Explore the most popular trail running 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!

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.

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

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

hiking
8 months ago

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

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.

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!

9 months ago

Awesome hike especially in the fall. incredible colors.

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.

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.

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.

It is almost ready for the year!! There were only a few trees down and they were all ones you can step over!! There is still a lot of snow above the lower lake and up to the divide trail.

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.

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This trail was fairly strenuous despite the short distance. There appear to have been a few significant rock slides which made portions of the trail a bit treacherous and very difficult to follow, particularly on the return trip. The lake and waterfall were both spectacular and there are many berries in the area ripe for picking.

on Leigh Lake

backpacking
Monday, July 25, 2016

Decent hike, not many campsites at the lake, pretty steep accent and trail finding made it more difficult.

backpacking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Great trip! Friendly mountain goats galore. Scramble up to the ridge on the north side for spectacular views.

Load More