Explore the most popular forest 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.

This is one of the most memorable hikes by far!!! It starts in the parking lot your amazed by the view of the trail head “seriously breathtaking!!” Trail is clear and easy to navigate....until! Haha we ran into snow the trail disappeared luckily my wife noticed one other persons “footprints” going in. The snow was hard packed but at least 3 ft deep in some areas. I am 200 lbs my wife is 105 and got a kick out of me kept falling into holes up to my knees! We went about another mile in total of 2.5 at this time my wife had an encounter with a cow moose she spooked it ran to me and it ran up the hill after coming towards her. Lots of fallen cedars to take cover at this time we jumped on one and waited 10 minutes after we went back on trail at this time roughly 2.7 miles in the trail is washed out from the creeks over run from snow. We got to the final creek crossing and couldn’t cross due to the time we had and how high the water was. We returned back easy to back track with our foot marks in the snow. We got back. Will deff do this hike again. Highly recommend if you want to do all that you wait until at least end of may to middle of June. 5 stars for the views!

Nice easy hike

Great with the kids!

2 months ago

Short great with family and when the waters low you can get pretty close to the falls. When we went people were swimming even.

2 months ago

good with family the path is a little rough and narrow sometimes but it's pretty

This is not a hike that one should go out of the way to do, but it is a nice diversion, if one happens to be passing by. The river and falls are remarkable.

hiking
7 months ago

So….you were thinking that you would take a leisurely stroll to a beautiful alpine lake, exerting minimal effort. You might consider choosing a different hike for that. Don’t let the short distance to Leigh Lake fool you. If you think you will skip to the lake, wearing your Sunday shoes, with grandmother and the kids in tow, toting a picnic basket, you are surely in for a measure of dismay. You will work for every step on this hike. It is up, up, up, all the way! There are some rock scrambles to do, and there you will be, viewing a stunning mountain lake, surrounded by lofty mountains – but you won’t do it without paying for it in sweat and burnt calories.

I was lucky to have the sun shining, this fine Sunday. It melted much of the ice on the rocky parts of the trail. Even with poles and cleats for my boots, I did a bit of slipping and sliding. Suffice it to say, this is not wheel chair accessible. You will earn your Trail-Finding and Rock Gully Scurrying merit badges on this hike.

There is ice and snow on much of the trail. Make sure to prepare for it.

Short but sweet hike along the river...

nice hike, trail hasn't been worked on this year.

Easy trail till the swinging bridge. If you don't do well with Heights look straight ahead walk carefully and breath, but don't run . Respect other people on the bridge and wait for parties to clear the bridge before steeping onto it. it was worth crossing over the bridge for the views, the video my family took might beg to differ with the expressions on my face.

Nice easy family hike. waterfalls were nice, water was low so we were able to go out on the river across the rocks

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful lake - definitely worth the short but steep trail up. On the way back down, we encountered a couple of Mountain Goats on the trail, which was awesome! I will be back!

backpacking
9 months ago

Ok three of us backpacked in after three days in Glacier. It definitely is a good uphill trail but so beautiful! One thing that I didn't notice in the comments is how the goat hang around at night. That could just be because the weekend crowd gave them a lot of reasons to come into camp (pee) or they are around most of the time.

Just be aware if you stay the night they will come into your camp after anything salty.

All and all I think this is my favorite alpine lake yet. Short but gorgeous hike, waterfalls, and magnificent rock shelves. Get out there!

walking
9 months ago

Definite stop to cool off for a short hike, enjoy the falls and grab a snack or drink at the seasonal snack shop. Toilets are available.

Quick stop on Hwy 2 near Troy, MT at the Kootenai River Historical Marker. The trail will require you to climb stairs over a railway. The bridge can only support a few people as it is narrow, but it is very beautiful and worth the stop to cool off. Snacks and drinks were available at the food stand. Toilets are also available. Swimming is available on the trail that leads over to Kootenai Falls which is connected to the trail to the bridge.

9 months ago

Awesome hike especially in the fall. incredible colors.

10 months ago

recommend doing this with someone who has been before.
The trails are terribly overgrown and there are bear beds everywhere on the mountain side.
would love to try it again to make it to the top... dang it

hiking
10 months ago

The roads leading to the trail are full of rocks, and very bumpy, would recommend a truck. I gave this hike 4 stars because it was so beautiful by the lake with beargrass and wildflowers, plus the lake is breath-taking. We encountered 4 adults and 2 kids on this trail, would NOT recommend this for kids though... The hike is only 2.7 miles, but it's pretty much uphill the whole way to the lake, and at some parts we were rock climbing. The way up is beautiful with waterfalls and flowers, and we saw hairs from the goats but didn't see any. We got lost coming down as the many trails confused us, but head down towards the waterfalls and you'll be on the right track.

hiking
11 months ago

This trail is very overgrown and difficult to navigate because of it. Consistently steep climb throughout trail, and a lot of climbing over large boulders and rough terrain close to cliffs. Because of this, I would NOT recommend this hike for children. Beautiful hike though, and well worth the hard workout.

The cedars are enormous and beautiful. We didn't hike very much of the area, maybe 3 or 4 miles total since we started late in the day, but I want to come bike and hike the whole thing! This is an easy walk. And the creek is gorgeous!

11 months ago

what a great hike! lots of day hikers on the trail. My husband and I decided to backpack in and camp overnight. The trail as you get closer to the lake gets a bit confusing. we went off trail a few times and missed some switchbacks (we ended up scrambling quite a bit) bit still worth it. Lots of ice on the lake but gorgeous falls. a couple tricky spots with left over snow that we ended up going over or under and around. We had a blast!

hiking
11 months ago

This was an amazing hike. It's pretty much straight up and you habe to do some navigating on rocky trails, but you follow a waterfall up to the lake. We hiked 5/27/17 and there was still snow crossings in a few places and the lake was still frozen, but no less beautiful. Great rewards to be had here.

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Breathtaking. You feel small walking among those trees.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beautiful and crazy hike, but goes by before ya know it. Extremely beautiful slanted waterfall and peaceful lake! I will be back Leigh Lake!

hiking
Thursday, December 01, 2016

This place is unforgettable, when hiking in and around the giant cedars you'll think you stepped back in time. Very easy to hike, sometimes it can become busy but most of the times your alone in the cedars.

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This hike goes through an old growth cedar ecosystem. It is a easy 2.8 miles to the first main creek crossing from the Ross Creek Cedars parking lot. After crossing the creek it is a short distance to the junction of trail 321 and 142.. Trail 321 heads up the south fork to the water fall. The last section is pretty steep and the tread reworked this summer. You go through a section that burned in 2015. The crew did a lot of work and a great job. I would rate the waterfall a 6 of 10. It is probably more spectacular earlier in the season. I had 4 miles on my gps to the water fall from the parking lot.

fishing
Monday, August 29, 2016

Lots of fish and the trail was pretty easy except the last mile which was pretty steep. Trail was well maintained

fishing
Monday, August 29, 2016

Great hike and well maintained trail

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

With the traverse of the screw slope this trail should be rated difficult

hiking
Saturday, July 30, 2016

It was great!! The first part is really easy. The last mile pretty is rough. The trail crew was out working on it. The waterfall was nice but I would rate it a 6 out of 10.

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