Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in Gallatin 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.

3 days ago

I fell a couple miles short of the lake before I turned around (talked to others at the trailhead who did the same) there's still a considerable amount of snow/it was too deep for me. Wear boots, the way up is gorgeous and challenging for hikers wanting to get into better shape!

Wonderful trail- all uphill for 3 miles. The rocks were somewhat challenging at times. The view of the lake was spectacular. Much easier on the return since it was all downhill. The river running by the trailer is beautiful and very serene. It took us three hours total

Absolutely stunning the whole way through. Very rocky trail, but worth every step once you get to the lake!

5 days ago

Great views at the lake, but getting up was sorta difficult due to the trail being snowed over, but if you follow the creek, you'll find it, very worth it (btw went on June 8 was still snowy)

6 days ago

I really enjoy sypes. Not too many people and lots of different stuff to see.

Love lava lake! Trail is very rocky. Lots to do at the lake like hiking around it, up to the ridge, or cliff jumping.

6 days ago

Great hike, 4 miles round trip to the lookout. High snowpack up top still. I had the trail to myself today.

8 days ago

so many beautiful wildflowers right now and just the perfect length of time. large enough that you aren't next to people the whole time

12 days ago

This is a fun trail to hike or run on. Close to town and lots of parking. Although, you may have to walk maybe a quarter of a mile from parking to the trailhead. Most hikers stick with the first viewpoint, which actually ends up being about a 4-mile round trip hike. The rest of the "Sypes Canyon" hike goes for another 1.5 miles or so. Then, the trail connects to the trails up on the ridge. So, in a way, this hike does offer people of all skill levels. I was there in early-May and the trail had some ice/snow patches. The upper part past the main viewpoint eventually led to knee deep snow.

14 days ago

Tried hiking to Blue Lake on 6/1. Made it three miles in and had to turn around because the snow was too deep. It was hard to stay on the trail because there were no signs and the snow covered any path! Would suggest waiting a few more weeks. The views of the Crazies were still amazing just wish more of the snow had melted so we could have gone farther! The last few miles of the road to Half Moon Campground are very rocky BTW.. Would definitely suggest a 4WD car/ a car with a high clearance.

I hiked to the lake with intention of doing some fishing. My opinion is it’s hard to fish because there is no “shore”. Either trees or boulders right down to the lake. Beautiful hike and lake, it was worth the trip and would go again. Found out later that there are shrimp in the lake that the fish are feeding on, hence the reason why they wouldn’t take to a dry fly.

Beautiful trail along Cascade Creek to Lava Lake. We hiked this trail in early June and Cascade Creek was amazing flowing full of snow melt runoff. Lava Lake was tranquil and beautiful sitting below the snow-covered Spanish peaks.

The trail was very busy with people and dogs. Recommend getting an early start to beat the crowds.

love this trail

17 days ago


Good hike and not too long. parts of the hike have pretty obscured views but overall it is a good hike.

One of my favorite hikes of all time! The entire way to the the top is rocky and up hill but so worth it. The trail switches between wooded trees to rocky mountain side covered with wild flowers. Would definitely recommend if in the area.

5/26/2018 Moderate to difficult hike with full gear for backpacking. Spent two hours after getting to the lake to find a nice camping spot far enough away from the lake to have a fire. The fishing wasn’t great, used worms, spinners, spoons, and improvised jigs but no luck. Also did not see many fish. Extremely difficult to get around the lake clockwise due to fallen tree and rock climbing. Was not able to cross the creek to get to the other side (counterclockwise) due to high water. It looked really nice across the lake, may be easier with less water later in the season. With all of this is was still a great hike, probably wouldn’t go with the intentions of fishing or camping again though.

21 days ago

What an amazing trail. Montana in late spring is unrivaled in its beauty. This canyon trail is no exception. Between all the wild flowers and wildlife on and around the trail there's plenty to look at. Also the view towards the end is camera worthy for sure. Would recommend bear spray or maybe something a little stronger though.

Love this trail - the lake is beautiful, the hike up is awesome, with wild berries along the way, streams crossing. In summer, when it's warmed up, the lake is the best place to jump in & swim across for a "wilderness challenge"! One of the best in the area for sure!!

Nice hike. Trail got a little slippery because of snowmelt and a light rain.

Loved the trail but be prepared for stepping over rocks the whole way!

27 days ago

Love this hike! I was able to do it in January with snow boots. Sometimes it gets icy though so a lot of people use Yak Tracks or spikes. It's a fun little hike. It has a few parts that are pretty quick "up" but if you go slow it's doable for all ages. Lots of dogs and traffic on the weekends. The parking isn't great because it's in a residential area. There is more parking farther down. Beautiful views. More can be found on my blog (https://www.brisul.com/blog/2018/1/5/62h0od09ygbzff94js6dt1yehopu5n)

very beautiful and scenic route. easy trail but the views are amazing. went in may and there were still a few deep snow piles after around mile 2, very glad i had gaiters

Beautiful hike, we went beginning of April so there was still a lot of snow and trails were icy in spots. I can’t imagine how beautiful it is in the summer!

Pretty hike up to Lava Lake. The route is a nice, casual incline throughout the entirety.

3 months ago

It is eight miles! Not 7.5 lol. It was just absolutely breathe taking. We went in October so we didn't have as many access to the lake as we wanted.

3 months ago

Beautiful area, we went to the area to summit Crazy Peak and camp near the lake!

Made this hike on a weekday in August 2000 (5 stars) and then again on a weekend in 2016 (4 stars). I would not do it again on a weekend due to the heavy trail use.
The moderate hike is very tolerable due to the shade. My legs grew more tired from the descent than the climb.
If you like wildlife, golden mantled ground squirrels and american pika are around when it's quiet. It was a lot of fun to watch them. The lake is gorgeous with the talus slopes and peaks in the distance.

6 months ago

was quite crowded after work. beautiful area with water for dogs

6 months ago

Beautiful view at the top. The trail was easy to see in the snow. Beautiful rock formations as well!

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