Explore the most popular trail running trails in Custer 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.

Pure beauty. The hike was hard for the first time for us, but the second was easier. The switchbacks are beautiful, yet tiring. Great for fishing. Highly recommend.

What a great hike with amazing views all around! We went May 8th and there was still some snow on the ground, but not too much to stop us. I was visiting from Philly and it was the most beautiful picturesque Montana day!

Road is closed from the camping ground to the trail head. Make sure you check online if it’s open before driving out, however it did not say it was closed for this weekend.

An easy going trail with incredible views, and we didn’t even make it to Elk lake! After fighting the snow for about a mile we decided to save it for another day when the snow had melted. Will definitely be back

great trail, for every level!!

Beautiful hike (last August) with a lovely stream / small falls before the lake. It started raining near the top, but we kept going and felt peace at the lake with rain and solitude.

We plan on returning with the kids. Great walk. Dog friendly. Very easy.

Even though this one is rated easy, there were some spots that were tough for me. I will definitely try this one again being more physically fit, but it was worth every bit! Beautiful scenery and lake was breathtaking at the end!

We plan on returning with the kids. Great walk. Dog friendly. Very easy.

hiking
2 months ago

The way up was so beautiful this summer. Amazing wild flowers. The trail got a bit rocky up top, so I think I’ll have to get some ankle support boots for next time!

Always a good hike while in Montana!!!!

Should have brought snowshoes. But it was a beautiful hike for me, my sweetie & our labs.

Great trail. Beautiful views and lots of little bridges. My young lab puppy did well on this.

Beautiful hike! We were going to camp at island lakes but there was a snow crossing that didn't look safe so we turned around and camped at mystic. Spent two nights and explored the area and fished. Really enjoyed our time and look forward to going back. Had a few good afternoon mountain thunderstorms.

Beautiful day hike, left early and no one was around for most of the day. Right before getting to the first lake is kind of a when the heck am I going to get there feeling then you pop over a little crest and there it is! There's a few very decayed cabins along the route, I'm a big fan of abandoned buildings so that was fun. One of my favorite hikes in the Beartooths.

It’s an easy out and back, especially if bringing kids along. The trail starts behind a campground, it was confusing to find at first because there are multiple trails that start from this campground, one leads to palisade trail and the other is this one. Overall a fun hike, super easy elevation and my dog loved the creek. There is some snow towards the end of the hike, did not see any wildlife.

Great trail with wonderful lakes! Definitely go when there is snow as it makes the mountains look so much more beautiful!

awesome trail, great up and down terrain, beautiful views, nice cardio, loved it!

Beyond gorgeous hike!! The views were amazing. There was a fair amount of snow today for the last 3/4 of a mile to the lake. With the seasons changing, hiking boots and warm socks are recommended. Sneakers might not cut it!

Such a great hike. Incredibly beautiful and a wonderful was to spend 2-3 hours. Great spots for photos. It's uphill to the lake but it's pretty gradual and not difficult. Trail is well maintained. The road going in used to be rough but it was graded and is now a breeze.

Hike here or die knowing you missed out. The most beautiful trail from beginning to end, with very little difficulty.

Beautiful. Felt so good to soak our feet in the gorgeous lake.

Gorgeous scenery! Very rocky trail, so makes it difficult to look around or hike fast, but otherwise spectacular!

Easy one day hike. Seems to be well traveled, although it was labor day weekend

Loved this hike. Great trail, I personally loved the lower lake the Lilly pads where adorable, the upper lake was very nice too. the upper lake would be great fishing. one of my top 3 favorite hikes of the summer. I will be going back soon ♡

This Island Lake Trail depicted is on private land and should not be in this app. The lake itself is not on private land, but right on the border between the ranch and USFS. There is another route from the northwest, available on topo maps, all on public land and you will be legal.

hiking
8 months ago

I did this starting at East Rosebud Lake, going past Elk Lake and Rimrock Lake, eventually ending the day at Rainbow Lake. What an amazing day and scenic view. Took a needed swim on a hot day. It's cold blue waters did the trick!

One of the most beautiful hikes you will ever go on. Just loved it.
Gravel road to get there. Trail well marked easy to follow. Anyone in decent shape can do. Being bear bells and or spray.
We went to the far end of the lake, 8 mile round trip. Elevation not difficult, flatlanders can do.
It was stunning and remote and perfect. We saw no other people the whole time.

This was a really nice trail. Well maintained. I'm going to grade everything on a flatlander curve for difficulty- I live in Ohio and am in moderate shape (can run 3-5 miles without stopping). I agree for this area this is a moderate hike- for someone from out east I would rate it moderately hard. The whole first 3 miles (to Lower lake only) is uphill and there are quite a few steeper switchbacks. Also very gravelly, so easy to slip going up or down. The Lower lake was as far as we made it- it started to cloud over then storm so we had to turn back. The lower lake is not that remarkable, so if the weather is good and you are fit go up to the upper. Would definitely do again. Good for dogs also. Started at 8:30 saw only one other couple until we headed back down, very peaceful. No bears! Don't hike this if you aren't in decent shape.

Great hike! Definitely look forward to doing it again. We got up early and hit the trail by nine the whole way up and getting to the lake we were by ourselves, coming back down we ran into 15-20 people all headed up. Definitely worth the day trip.

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