgrown. Keep on the trail going around pearls and the trail to dalton is very visible. I did this as a day hike. Had some fish nibbles in heart, skipped fishing and pearl, and had big fish nibbling and jumping at Dalton.

backpacking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. last mile in was the hardest, but with a few switchbacks it makes it very doable!! We base camped at heart lake 3 days and took day hikes up to Pearl lake and Dalton lake, and also to the state line ridge and hidden lake! it was Absolutely beautiful all of it! We camped at the south eastern end of the lake. Awesome spot!! fresh water near camp and goats to entertain us....although they did get abit too curious! Just had to clap and stomp and they scared away...

Such a beautiful, shaded hike. Will hike this trail, again and again.

Beautiful, rained the entire way but still so beautiful

4 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.

on Salmo-Priest Loop

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful like always! Trail is a little over grown, you can’t argue about it being berry bushes though! Just pop a few in your mouth as you push through!
The trail is closer to 22m long if you loop and count the 1m old skid road.
Good luck and happy hiking!

Beautiful. Just needs some downed trees removed.

great hike for kids!

backpacking
4 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.

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
5 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.

This hike was amazing!!! It’s a very quick and easy hike up to heart lake (I am not a super frequent backpacker and weigh around 200lb so REALLY it’s an easy hike) the beginning is pretty much 2.5 miles of flat with about a 1/2 mile of elevation gain and then maybe another 1/2 mile to the lake. there are plenty of camping sights, we stayed at one at the very end that was fantastic. There are lots of mountain goats so pee far away from camp unless you want big, white, huffing visitors in the night. Great spot for first time backpackers or for a day hike. 10/10 planning to go back soon.

P.S. the map that this site gives you through google is kind of crazy. I would recommend just googling the hike, every other site recommends I-90 exit 47 for superior onto diamond match road and then you follow that 30miles to the hike, much easier!

8/7-8/9/18. Easy hike, 30 pound pack made it more moderate. Beautiful trail that is well maintained. Stayed at Heart lake for 2 nights, lots of great campsites. Day hiked to Pearl, its not as pretty as Heart. The Mt. Goats were awesome!! Had 7 of them come into our campsite, not aggressive, just hung out for a little bit. Lots of little furry creatures, my dog finally caught her chipmunk. Not too busy during the week. Bugs weren't too bad with spray. The hike to Pearl is easy to miss it goes straight up from the trail, if you hit the marshy section you've gone to far. It was only about .5 mile from Heart. 2 fitbits logged 4 miles to the site we camped. Only 1.5 miles to hit Pearl and back. 9ish miles total for both lakes.

hiking
5 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!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike two days to do the loop. Easy crossing at river, trail a bit overgrown on the Idaho side. A few trees down but no big deal. Water in good shape at about the 5700 ft level coming up from the river. Also a last camp soon on the right next to the river at about 5500 or so. Dry up on the ridge. Water is pretty much dry at the corner to shed roof divide trail. A few birds, grouse, dried bear scat on trail. Two other groups on route I saw. HOT!!! would like to go back in cooler weather and bluer Skys. Nice trail!!

camping
5 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
5 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.

Beautiful hike, well maintained trail

hiking
5 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.

One of my favorite trails in the Great Burn! I love walking through the giant cedar groves. You’ll earn it as you climb to Hub Lake in the second mile - a good deal of incline. But lots of huckleberries if you time it right! Bugs were present at the lake but the breeze and some bug spray mostly kept them at bay. Don’t miss out on this one!

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