Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Kaniksu 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.

One of my favorites. It’s 8.8 miles round trip.

Stunning hike!! Maps took us a little off course. When you get into Clark-Fork, take Main road and just follow it all the way up. It’s mostly unmarked but at one point it looked like Mosquito creek road/university road. Follow it all the way up and there’s a tiny sign on the left side of the road that said Trail 65 with an arrow pointing right. Take that right turn and follow that road. You’ll see two more very subtle signs that look like ‘65’ mile markers. Follow those and you’ll be at the trail! Round trip was a little over 8 Miles. We only saw one goat and there was no snow yet. It was beautiful! We were told to come back in August when the goats are everywhere. Definitely a perfect fall hike!

This trail has amazing views! We went on a clear, sunny day and was astonished at how much of the valley we could see. The hiking trail is very well-maintained and there is no way you could get lost. When you get to the top it is very windy and cold. I would suggest packing a puff coat in your pack to put on, also having gloves and a hat would be nice. The trail is not very technical but it is a steady incline.
Getting to the trail head however, was a little bit confusing. Once you hit the dirt road just keep looking for the little signs that say trail 65. If you follow those signs you will dead end at the trail head. You go quite a ways on dirt road.
I will definitely make this hike an annual trip!

Dog and I did an overnight hiking and camping trip to Spar Lake. The national forest campsite was nearly abandoned for the season. Great views of the lake and mountain. There is a long barely discernible trail along a creek to Spar Lake. This is a hard hike with lots quick elevation increases.

11 days ago

Did Wanless for the first time in mid-October 2017. Beautiful........ but shoulda had snowshoes! Can’t wait to do this one again!

My Birthday hike. Beautiful day,
good solid incline. Little dicey on top near the edge for me but a nice challenge. Fun rock scrambles and beautiful views!
For a rookie a decent accomplishment. Don't feed the goats! Don't feed your fears. Enjoy!

15 days ago

I tried to do this hike today, but could not get to the trail head. There was heavy equipment working on the road, and it was closed to outside traffic.

21 days ago

My favorite hike ! Just when I’m feeling invincible I like to hike this trail just to knock myself down a peg!

This hike is tough. I’ve done it twice. The second time felt harder than a few years ago and I believe it’s simply because I hadn’t done as many smaller, but incline heavy hikes. It’s steep. I see people say any shoe will work. I would suggest good hiking shoes and socks. I instantly got blisters on my heel from the stepping up of inclines. All being said- it’s beautiful. Awesome views. Well marked trail. We dropped about 20 degrees once we hit the top- take a jacket! Good for dogs (on a leash). I probably wouldn’t recommend this to people who don’t like a tough, rewarding workout hike. No goats seen on our trip.

26 days ago

Hiked this trail over Labor Day 2018. Perfect day, 74 degrees and partly cloudy. About 2.5 miles to the waterfall/old mine which is a good place to break for lunch. Mild to moderate trail incline to this location. We continued to the lake and this is where the trail gets steeper, but the views on the way up and the lake are well worth the additional 2.5 miles.

Best hike ever on my birthday.
Unbelievable views. 3 States plus Canada. Would love to do again next year.

27 days ago

We hiked this in light rain. The leaves are started to turn their autumn colors. I'd say in another week or two, it should be full autumn at Rock Lake. By the way, the hike is just under 10 miles in and out.

Loved it! Once you start you go up and up and it doesn’t stop till you reach the top. Be sure you start early to allow for rest breaks. The views at the top are well worth the struggle to get there. Once at the top you will be greeted by goats that are eager to lick any rocks you sit on, but be sure bring a coat and maybe hats/gloves because the wind will cut through you and the temps drop a bit. The down hill was much faster but just as difficult. This is where I got the blisters. All in all, can’t wait to do it again.

1 month ago

Holy Heck!!! This hike was a tough one - but worth every sore muscle. Definitely start early, so you can take lots of well deserved breaks. Goats and scenery were spectacular! The downhill is tougher than the up, (because going down you’re totally exhausted).

