nature trips



Great trail! Not for those who do not hike on a regular basis. It is all up hill then all downhill. (The next day it's the downhill that you will feel the most.)
The trail is well groomed and easy to follow. Please use proper trail edict and give the right of way to those going up.
The view at the top is magnificent, and the chance to get that close to mountain goats is special.
A few helpful hints.
Bring extra water.
Wear boots not running shoes, preferably with a thicker sole due to the rocks.
Follow the guidelines for the goats.
Don't be too proud to use trekking poles.

The description of the trail included above is accurate. Plenty of wind-falls across the mid-section of the trial. Yeah, It's a calorie burner. 3.5 hrs in and 2.5 hrs on return to my truck. Bummer, JoRayne couldn't make this trip :(

No goats at the peak. Some Elk along the way at 5,200 ft. Nice weather and minimal wildfire smoke. Worth your time and energy.

Engle Peak Trail (#932) is my preferred route to both Engle Peak and Engle Lake. About a mile away from the lake or the peak, the trail forks, and one can choose to go up the peak or down into the lake. The trailhead is about 12 miles off of the highway, along winding gravel roads. You probably don’t need a 4X4 during the summer season, but I would be cautious at other times of the year.

Be prepared for steep start in the trail. You will suffer for about 1.5 miles, then it starts to level out more or less, until you reach the foot of Engle Peak. I’m not going to pretend like you won’t face some ascent, but keep in mind that you are hiking up Engle Peak.

The views for the first 2 miles or so, are marginal, but the rest of the hike has spectacular views on all sides, for most of the hike. On a clear day, you can much of western Montana.

Bear in mind, this is bear country. This is in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, and it is pretty much wilderness. There are no facilities of any kind in the area, so come prepared with everything you need.

By the way, the snow is very slow in melting up there. Don’t expect to get up there very early in the year. I would suggest waiting until June at the very least.

Trail was clear and easy to navigate. Apparently one small black bear in the area but no worries, make a lil noise and the timid things usually scurry away. The peak was well worth the 2.5hrs of hamstring punishment. Highly recommend.

Mountain goats!

Awesome trip! We backpacked in on 9/1/17 and did an overnight. Only wildlife was a bull moose across the creek at lower trail. The lake is well worth the incline of the last 2.5 miles. Great campsite by the lake. We had it to ourselves. Beautiful - beautiful make sure you get this ecoerienxe

Directions and markers were awful. We got lost and found some locals to direct us. Having said that, the hike was hard even for a seasoned hiker. Views were amazing and mountain goats were epic as we saw two adults and two babies. App had us at 10.9 miles and 264 flights of stairs. Favorite hike thus far!

Definitely hard. Like everyone else posted it is closer to 8 miles. Glad I did it, don't need to do it again.

All uphill from the trail head to the summit. The persistent incline and overall distance will test your conditioning. We made the summit in 2.5 hrs and were down in 2.

Take a sweatshirt or windbreaker because the temperature difference is quite drastic between the base and summit.

3 goats wandering the summit. They kept their distance.

Neat and very senic...pretty tuff, but not bad. Didn't see any Mtn goats in the end of September, bring water, no streams or water sources.

Excellent hike. First third of the way up is strenuous. The middle section was my favorite with excellent views, beautiful vegetation, gradual climb, and grouse! The last mile requires good balance and concentration for the loose rocks. The peak was awesome. Big slabs of rock to lay on. We saw goats on the steep shaded northern slope!

One of the most amazing hikes I've done!

beautiful hike with amazing views at the top.

Super hard hike but super worth the views. Varied landscapes and scenery.

28 days ago

29 days ago

Access trail can be easy to miss both by car and on foot. The washed out creek on the forest road is inaccessible to most non modified SUVS, cars, and Vans. A large truck could cross, but thankfully the trailhead is not too far from this point. The trailhead itself starts on the uphill side of a dis-used forest service road, so if you have crossed the creek on a vehicle wide bridge, you have gone too far. The trail itself is long and has some rocky sections, but is partially shaded and the overall incline/ascent is significant but gradual. You will run into lots of overgrown bushes, some of which have thorns, but various berries are widely available trail side depending on season. The creek that you follow flows out of spar lake itself, so it serves as a valuable navigation point should you become lost. The biggest hazards in warm weather are slipping risk and exposed roots and hidden rocks. Tread carefully, but the Lake Itself is more than worth it. Spar lake has a couple of excellent tent camping spots, and is mostly Alpine with little evidence of swampy shoreline. You will be rewarded with amazing views of the mountains surrounding the lake, and of the valley upon your return trip. Highly recommended for prepared hikers/backpackers. *Bear danger is high due to berry abundance. Take caution*

The trailhead that google maps takes you to is nowhere near the actual trailhead, so we were lost for about an hour trying to find the trailhead. So, a heads up for any future hikers you will turn left and be following #65, which isn't marked very often, we only saw the marker twice, then you will be in a more open/clear area after a bit that has previously been logged and the dirt road will come to a fork, GO LEFT at the fork, do not go straight like Google maps tells you to. And if you follow that, you will run right into the trailhead.
This inaccuracy of Google maps, set us back an hour, but we were making pretty good time on our hike. The hike is definitely tough, but so worth it for the views at the top. We passed a lot of people telling us we had such a long way to go and it was a bit late in the for day for us to be hiking up there (it was only 2:00pm and we were halfway up). The AllTrails map is completely off on the distance, I have a Garmin GPS fitness watch and it said we had hiked 4 miles when we got to the top where you reach the clearing and can see everything, but the AllTrails map only said we were barely 2 miles up....SO NOT CORRECT! We kept getting nervous with everyone telling us we were hiking pretty late and we had a ways to go, that we decided to turn around once we reached our 4 mile mark. I am sure we only had another half mile to a mile left to go, but we were not familiar with the area and the bears and goats, we didn't want to end up stranded in the dark, even though we did come prepared. We will definitely try the hike it again, now that we know exactly where the trailhead is and we will be able to leave earlier in the day.