Explore the most popular hiking 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...

A great hike, the view at the top is well worth the effort

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

camping
8 months ago

Decent hike but lots of brush and a few creek crossings. In a few spots it was difficult to find the trail due to washouts. Thank you to previous hikers that marked areas with rope and rock piles. Nice views when you get to the lake. The falls are a bit difficult to get to but worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous, scrambled up to Dome mountain which made the hike about 21 miles round trip. definitely worth It!

backpacking
9 months ago

I've done this trail a couple of times and every time I come up on that lake and see that peak it takes my breath away. If you have the balls to get in the water at the lake or waterfall you should do it. I went last weekend and had a blast

An easy trail with excellent huckleberries. The lake warms up in late August!

on Granite Lake

backpacking
9 months ago

This is a beautiful hike and breathtaking destination, although the reviews about the poorly-marked trail are correct. Apparently, after a wildfire along the trail, a large portion of the trail was moved to the opposite side of the river. There are four river crossings during this hike, but they are not always obvious, and sometimes the trail seems to continue when in fact, you should have crossed the river. The best advice I can give: if the trail ends and you have to start bushwhacking, turn around and look for an opportunity to cross the river - a number of hikers, myself included, built cairns (rock stacks), laid out arrows made of sticks, and tied orange rope (not tape) around trees as markers for crossing. If you keep your eye out for these, you will find yourself on clearly marked trails throughout the entire hike. The last mile is very overgrown, but still easy to follow.

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!

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome trail. Great views. We saw 2 bears and a moose.

on Granite Lake

hiking
9 months ago

I'm sure the end destination is great, but this trail is VERY poorly marked and maintained. We got lost after a few miles, and wasted hours trying to find our way to the lake. We never reached the lake and had to turn back. P.S. The trailhead for this hike can be found at the end of Granite Lake Rd near Libby, MT. The U.S. Forest Service didn't even take the time to put any signs or markings at the trailhead to indicate that it's the correct TH for Granite Lake hike, and several other hikes apparently start from the same trailhead. Very annoying.

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.

10 months ago

Awesome hike especially in the fall. incredible colors.

backpacking
10 months ago

We try to make this trek once a year and it never disappoints! I was surprised at the amount of fire damage on the first half of the hike but Mother Nature is bouncing back nicely and the forest appears to be very healthy. Most notable were the viewing opportunities of Granite Creek on the first part of the hike prior to the water fall. Now that all of the under brush had burnt away the viewing opportunities were plentiful. The top third was a little over grown but nothing a machete couldn't handle. Lots of good fishing to be had in the lake, next year we will have some pack rafts so we can venture to the south end of the lake and look for camping sites near the base of the waterfall. Awesome hike highly recommended.

A wonderful and breathtaking hike!

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

backpacking
10 months ago

Firstly, I will say that my 5 star is actually more of a 4.7. The hike was a gradual and steady climb with only a few steep parts that were barely 100 meters in length. While shaded 90% and near Cedar creek up to the lakes, be prepared for the dry and exposed mile and a half up to the ridge. With a moderate enjoyable hike along the creek and breathtaking scenery at the ridge, the only downside to this trail was the mosquitoes at the lakes. If you are just going on a day hike and don't stay near the lakes for too long, then the bugs are not a terrible experience, however if you are staying the night as I did (7/8/17-7/9/17) I would highly encourage camping as far away from the lakes as possible. While the bugs eventually went away around 10 PM, they were sitting on the netting outside of my tent waiting to greet the pups and I. Overall, I highly recommend this trail as the sights are beautiful and the trail is a great experience however, don't be a fool like me and neglect to bring bug spray.

backpacking
10 months ago

First of all, let me tell you how amazing and breathtaking the final destination is. Videos/photos won't do justice on how beautiful it is up there unless you see it for your self. There are 4 creek crossings that you'll have to do so be prepared to get your feet wet. The trail is really noticeable and easy for the first half of the hike. Once you have about 1.5 miles left is where it gets difficult. You're climbing most of the way up and the brush is over your head making it hard to keep track of where the trail is going. I had a trail dog with me so it was very easy for my group to pass on through. There was a wildfire that went through there but didn't damage the trail to bad. We camped at the lake for a night and had deer walk right through our camp and they didn't seem scared of us at all. I literally got about 3 feet from a doe grazing on some shrub which was awesome. Be sure to bring some bug spray because the mosquitoes and flies are bad towards the lake. Overall it was a wonderful experience and I will be doing this trip again next year.

We did this trail last week and camped at upper cedar lake. Steady climb up. It's breathtaking. However the mosquitos and flys were terrible. Worst I've ever seen here. We went up trail 360N around Dome mountain the next day and camped on the ridge line. They were a little better but still swarmed dawn and dusk. Still a lot of snow to cross up high. It's a fantastic hike with spectacular scenery.

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