This is a great hike. Its straight up and straight down. No flat sections. This is for the well conditioned hiker. Tons of elevation and lots of uneven terain. Most of our party was sore the next day. Training with hills is a good idea first.

1 month ago

This is a great hike but I don't know what was more challenging going up or coming down. The trail is soon to be over grown by huckleberry bushes darn it and has a lot of down trees and over growth about half way. In some locations the trail is hard to see on the up trip but more visible on the way down. I liked this hike for the challenge and the great views. It has a lot to offer for those who are looking for a little more adventure than the common trails. The only people I saw where a couple bow elk hunters. I'd say around the half way point is when the trail kinda falls apart but its pretty easy just keep going up.
I think the next trip will be up and over to Scotsman and down :)

1 month ago

Keep following #65 it's a small sign but as long as you follow it it's easy to find. You will be driving on an unpaved road for a little while. Be patient.

You will need a light layer /sweater. It will get cold when it's getting close to the top.

Need good shoes since you will be walking on rocks later on. but no need hiking shoes. I had trail running shoes and they were fine. You will get dirt on your feet for very much 3/4the time. You shouldn't wear sandals!

Definitely, need water and a little snack. I burned 2300 calories with this whole hike! Get some fuel for coming down!

There are two bathrooms only at the trailhead. Yes, toilet paper but No water.

It took us 5:20 for the whole trail. The ”incline” starts right away. It was a real tough hike!!!! But like everyone says, it is worth to see those cute goats and the view. Some parts are shaded but I wouldn't recommend hiking there if it's hotter than 80s.
If you have a knee issue, you will need a pair of knee compressor or brace for when you are going down.
We had a goat on the trail today when we were coming down and he did not move for a while. My friend threw a little rock gently by the goat and he took off. (not at the goats!!)

1 month ago

The trail description is incorrect! It's about 3 1/2 (easy) miles to the waterfall and Heildleberg mine, not sure how many miles (2?) from there to the lake but that is where you will encounter the elevation gain. I've sent Altrails a suggestion to edit the info.

1 month ago

Great hike!!! The smoke obscured some of the awesome views but still totally worth it! The sign said not to harass the goats... they were harassing us! Kept coming back up to us to lick the salt off our skin!

2 months ago

This is a stunning hike. Our Garmin recorded 5mi each way. Trail is as described by others. We were able to get there in our Prius, road is rocky and potholed but with care it's doable. There is a camp just before the trailhead on the left that has space and horse hitches. Plenty of room for cars and trailers, no drop toilet at trailhead. There's a few wooded group camps along the way and a spot right by the falls. Camping at the lake is tricky if there are others there. Like others said, cross the creek and there's a rugged trail you can follow, it's pretty overgrown but there are a few other spots. Bring a hammock too for more options, there isn't much flat ground. Lake is great to swim in. The group next to us caught 4 fish. Hang your food. Great hike, only downside is lack of flat ground at the lake.

2 months ago

Man! The work:reward ratio on this hike sucked! 22 miles. 4,500' climb. 11 miles of jeep track to a view of the lake (no refreshing dip (with or without clothes. We'll never know. But I didn't see a single person on the way up...) with little beside Indian paintbrush and daisies for interest. Knowing I still had to get back to the truck and seeing that I'd have to rush to get back before my battery died, and, more importantly, it looked like another mile and 1,000' of climbing after dropping down to it, I passed, had a couple Fig Newtons, some Cornuts and Gatorade (saving, I guess, my forgotten burrito for post-hike nourishment) and turned around.

2 months ago

Beautiful but brutal hike. Trail was well maintained and the views were spectacular. Lots of goats at the top that didn’t try to approach us but were definitely not afraid of humans. Can’t wait to do the hike again. There’s a small campsite toward the top just before the push to the peak that we might try to stay at next time.

Hazy day and not one goat was seen, but still an amazing hike. One lone pika at the top that peaked out to say hello. Heard a bear grunting on our way down, probably about a mile from the trail head, but didnt stick around long enough to see if we could see him. All in all it was a great hike.

