Explore the most popular birding trails in Flathead 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.

The trailhead is well marked. You begin by gradually going uphill, then it flattens out as you go around the left side of the creek and around a marshy area. We didn’t try hiking to the upper lake because of a lack of time. Looking forward to hiking it again next summer when it isn’t snowing and blowing.

on Lupine Lake Trail

26 days ago

Great day hike and gorgeous path through the pines. The lake is absolutely stunning and in the fall very secluded and not crowded one bit. A ways out there but worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the prettiest fall color trails you will find in early October. The drive in passes many striking fall scenes as well.

Easy trail with well maintained Creek crossings ending in gorgeous mountain lake views. Often quite busy despite the lengthy drive to the trailhead

Nice easy trail. scenery was awesome.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail for our large group of different ages and abilities. Beautiful views of the Flathead valley on the way in, then when you reach Birch Lake it was a nice surprise. We camped on the peninsula, caught a few fish, and a few hiked in to Crater Lake the next morning.

hiking
2 months ago

This was our first trail using all trails app. The trailhead was easy to find and has a bathroom. The hike starts off a slight bit steep but levels off nicely toward the top. The lake was really nice. We tried to walk to the second lake but the trail was a lot harder to follow and we were running short on daylight so we turned back. All in all great hike.

Great hike if you’re looking for something close to Whitefish.

camping
2 months ago

Beautiful scenery with the option to take a lift down.

Amazing scenery and views in mid-September. Be prepared for weather changes. Would definitely recommend this beautiful trail.

Beautiful views.

Took our dog on the hike and had a nice early evening hike ! Was beautiful scenery! Definitely would recommend this hike !

Beautiful trail...amazing wildflowers and some amazing views.

Just beautiful.

Great hike! It’s 3.8 to the end point and another .5 to the gondola. If I did it again, I would have had two IPAs at the bar and taken the gondola down. :) Enjoy.

Beautiful, crystal clear lake at the end of a easy 2 mile hike. First part of trail had some fairly steep climbs but nothing really tough. Low 70’s & no bugs or fish.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun and relatively easy hike on the way there, but the way back is a little bit harder due to steep uphill sections. Great views, mountain goats, and a gorgeous lake!

I wouldn’t bring small children or clumsy dogs because of the trail being loose rocks and steep drop offs in some places.

I really like this trail. The views along the way are nice and become amazing from Standard Peak. You can see the entire Flathead Valley from the top. The road to access this trail is seasonal. There is a gate on McGinnis Creek Road that is closed until July 1st. I think it stays open until possibly some time in September. There are a few places along the trail that are under the cover of trees, but it is mostly open so wear sunscreen.

pretty and quiet, nice. that said, the north half is basically a forest service road. the south half( as shown) is an actual road- yuck. however, I found an actual trail just to the north of said road that was pleasant.

as a flatlander this was a little tough. decent views throughout. lots of huckleberries to be picked. the last stretch up to the summit was the hardest part. gondola ride back down was well worth the $9 ticket.

Trail not maintained and completely over grown. After 15 minutes of walking through 4’ shrubs had to turn back.

on Sapphire Lake

hiking
3 months ago

Many trails are available from the Holland Lake trailhead, which is easily accessible 4 miles down a good dirt road right off of route 83. Do not try to find the trailhead by entering Sapphire Lake directly into GoogleMaps, as that brought me to the wrong place. The AllTrails directions brought me to the right trailhead, which has restrooms, but no water. It was fairly busy there by mid-day, mostly with folks taking the trail to the falls.

Like most of the other reviewers here, I only went to Upper Holland Lake, which was 11 miles RT and 2753 ft of elevation gain. I am guessing that to get up to Sapphire Lake is much more than another 0.4 miles. That is a good thing, because that would be a short distance over which to gain another 842 ft of elevation.

Very nice hike. The views of Holland Lake are pretty, and the hike brings you through varied terrain, sometimes along a creek with nice waterfalls. It is a steady, but not brutal uphill trip on a well maintained trail with only a little bit of overgrowth in a few places. Upper Holland Lake seems like a popular spot to overnight. I did not see any bears, but I feel like maybe I did see paw prints on the trial.

There are many other trails in this area not shown on this map, and you could easily get confused if you don't have a more complete map. I relied on the AllTrails app and still ended up taking a wrong turn on the way down and had to backtrack when I realized that I had missed the bridge over the creek right by the camping area about halfway up.

Beautiful views but very challenging... technical for running in many spots.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great hike that was definitely on the easy side of moderate. On a hot day you can take a swim in the lake at the end of the trail - a real highlight! Views were a bit hindered from the smoke but that's true of most trails right now.

We decided to do this one from top to bottom... took the chair up, grabbed a beer at the summit and made our way down. Very well-maintained trail with plenty of signage. The declines were very steep in spots which made me second guess our choice to start at the top, but we took the Flower Point loop which added about 1.5 miles to the hike and also provided some inclines to give our knees a break. This side loop also provides incredible views over the canyon at the resort's eastern boundary.

Tons of wildflowers and whitebark pine. Tons of birds, including one female ptarmigan.

Fun trail!

Stunning short hike. Love the fresh water. Most likely will see mountain goats. Last time we were up there a male was charging humans. I witnessed it charge a male in our group and heard from four others hikers this had happened to them as well. Had never seen this before.

hiking
3 months ago

felt longer than it was. aside from steep downhill beginning, mostly gradual up and down. lots of timber, so no views from trail. fished, no luck. couple campsites & fire rings next to lake. pretty lake. would be good for a trail bike too.

camping
3 months ago

I had intended on taking my family (wife + our 4 kiddos age 9 and younger) on a hiking / fishing / camping trip. The hike is not challenging. Well maintained trail. However,
** Glacier lake is DAY USE ONLY **
So, instead of a 1.5 mile hike, we went on a 3.5 mile hike to the next lake in, which is Crescent Lake. I’m not trying to whine. The hike was great. Kids did okay. The annoyance is that we were not mentally prepared to hike that much farther which resulted in me carrying 1 kid along with an extra pack 2/3 of the way up and most of the way down. Just something I wish I would have known. So I could have had a better heads up, or could have chosen a closer camping destination.
All that aside, it was a great family outing. Caught a few fish 10-12”. A few nice camping spots. We will most likely be back at some point.
Also, Heart Lake is probably only another .25 / .5 miles away from Crescent.

Very solid hike up Big Mountain. Huck picking along the way. Lots of bear scat but no bears today. Saw some eagles. Last stretch to the summit is worth it. As good as advertised a must do hike!

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