Explore the most popular walking 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

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

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

walking
8 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.

hiking
9 months ago

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

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!

hiking
10 months ago

Forest Service road about halfway to trailhead is washed out due to an avalanche, trailhead is not reachable June 2017.

hiking
11 months ago

Breathtaking. You feel small walking among those trees.

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, September 06, 2016

Great moderate hike with a stunning variety of views.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nice trails. Well maintained and good signage

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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

backpacking
Thursday, August 11, 2016

this is an awesome hike for families with youth! the huckleberry picking was huge:-)
the usual road to get there was washed out and closed. so take Trestle Creek Road until it connects back to Lightning Creek Road. the signage is great! the last two miles are very rough. I would suggest a 4 wheel drive

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.

camping
Friday, August 14, 2015

A great hike for families with children. It's almost 20 miles in from the highway to the trailhead, but the road was in good shape and well signed. It is a gentle climb most of the way, with lots of shade but also a few spots with expansive views. We went straight to Estelle and did not go to either Blacktail or Moose lake. There was one other car at the trailhead and we met the couple coming down. They said they'd camped at Moose lake and had a snorting moose close to their campsite overnight.

With children (7 and 9) carrying like packs we stopped probably six times for water/snacks. There were a couple of places with trickling water, but we started out with enough to get us to the lake. It took us about 3 hours to get there, but again we had lots of stops and were chatting the whole way.

After curving around and making a final small elevation gain we reached the beautiful lake. There is room to camp right at the end of the trail next to the lake, but 3-4 other sites to the right, crossing the outlet stream. There are fire rings but restrictions were in place. The lake was crystal clear we spent most of the rest of the day swimming, floating around on driftwood we pulled in, and sunning ourselves on the rocks. We explored a bit along the shore but were pretty happy to hang out.

The fish began to jump in the late afternoon and we lost the sun behind the mountain around 6. A couple on a day hike arrived around 5 and spent about an hour, but we were alone the rest of the time. After hanging our food (bear country), we spent a quiet night and headed back down the next morning. It was an hour faster going down (2 hours) than coming up but we were not moving very fast.

This was a great hike for our family and we would do it again. We saw a moose and black bear on the road a few miles before the trailhead, but made lots of noise on the trail so no large mammals to report.

hiking
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nice Day Hike...Up and back can be done in about 5 hours. It's about 6.5 miles RT from the parking lot. About 2 miles from the South Fork Trail head. There is a pretty steep section about 2/3 of the trail in but the first part of the trail is easy. 2 water crossings: one over a huge tree about 10 ft over the water--added a nice touch of adventure. Moderate rating for the hike overall as it's not an easy stroll --although it's a pretty mellow hike for the first half, the steep portion about 2/3 of the way in was not short! This trail follows Ross Creek the entire way. The trail begins about 2 miles along the Nature Trail through the Scenic Area. Begin this hike by fording Ross Creek. Trail 321 is overgrown and somewhat difficult to find, but once located, the trail is easy to follow to a waterfall and potential campsite. The side slope is eroded in a few places and should be hiked with caution.

hiking
Monday, March 24, 2014

I first went to Troy in 1973 to work for the Forest Service and called it home until I relocated to the Carson City/Lake Tahoe area in 1989. If it's an outdoor activity, you can do it here.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Very nice trail with access to several mountain lakes. Mostly shaded trail, but relatively few muddy spots. There can be bears in this area so make noise. Beautiful country.

hiking
9 months ago

Thursday, July 21, 2016

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