At the beginning, I was selfishly bummed knowing the smoke would ruin our view, and it was no fun breathing it in the first half of the incline. But obviously I got over it! This hike is amazing! About half way up, a medium size black bear was sitting in the middle of the trail. He seemed very inconvenienced that we arrived and quickly waddled off and down the mountain side. We waited there a while to make sure there wasn’t another one. The hike is hard, the top is incredible and the mountain goats... are too used to humans :( 3 adults with 1 babe. Take your pictures and continue on your way. What an experience!!

2 months ago

It’s a great trail. Very consistent incline for 4 miles. Trail was in great shape. We saw goat fur! Very smoky so no view

Absolutely beautiful hike! Make sure to follow road markers 65 and not Google maps. There is some pretty intense elevation gain but some beautiful lookout points on the way up. Well worth the hike!

2 months ago

Hiked to Rock Lake on August 6, 2018. First, the trail is not 2.7 miles - even one way. My GPS clocked it as 9.6 out and back, with a total elevation gain of 3,100 feet. This is from the gate on F-150A. The first three miles is an old mining road with a steady, gradual incline. The swampy area along the way is perfect for Moose. We believe we heard one but never saw it. And although we never saw a bear, there was enough fresh scat on the trail to keep us aware they were around.

The falls at the three-mile mark is beautiful. There is plenty of old mining equipment around. At this point, the trail makes a dramatic change. Just before you reach the falls, the trail makes a sneaky right, up the mountain. You'll probably pass it along the way. After you admire the falls for a bit, turn around, walk about 15 yards and the trail will be on your left.

For the next mile, you will switch back your way up 1,000 feet in elevation to the lake. I hike, often, so this wasn't hard for me, but those of us who weren't used to the climb had to take a few breaks.

The lake is beautiful. As you arrive, there are two camping spots. I crossed the creek and discovered a nice trail along the left side of the lake. I have read that there is a campsite on the other side of the lake, as well. The trail is not what I would call difficult. We had kids with us as young as ten and they did very well.

This is August, so the afternoons can be hot. I suggest that you start early. We were on the trail for 6.5 hours. That includes lunch and tooling around - five hours actually hiking. Bring bear spray and a little bug spray as well. Some of us got bit a couple of times. By the way, there was little if any smoke.

We did this as a day hike, but I could easily pack it in and stay two or three nights. There are several great peaks to explore and I have heard the fishing ain't bad, either. Me, I could take my Bible and my journal, have a seat on one of those rocks and be content for the day.

This hike was number 85 for me this year. It will certainly end up as one of my top 10 in 2018!

2 months ago

This hike took almost exactly 4 hours up and 2.5 hours down.
Going up took what felt like forever. We just had to remember that we had to go through the forest, then the meadow, and finally up the scramble to the peak. We never saw any large animals until the scramble where we saw 2 mountain goats. We did see lots of deer tracks though.
Right after we passed the mountain goats sign, we saw a large maintain goat and it’s baby! We made our way to the top and ate lunch.
Going down was hard on the feet and the knees but it didn’t take as long.
Lots of nice views along the trail and at the peak. You can see all the way from the lake to Montana at the top of the mountain.
This hike IS HARD but if you take your time and enjoy the views, it will be worth it. Good luck!

2 months ago

I did the loop today (Aug 6) which fitbit counted as 7.5 mi. I did it clockwise hitting the lake first then climbing Moose Mt. Took just over 4 hrs with stops for snack, lunch, and photos. It was fairly easy except for ascending and descending Moose Mt. which had some steep stretches. Awesome views at lake and along the mountain ridge. Too early for huckleberries but bushes are aplenty along much of this hike. The trail was very overgrown and bushwhacking was required in a few areas. Road to the TH is rough for the last 3 miles and it’s slow going if you want to protect your tires.

Very pretty hike to the lake. Lots of flies around if you stop for too long but otherwise a great day with pretty views.

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