Best bird watching trails in Kootenai National Forest, Montana

224 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Kootenai 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.
Map of bird watching trails in Kootenai National Forest, Montana
Park information
Helpful links
Top trails (9)
#1 - Rock Lake Trail
Kootenai National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(60)
Length: 8 mi • Est. 4 h 26 m
Bears have been seen in this area so you will want to use caution, make smart food choices, and bring bear spray. 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. Along the way there are some fun water crossings including a great bridge. There are some amazing views along the way and a nice waterfall. Also be sure to check out the old mine next to the waterfall on your way up. There is a nice campground when you reach the lake, but there is also a second camping area at the opposite end of the lake. To get there you have to cross the stream that empties out of the lake and trek around the lake to the second camp ground. This camping spot is great and a little more protected if the weather is bad. Also, bring some fishing gear and you'll be able to catch some nice cutthroats for dinner!Show more
#2 - South Fork Ross Creek Trail
Kootenai National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(43)
Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 3 h 45 m
Nice day hike with a couple of small water crossings. One of the water crossings across a pretty large fallen tree as your bridge about 10 ft over the water. There is a deep gorge just shy of reaching the falls. Beautiful place to rest for lunch/snack. The first part of the hike is through the Ross Creek Cedars which is very easy open trail (great for kids). The hike up to the falls takes about 3 hours from the parking lot and about half that returning. After leaving the bottom part of the trail, depending on how fast you proceed, there is a pretty steep section.Show more
#3 - Copper Falls Trail
Kootenai National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(28)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 45 m
Lovely little walk into the wood to a very impressive waterfall. The short loop (with side leg to viewpoint) has been made an interpretive trail with nice signs of basic trees/plants/features seen along the way. Starting elevation is about 3100ft, so watch the snow level early and late season.Show more
#4 - Star Peak Lookout
Kootenai National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(34)
Length: 8.9 mi • Est. 6 h 14 m
This is a pretty good workout the first quarter of this trail is a solid climb and the second quarter only eases up a bit. When you get to the top it's another great view of the Clark Fork River and back up the valley you also get a good view of Bull Lake. The lookout was pretty cool a great spot for lunch.Show more
#5 - Little Spar Lake Trail
Kootenai National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(28)
Length: 6.8 mi • Est. 3 h 59 m
The trailhead starts about a half mile up an old forest service road. The first trailhead you come across is for the spar peak trail shortly after that is the trailhead for the upper lake. Its starts off with a realatively easy climb. About a mile or so there is a creek to cross, currently there is a tree that you can use to get across the only major crossing in the whole trail. In 2006 a warm front came through and melted a lot of snow quickly and really widened the creek, which made spotting the trail on the other side a little difficult, look for evidence from other hikers. The trail follows the creek pretty closely so getting water is easy. The trail is mostly in the forest but it has some spots that go through some open areas of thick brush, so an early start is a good idea these open areas are at about at the 3 mile mark and the sun will really warm you up. The last mile is where you can gain elevation about a 1000 feet and separates from the creek until you hit the saddle. Once to the saddle its about a half mile to the lake. The lake has several campsites and a picnic table that is built out of trees cut in half lengthwise, quite a feat for someone to hike up with a chain saw and build. The lake has plenty of hungry trout. Remember leave the area looking better than you found it or leave no trace!Show more
#6 - Bear Lake Trail to Baree Lakes Trail Loop
Kootenai National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(15)
Length: 9.4 mi • Est. 4 h 48 m
#7 - Engle Lake Trail
Kootenai National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(10)
Length: 10.2 mi • Est. 6 h 46 m
#8 - Moran Basin Trail
Kootenai National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(1)
Length: 20.9 mi • Est. 11 h 44 m
A good hike that is moderately challenging.Show more
#9 - Ant Flat Historical Site Nature Trail
Kootenai National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(2)
Length: 0.3 mi • Est. 7 m