Explore the most popular fishing 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.

hiking
3 days ago

A nice quiet trail that can be hiked in a couple hours. Ample parking at trailhead. The road sign to trailhead is about 200 yards before the parking lot coming from West Glacier on US2, ie don't park where cabin rental office is. Was confronted by unfriendly large dog with equally rude, unapologetic owner, when I advised that dogs required to be on leash. She pleaded ignorance but anyone with an ounce of sense would have checked.
Trail does not end at head of lake but there seemed to be a path beyond the 'official' end of the trail. Heavily overgrown so didn't go too far. Was wondering if it might have led to a viewpoint of the mountain at the head of the lake?

The hike itself is super mellow and family friendly. HIGHLY recommend the nearby campground. Wrote up a post on Holland Lake with pics if anyone is interested: https://practicalvagabonds.com/holland-lake-montana/

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.

Hiked this little trail on our way out from west glacier to the great falls airport and it was AMAZING! Easy and well marked trail, gorgeous all the way along the lake, mostly shaded, and a treat of a waterfall at the end! Awesome highly recommended.

hiking
29 days 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.

This was a fun hike along the lake. I would rate this as Moderate, due to the rocky incline towards the end of the hike.

1 month ago

Reaching the waterfall, you will also get a nive view over Holland Lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! Also swam in the lake, which was a great temperature in September. Easy out and back and great views!

Beautiful Fall day. Temps in mid 50’s, no bugs & huckleberry bushes a vibrant red!

Pretty awesome trail, and length was about perfect for toddler and baby in backpack with a dog... beautiful views and waterfall was very refreshing and beautiful. Only downside was ton of mosquitos everywhere!

Definitely a little steep at the start, but pretty easy hike overall. The lake is beautiful, definitely a good way to break up the Route 2 drive

I went up with a buddy in early September to Big Hawk Lake.
We stayed the night at Birch Lake the night before, so we got a head-start to Big Hawk -which I'm very glad that we did.
though there were a mama and baby mountain goat keeping us up all night at Birch Lake but it was pretty entertaining. They were certainly comfortable with people but not a threat.
We left Birch Lake at 8: 30 a. m. and reached Big Hawk around noon.

I would highly suggest a GPS because there's a ton of Trails and hunting trails that can get you off course. We had to backtrack twice.

This trail is not for beginners. Pack plenty of water, or a water filtration system would be better. You are climbing over every possible terrain you can think of. You will be climbing over rocks, pushing your way through overgrown areas, going down steep Terrain which sometimes include shale rock.

Do not let these things hinder you from trying the trail. Instead think ahead and allow yourself time to get there safely.

I am definitely glad that we made it. We thought about taking photos when we saw the lake and going back but we decided to walk all the way down to the lake.
There are some very large Cutthroat in Big Hawk Lake, so bring your Pole because these guys are hungry.

Beautiful Trail along the way and you will see plenty of lakes. So water is available often. Be sure you are very prepared and I would recommend not going alone.

There is a nice big Camp spot at Big Hawk Lake. There's also a smaller Lake before you get to Big Hawk where you can get water. I think we calculated about 45 minutes from the small Lake to Big Hawk.
I didn't find the switchbacks were two overgrown but there were a few thick spots. Luckily I didn't run into any bugs, like the other review had.
It takes roughly 20 minutes from seeing the lake, to getting down to it. There are several switchbacks that will take you down. Be careful to take the right trails, GPS once again is recommended, especially coming back.

We did not see any people from Crater Lake to Big Hawk Lake. The trails were a little over grown in some areas but definitely maneuverable.

Enjoy this hike it was a good one. I would say Advanced hikers only.

Just beautiful.

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.

Worth the climb. It was steep and tiresome but the beauty of the lake was worth it. Bring bear spray & bug repellent & make loud noises every few minutes. We did not see a bear but the top was full of wild strawberries and the lake is a good watering hole. The drive to it was a bit desolate but there were some cars there when we arrived.

Beautiful view, trail is well maintained.

Great hike !! Easy hike with elevation change to help keep the cardio up! Beautiful day and views of Holland Lake as well as the waterfall.

Bonus:
Brown bear watch in affect.
Odd Yoga gal posing for photos #go back to California
Nice pool at base of the waterfall

We enjoyed ourselves and were able to get out of the smoke from left coast fires.

hiking
1 month ago

The road up to the parking lot has a lot of washboard areas which made the drive less enjoyable, even in a 4WD truck. Parking was adequate.

The hike was very enjoyable. Lots of variety including lakes, rocks, streams and alpine meadows. We didn’t run into any bears but we had bear spray just in case.

loved it! we have a 1 year old and 3 year old and our 3 year old did great! pretty easy hike for most of the way until 0.5 mile before reaching the falls is a little climb but boy .. so worth it. So beautiful up top!! I highly recommend it!

hiking
2 months ago

Here's the deal. The smoke from fires hasn't been great, but the views and hike to Upper Holland lake are still worth the trek. After spending 4 days up in the area this last weekend, the 7 miles in and 2200ft elevation gain make for a solid 14mi round trip trek if you're looking for a full day. In the event you're bring gear to camp, there are plenty of solid options around the lake ( i recommend going to the east side) to have the best tree cover in the event of a rogue storm. Otherwise, just get out and enjoy it!

hiking
2 months ago

This place is beautiful! Seems like a hidden treasure. The lake is stunning, blue, clear water. Then there is a great hike to the waterfall (Holland Falls) - it's a bit uphill, but the views are worth it. Bring bug spray as the mosquitoes come out in the evening, but are not too bad. Highly recommend.

hiking
2 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
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike started straight with a climb which is a little rough, but leveled off for a nice hike. Very dog friendly hike. Once we reached the lake the bugs were annoying, but with bug spray it wasn’t too bad. The lake was nice and not too cold.

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful if you can find your way down to it! Desperately wanted to spend the night. Was at the top looking down on Crater Lake but trail was hard to follow. It appears to lead you through a Bush-whacking stretch but if you find yourself doing that then you missed the narrow little, hard-left turn that seemingly only takes you to an overlook. As I was later told, you need to follow over (along the top of that rock) and trail continues on other side. It is thick bear country — evidence in my pic of large scat at ‘end of trail’.

BEST hike ever!!!! So beautiful! For sure a do over and yearly activity we will do when we come to Montanta.

Gorgeous short hike. Went midday, it was hot and hazy, but no mosquitos today! Our dogs loved the easy access to the lake at multiple points along the way to the falls.

2 months ago

I'd consider this more moderate than easy. The lake itself is beautiful with a great view of Great Northern Mountain but the flies and mosquitos were so bad at the lake we didn't spend more than an hour there which was a huge bummer as we were planning on spending the whole afternoon at the lake fishing and swimming.

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