Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Bitterroot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Gorgeous weather, a bit rocky, needed a jacket but overall a great hike with great friends.

Best trail!!

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked into Kidney Lake 10/8/18. Beautiful, sunny day in high 40’s Got into snow 1/2 way up on the Kidney spur trail. Lake not frozen but no fish caught. Gorgeous time of the year

Gorgeous Fall day, mid 50’s. Colors are spectacular & creek clear!

trail running
25 days ago

Easy and very well maintained. Perfect for trail running.

really enjoyed this trail, even if the stones make it difficult but interesting for running.
Very well maintaned.

trail running
28 days ago

really good trail running and fantastic view.
https://www.strava.com/activities/1863820572

The entire hike up to the lake will take you a bit. The terrain gradually gets more difficult as you climb. There was a moment when we found ourselves off trail so pay attention to your turns and direction.

The views are tremendous and the lake is beautiful. Totally worth the hike. Bring lots of water and bear spray. The lake has ample space to camp on it's shores.

Hiked this trail on Sept.8th. the onset of Fall was beginning to appear. It was a little smokey but made for beautiful photos. This trail was rated as difficult and I somewhat agree with rating. Falls were gorgeous, Took the left fork and crossed the creek. My dog loved it. Clocked trail time at 6.5 hours to lake and back.

one of my favorite hikes so far! me and my partner and our 3 dogs hiked about 2.5 miles in until we got to a small waterfall. i really loved this trail because of the constant change of scenary. beautiful mountains on either side. as you walk you go through dense forested areas, boulders, a river and some sweet little wetlands with lush green grasses. we hiked back out during the sunset and it was beautiful! some small inclines but nothing crazy. a lot of rocks on parts of the trail so just watch your step. i wish i had time to hike a little further!

great terrain diversity and beautiful sights both above and below!

1 month ago

Lovely hike. We didn’t go all the way to the lake and this hike was easily 8.5 miles round trip. If you go to the lake add another 4 miles. I’m sure it’s worth it. Waterfalls and nice woods throughout. Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike! Fairly easy hike up multiple switchbacks to the overlook. Great vistas!

Make sure to go past the first (and on this app, final destination) waterfall to second, very impressive waterfall 1/2 mile farther. Hike alternates between black rocks and forest. When you reach the bridge, look up to granite arch on top of the ridge. Nice mountain views.

So first off, road up isn’t too bad. However this hike is a climb almost every step to the top of the saddle. Too hazy to see mountains today, but nice rock slides and views of Palisades Mountain. Lots of wildflowers and beautiful creek photo opportunities. Bring snack and lots of fluids on warm days. It’s a trek! Moderate is probably accurate considering much of the trail is loose rock and horse travel up there hasn’t helped the creek crossings. Most are easily navigable if you look around and find alternate routes to keep dry. But I can see earlier in season, or if any rainfall at all, there being a great deal of mud and potentially wet feet.

One of my all time favorites. Absolutely loved it!

Hiked this trail in mid-July. It was hot but the falls were beautiful and I loved the challenge.

I prefer snowshoeing this trail in the winter. Saw a mouse...whom I guess frequents this area often.

Breath taking views. Saw cougar scat on the trail, but my dog did not seem startled. So climbwd to the top. Worth it.

2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes. So beautiful.

Great hike different terrain makes it fun!!

Awesome hike. Very gentle switch backs made for a pleasant climb. If you detour to the right just before the overlook, the views are spectacular. Beginner carrying 20lb pack, took about 3hrs total including a short lunch break.

Here's the deal: the lake is actually about 8-9 miles in. The upper reaches of this trail are beautiful, but it's not a half day hike! The final ascent to the lake requires hiking through quite a bit of brushy trail, and overall, you're gaining around 2500 feet. The Montana CCC was there today, cutting deadfall. Much appreciated!

Beautiful views. Great hike for the whole family!

backpacking
2 months ago

Great trip. The trail splits at about 2.8 miles or so. Guidebooks day to take the right fork. We did on the way out- limited shade switchbacks and rocky but beautiful. On the way back we took the other fork. This was super enjoyable and had two river crossings that were easy in low water. Lots of camp spots around the lake. Only two other camp groups. Caught some trout.
Did find the offshoot for the Lappi Lake hike and followed it for a few hundred yards until it disappeared. Would love to go on this if it were maintained.

backpacking
2 months ago

The trail to Bass Lake is wonderful and maintained. A few notes for those going to the lake/camping and considering going further:
1. The trail splits half way through - a high road that avoids the stream and a low road that crosses the stream. They are unmarked. Be aware if you have a party that gets stretched out as you could miss one another.
2. Soon after you get to the lake, trail maintenance stops. The camping spots are on the southwestern corner of the lake, so be careful on the unmaintained portion. The “trail” goes and stays high above the water pretty much until you get to the WSW part of the lake. After that you can follow the shore and find a camping spot. There are several.
3. For those considering going over unmaintained Bass Pass and down into the Kootenai drainage, I recommend against it. You could make it from the lake to the pass (truly little to no trail and a ton of deadfall) to then attempt the summit of Bass Peak, but further than that is extremely dangerous. There is no trail to follow and is a scramble across boulders, deadfall, down the creek, and thick trees and undergrowth. We came the opposite way and could have easily gotten stuck or seriously hurt. It took more than 8 hours to reach the lake from the Kootenai trail. We would have quickly turned back had we not been meeting someone at the lake. It took 2 of our hiking poles. Can’t emphasize this enough - don’t do it.

2 months ago

Our group was age 13-48 and although the length of this trail is short we give it moderate rating. Trail is steep and rocky most of the way. The lake is beautiful and we all swam and hung out. If you make it to Baker Lake, keep going to middle and Gem lakes - not much farther and gorgeous!

Once you’ve made it to Baker Lake - keep going! Most of the hard part is at the very beginning of the trail. Getting to Gem Lake you can scramble up the rocks from Middle Lake but the trail to the right of the waterfall is the easiest. We all swam and water was chilly but great!

Really a beautiful hike. If you go out and back, you can probably do it in about 7 hours. But it’s tough the mile or so before the lake. Going downhill sucked after leaving the lake. Which is clean AF btw. Overall beautiful but may start hating life the last hour. I don’t hike that long very much!

hiking
2 months ago

Fun hike. Did in 2 hours 40 mins. We kept a good pace. Now back to Hamilton for a beer.

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