Explore the most popular views 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.

The road in is good, and the trail is short to one amazing alpine lake. Enjoy!

on Lake Estelle Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Nice trail, beautiful lake.
Long drive up a gravel and rock road, about 18 miles. The road is clear of snow and completely navigable today, June 17th. You’ll want a vehicle with some clearance. We were fine in a 2wd F150. The trail is at least 3 miles to Lake Estelle,seemed longer. Trail still has stretches of crusted snow, and plenty of water from melting snow on the trail. We were fine with regular hiking shoes but a waterproof shoe with Trax would be ideal for the next couple of weeks. There were several trees down across the trail. Great dog trail, we brought two. Nice spring flowers along the trail, great views the last 1/3 of the way to Estelle.

The only wildlife we saw was a moose on the drive in the Pack River, a weasel (pine martin?) and a few pikas. Recommend carrying a can of bear spray. Tried a few casts for trout on Lake Estelle, but there was absolutely no action. The lake and views were worth the drive and hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked this on 6/6/18. What a gorgeous lake and surrounding mountains! The road to the trailhead is nice, I think it's maybe been recently fixed. There is no snow on the trail, and the lake is beautiful with some ice still floating around. The trail is definitely steep and there is quite a bit of rock scrambling up towards the top(more than I thought there would be) but it's soooo worth it. Mountain goats frequent the area all the time. We saw hair all along the trail. We only saw 3 up on the mountainside though. We had the whole place to ourselves. It's amazing.

backpacking
21 days ago

The directions from AllTrails got me where I needed to be. The trail head is a little ways up the trail so dont worry there. There are 4 river crossings that are ambiguous on location. On the first crossing there is a spot that is marked with orange tape. (shout out to the orange rope, you helped) DO NOT CROSS THERE. About 30 yards down stream there is a log jam you can cross to not get wet. On the 3rd crossing, when you get across, the trail seems to either go up a wash out or continue along the river. TAKE THE WASHOUT UP. We ended up with about an extra mile after backtracking so much. It took almost 5 hours to get up and 3 hours to get down. There are many downed trees as of right now. There was a giant deadfall about 3/4 the way up that you need to walk up the downed tree to find the trail again. Once you get to the lake its SPECTACULAR. There are 4 or 5 camping spots along the lake. "A" peak is humbling. It was definitely worth the headache to get there. Bring bear spray or a firearm as we saw a black bear on the way.

on Copper Falls Trail

hiking
23 days ago

Short and sweet!

hiking
28 days ago

Awesome spring view of falls. Well worth the wading through the crowd of people kids & dogs to get to the “real” hike. No snow in trail today. You must be comfortable in using GPS because several spots you need to go “off trail” to find a log to walk across to get across the creeks.

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
8 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.

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

camping
9 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
9 months ago

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

backpacking
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

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

on Granite Lake

hiking
10 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
10 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!

10 months ago

Awesome hike especially in the fall. incredible colors.

backpacking
11 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!

11 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
11 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
11 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.

hiking
11 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.

11 months ago

The upper half of the trail could use some trail maintenance as it is over grown with shrubs. the first half of the hike is pretty easy while the last half is a consistent climb to the lake. Their are 4 Creek crossing's with the third being the only one I had to out on my flip flops to walk through the water. the other three have logs going across to walk on. The destination for this trail is breathtaking.

fishing
11 months ago

A really enjoyable hike. Went in and out in one day with my wife and daughters. Trail length is actually 12.9 miles not 11.2. Saw a few deer and caught a bunch of trout, cutthroat and golden cutt hybrids. Beautiful mid July day and it looks like there will be a lot of huckleberry s and thimble berries soon. some washed out stream crossings be careful not to lose the trail.Trail is overwhelmed with brush a lot of devil's club and stinging nettles. But many beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice hike well worth the effort with a rewarding view of this beautiful mountain lake.

hiking
Saturday, June 24, 2017

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.

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