Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Lolo 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.

I think it’s a trail that’s more interesting for mountain biking. Very little views.

backpacking
1 month ago

Cool hike

This is trail is still very snowy with bad ice in some spots. I highly recommend wearing snow cleats. I didn’t bring cleats so I had to turn around at the switchback because I couldn’t even make it up that without falling. Will try again in a month or so.

backpacking
6 months ago

My go-to spot for an easy adventure. The short hike to cliff lake is beautiful any time of year.

The smoke from the forest fires is starting to clear up, so I drove over to Montana to check out this trail. It is a bit of a drive off of paved road, to get here - about 10 miles of gravel road, albeit well-maintained gravel road.

You get two lakes for the price of one, with this hike! The trailhead starts at Diamond Lake, which is a beautiful mountain lake. The trail to Cliff Lake has an upward incline all of the way, but nothing that should dissuade the average hiker. A sign on the trail said that the distance to Cliff lake is only one mile. My pedometer clocked closer to 1.5.

Cliff Lake is worth the visit, even without Diamond Lake as frosting on the cake. Make sure to hike around to the opposite end of the lake, to the foot of the cliff. The alpine meadows on that side, are lovely!

I did this in August and while a lot of the trail was just so-so, Cliff Lake made it all worth it. Make sure you take the trail all the way to the wetland meadow at the far end.

backpacking
8 months ago

Very convenient to get to, and you still get to experience some beautiful backcountry scenery. We also were able to find a very good patch of huckleberries. Highly recommend checking this one out. Make sure to see the views from the ridge line hike up to Ward Peak.

Beautiful hike!!! nice trail big cedars.

Alright trail. The views were mostly obscured by trees, but if you go left on trail 24.1 at the "end" of this trail, you can get to an overlook pretty quickly. Stay on 24.1 (don't veer right into 28.3) and it'll be pretty obvious when you get there. There's what looks line a split in the trail but really the one to the right just goes to a slightly higher overlook and comes right down next to the lower one, so go either way.

Excellent and definitely moderate with steep sections. We logged 3.6 according to two fitbits and 2000 ft elevation gain. Trail in excellent shape. Take exit 26 off I 90 then 6.2 mi on gravel road. TH obvious on right side.

hiking
9 months ago

No One else on the trail which was really nice. The lake and the view of the time were worth the hike up. A few pretty waterfall spots & worth the hike up.

9 months ago

Nice and fairly easy hike with huckleberries aplenty. Only negative was vegetation often growing over the trail. We parked at the chairlift just past the old RR grade. From there it was 1.4 mi to where road became a path. Then another 1.6 to the lake. Grade was easy except for last 0.7 to the lake. That part was moderate. Wildflowers were present in all of the open areas. Pretty easy access from I-90.

Very steep and narrow at parts but worth the hike. Beautiful lake, lots of fish. Worst part was losing my companions on the trail because they kept stopping to eat huckleberries!

backpacking
10 months ago

The map displayed is wrong as compared to the description as is the directions to reach the 262 trailhead. This is a top to bottom entrance and well this area is all about elevation; thus if you want to hike your tail off on the way out go for it. But I prefer the more difficult stuff the first day when fresh. Take exit 26 near Deborgia, MT. This is a tricky exit so be prepared when nearing it. Go 6.5 on up 886 to the trail head 262, just before the bridge. From hear take trail 262 to trail 280.We hiked in a dusk and had no issues with finding our way. The trail is steep and unrelentless with gain in elevation but worth every penny. Hazel lake doesnt offer many places to camp so we just went straight to Hub lake and camped at the west end of the lake where the majority of campsites were. Misquitos were thick to say the least. From the lake I highly recommend hiking to the top of Eagle peak and view all 5 lakes in the area. The trail is easy to follow and didnt have to scramble. The waterfalls above Hub lake we bush whacked to but was worth getting up on them. Definitely take time to check out the abandoned mine shaft as well. I highly recommend this hike, just be prepared to work hard for those 3 mi! No sign of bear though we hung our food anyway.

Fun hike, very scenic. I had to go with a 3 solely due to the accessibility of Cliff Lake for fishing purposes. If you're after a short hike it's great. Only 1 campsite, maybe 2. Steep and no flat spots. Which again, all good for just a fun hike or a day at the lake to swim. Float tube would be a good idea for fishing.
Make sure to download the map because there's no road signs to the lake and a couple turns could mess you up.

Great place to check out, great for little kids as well. Road to the trailhead is a bit confusing, but at the first y intersection, stay to the left. Trail head also had facilities.

