Check the US forest service site before you plan your hike! It's trail #65. The summer of 2015 it was closed for awhile due to mountain goat attacks. One man was gored and another had a finger bitten off (both survived). It's a popular trail in the summer and the goats at the top are not afraid of people so keep you distance and be safe! It's a quick drive over from Sandpoint but the roads are not well marked. I grew up in this area and it is definitely one of my favorite hikes!
I could not find the trail head using the directions on All Trails. Had to give up due to time. Too bad - was looking forward to the hike. A check on Google maps suggests that All Trails directed me down the wrong dirt road. There is no cell coverage, so make sure you have the right road before you get out there.
I completed this hike in late September. The color of the autumn leaves, and the scent in the air, was magical!
Think of this as two different hikes. The hike from the beginning of the trail head to the waterfall is a relatively easy hike with smooth paths, easy inclines, and nothing daunting for the casual hiker. The hike from the waterfall to the lake is a bit more challenging. About 20 meters from the waterfall, there is a trail heading eastward up the mountain. You might miss it at first, because you are looking at the AWESOME waterfall ahead. The trail is a switchback with some considerable elevation gain from the waterfall to the lake. The views from this point on are just amazing! The lake and surrounding mountains are stunningly beautiful.
I was hiking alone, and met a black bear coming down the trail. I moved aside, and it moved aside, and we got past each other without incident. (This is a grizzly habitat, so you might bring some bear spray and leave your picnic basket at home.)
The hike from the waterfall to the lake is well worth the effort to get to the top. This hike is going on to my list of favorites.
Super fun hike ! For sure steep but worth it once you get to the top. My sister and I did it in about two hours. We saw six goats (: Beautiful views. Driving there was easy if you follow the signs.. All dirt/rock heading into the trail so make sure you have a car that can drive that!
Great trail. The first portion is very steep, but the switchbacks are more forgiving as you climb higher. Under tree cover first several miles. I saw a mama and her kid and another goat who wanted to hang out on the top. Great hike, knees are feeling it the next day
The trail number is 52. My iPhone got me lost using the directions from this app (took me to the middle of a field near sandpoint), so I just looked up lake Darling on my google maps and it got me there easily (I also followed signs to the trailhead). The hike in to the lake is pretty easy and not too long. There were huckleberries to snack on along the way. The lake is lovely! I didn't see any wildlife, but my German shepherd probably had something to do with that
Directions to trailhead incorrect on alltrails. Take Road 278 for 7 miles then take the right fork to follow 278, takes you to a spot for parking and the trail head. More info on Forest Service website search Green Monarchs Trial #69
Beautiful hike! The trail to Schafer Peak was grown over but the rest of the trails were great! 13km total from parking spot to base of Schafer peak and back.