Bottleneck Lake and Snow Lake

MODERATE 15 reviews
#8 of 23 trails in

Bottleneck Lake and Snow Lake is a 10.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sandpoint, Idaho that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and fishing and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.3 miles
2,444 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash









wild flowers


19 days ago

Beautiful hike up to Snow Lake. The hike wasnt too difficult but was fairly long and time consuming. We encountered a few hikers on the way up but otherwise had the lake to ourselves.

24 days ago

My husband, my 2 boys, ages 13 and 7, and I hiked to Bottleneck on Saturday July 21,2018. I was pleasantly surprised that the trail was quite easy with very few, if any, steep pitches. I had to rest a few times about 1/2 way through in the middle section. But otherwise it was very moderate. It took aprox 2 hours up and 1 hour down. It’s 3 miles to Bottleneck, exactly, according to my fitmax watch.
The lake was quite charming. We liked the first camp spot off to the left. Very nice spot with open views of Lake. Fishing was mediocre. Huckleberries weren’t ripe yet.
I usually ride horse and have been to Snowlake that way a few years ago. That is a nice trail as well, with similar views.
I would recommend Bottleneck for afternoon hikers, families, horses, and mt bikes.

25 days ago

Two out of shape ladies with dogs made a two day trip . We spent the first night at Snow Lake. That was a climb, but absolutely worth it. So grateful for the lake as we didn’t have to pack as much water. We hiked to Bottleneck lake for the second night. I was not as impressed with the campsite. It was a shame to see all the broken glass, but my dog loved the easy access to the lake. Well worth the hike to see both lakes. The trails are easy to follow and work has been done by the forest service to angle the flow of water coming off the mountain. I am highly impressed and my dog and I will be back.

1 month ago

Road to trailhead is closed until August 2nd.

11 months ago

This time of year, very dry and plenty of smoke in the air. Made for a very different setting. The trail to Bottleneck lake is well marked and in very good shape. Some horse riding activity up to Snow lake, however we had the Bottlneck trail to our selves. Beautiful lake, brought home a half dozen pan size brook trout. And had a great day! Certainly will be more enjoyable once the smoke clears out.

11 months ago

What a spectacular hike and view!

11 months ago

Hiked to Bottleneck Lake on Sunday, 8/20/17. It was a wonderful hike! About 1-1.5miles in you come across a fork in the road reading 1.75 miles to Bottleneck Lake or 3 miles to Snow Lake. Due to time constraints we opted to just do Bottleneck for the day. The hike wasn't too steep, and it was fairly well maintained. The lake was gorgeous and there were a couple campsites near it; I hope to camp overnight here one year. I also want to return and do Snow Lake! The huckleberries were abundant too; I filled up an empty water bottle easily and made lemon huckleberry bread that night! If you do go up there searching for huckleberries, please respect the bushes and only pick the berries, leaving the bushes alone, so that they continue to grow back each year:)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Love the lake and the trail is awesome and long it's 5.3 miles in and 5.3 out to snow lake. Good fishing!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great hike. Trailhead sign doesn't have much information on the actual trails. It felt like it was about 1.5 miles to the fork and the first sign saying the mileage. To the left is Snow Lake - 3 miles one way. The trail to Snow lake is a steady climb with huckleberries around the last 1 mile or so, just ripe this time of year. A pack mule train from the US Forest Service passed us just before the lake. They had been up on the trail and lake doing some trail maintenance and they did a great job! The lake was beautiful, with serval fish jumping. We came across 2 nice camp sites, there could be more, we didn't explore too much around the lake.

We were wanting to hike up the ridge to the west for some spectacular views and then descend down to Bottleneck Lake. When we tried to find a trail up, we were unsuccessful and it only seemed like you could bushwhack your way up. Being around 80 degrees and wearing shorts we were not excited to make a trail of our own. We headed back down the trail, then at the fork with the mileage sign, we took a right and went up to Bottleneck Lake 1.75 miles away. The trail is a little more of a climb then Snow Lake was. Along the way, we made more frequent stops for the huge Huckleberries! Shortly after we made it to the lake. There were fish jumping and we came across 1-2 camp sites. We looked for a way up to the ridge, but it looked hairy with no trail to follow and a lot of overgrowth. Bottleneck Peak was overlooking the lake. Hike out was nice because it was all downhill. Saw signs of a bear clawing at the mud on the trail. Saw some osprey flying around both lakes but no other sightings of wildlife. Both trails crossed several small creeks, great for dogs to get a drink and cool off. We did a total of 12.5 miles seeing both lakes. The description here says 7 miles out and back. This is roughly true for just going to Bottleneck Lake and back.

All and all, it was a nice hike! Wish we had more information on getting up to the ridge line. Will be back to try again in the future!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Beautiful hike with fun obstacles to cross, numerous streams and creeks. There was huge landslide about one mile from the trailhead. You can climb through it and easily find where the trail starts again. We tried to go to Snow Lake, about half mile from the trail marker indicating Snow or Bottleneck, we ran into Bottleneck creek. The trail has completely been washed away, and is impassable this time of year. We turned around and tried to go up to Bottleneck Lake. About a mile up trail we ran into the creek again and probably two feet of snow. Can't wait to go back later this summer to find these lakes!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Easy trail with little to offer until the lake. Just a gentle climb through the forest. Bottleneck Lake is another pretty alpine lake with a huge rock wall behind. We did not go to Snow Lake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trail follows old logging road. Junction to Bottleneck Lake is about 2 miles in. Trail to Bottleneck can be muddy. Bottleneck Lake has decent fishing. Small Brook Trout though. The trail from the Bottleneck Junction on up to Snow Lake is fairly easy..until the last 300 yards.. then it bumps up a bit. Both are nice alpine lakes. I like to turn this into a backpacking trip. This is grizzly bear country though, so pack bear spray.

13 days ago

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Monday, November 07, 2016