The snow is 100% gone, so get up there and enjoy a quick awesome hike.
FYI, you don't hike at all to get to diamond. It sits against the parking lot.
I was able to make it easily in my mazda sedan.
Bring your bathing suit and pool toys.

hiking
10 months ago

I'd do it again, but just not with 4 kids in tow next time

hiking
10 months ago

Decent enough hike, you can make it as long or short as you want. Trail sections off at many points and even has a trail going to the top of Mt Sentinel.

This was an amazing yet difficult uphill trail. The Crystal lake is worth it! The trail had many wet spots in July 1 when we went. Take plenty of water as it was really hot and we worked hard! My husband and I are fit yet in our 50s. The trial was doable but challenging. Wear good hiking boots as the downhill would be hard on the ankles. Trial is well maintained and very beautiful. Use the directions laid out below. Without those, we never would have found it!

Easy to find and if in the mood to be in the trees, so relaxing. Many grouse along the way to be on guard with dogs who want a chase. Final point has beautiful scenary.

backpacking
11 months ago

This was my first multi day hiking experience and it was amazing! We hiked up from the 262 trailhead. The old growth cedars were beautiful and the climb was fairly easy until we connected with trail 280 and started the uphill switchbacks where the trail became steeper. We camped at Hazel lake the first night. There is only one really good camp site at this lake as most of the shore line is very brushy. We continued to Hub lake the next day and set camp in a beautiful little spot next to the lake. There is still a fair amount of snow so most of the lower camp sites have water in them. We decided to hike to Eagle Peak and ran into a lot of snow in the saddle between Ward Peak and Eagle Peak. We lost the trail several times so we ended up wandering until we ran across the trail again. The views from Eagle Peak are amazing and well worth the climb! We could see all four lakes from where we stood. Hazel, Hub, Mary and Square Lakes. Over all this was a challenging hike but was not as difficult as I was expecting. We hiked this in late June and had beautiful weather the entire time.

backpacking
11 months ago

As of June 2nd the road is covered in snow fields about 5 miles away from the trailhead. Still some awesome views. Hopefully the trailhead is accessible by July.

Trail map to access is incorrect; I ended up parking somewhere near one of the ski lifts
and hiking in on a USFS road. The creek was pretty well over the road, so I didn't end up making it to the trail head. Lots of birds and beautiful vegetation.

We followed google map's directions to the trailhead but encountered a no trespassing sign along the way so turned around to find a different way to access the trail. Found another road on google maps but after going across a one-lane bridge, the road quickly became so rocky and steep that we decided not to continue. Disappointed we couldn't find the start of this trail.

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

I set out from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this morning, bound and determined to hike to this lake, regardless of the condition of the trail. I got a flat tire on my new truck, about a mile from the trailhead. What? I only have 2600 miles on the odometer! (This is a good time to remind you to make sure you have all of the emergency gear your need in your vehicle at all times, including the equipment needed to fix a flat.)

The map to this trailhead on All Trails is not entirely accurate. That said, it is close enough. Just south of Deborgia, Montana, find Deer Creek Road. It will not be signed as such! There is a small sign that says 236. Follow road 236 about 5 miles. You will pass a few divergent roads along the way. Ignore these! When 236 makes a U turn bend from south to north, there will be a wooden bridge across a creek. Cross this, and continue. There will be an old access road right after the bridge. This is NOT your trailhead. Keep going until you see the trailhead clearly marked.

This trail has a steady upward track, without any flat places to mention. It goes up, up, up! Keep this in mind. On this 21st day of May, the first mile or so of the trail was free of snow, but had frequent snow melt streams running across it. I abandoned the goal of keeping my feet dry, early in the hike. The last ¼ to ½ mile of the trail was still covered in snow. It was 3-4 feet in the deepest places. Fortunately, the snow was hard packed, so I only sank in about 6 inches with each step. The pace was slow and grueling, but the lake at the top was more than enough reward.

The lake was completely covered in ice, as I first approached it. Within 15 minutes, a good part of the ice along the shore had already melted. I sat and watched the ice melt. It cracked and popped as it did so.

If you wish to do this hike without battling snow, I would give it another 2 or 3 weeks before you attempt it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Quick little jaunt with some nice views but look quick to find 'em. "I like"

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Nice trail in Spring, opens April 1.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Beautiful views, open and clearly marked trail. Snow for the last mile in...gorgeous hike.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Have done this hike as a weekend backpacking trip every summer for the past 4 years. features great views and an amazing lake with stellar fishing!

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