Fault Lake

MODERATE 24 reviews
#4 of 23 trails in

Fault Lake is a 12.4 mile out and back trail located near Sandpoint, Idaho and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,831 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

lake

backpacking
13 days ago

The trail is very nice. A little steep in some places but not bad at all. The views are wonderful once you reach the lake. If you're up for a good challenge, try and climb Hunt peak as well!

27 days ago

This was my first backpacking hike of the year. It was a bit of a challenge for me, (the last 2 miles). (I am old and out of shape. :) ). It was beautiful at the lake. There was still snow at the top. That made finding a spot for tents more difficult. Camped down by the waterfall. Falling asleep to the sound of rushing water was amazing . I am glad we went.

backpacking
27 days ago

This hike was a lot of fun. It is a gradual incline the whole way in, but my two ten year olds were able to do it with small packs on. There was still a lot of snow at the lake and the winds made it really chilly. However, we found a place to camp and had a great time. Memories were made!

backpacking
1 month ago

June - Late Spring/Early Summer

I’ve hiked to a quite a few places in the Selkirk mountains, and Fault Lake definitely provides some of the best to be offered.

The trail itself isn’t too difficult, like others have noted it is a steady incline for the majority of the hike. The last mile to the lake is a little steeper, but not too technical. There are several stream crossings, with the worst being at the trailhead and will require you to get your feet wet, so plan accordingly.

It can get a little difficult to follow the trail as you get closer to the lake, but there are a few cairns to assist in the more questionable areas.

The lake and surrounding area are beautiful even this time of year, but it was a bit colder and there was a lot of snow. The majority of the lake still had ice floating in it. All the snow made finding a campsite difficult, and even the site we did find was still wet on the ground.

We did also encounter a few ticks, but only on our dogs.

All and all a good lake, but I’d recommend maybe waiting until July for some of the snow to melt.

hiking
9 months ago

Scenic once you gain some elevation and break out of the forest. Not overgrown now. A couple nice camp sites and a Bear box.

We climbed to the saddle and around with the idea of heading to Hunt Peak. There's no trail, of course, and the terrain makes it slow going. Cat II & III on the back side of the left horn of the saddle. Fun but we had a late start from the TH so we turned back before the ridge. Maybe another time.

Creek was flowing.

backpacking
9 months ago

By far my fav. The 6.3 mile hike in was difficult for me but so worth it to see the view. You can also take a day hike from fault to hunt lake. It was a little long but very pretty.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike with a little side hike up to the peak above Hunt Lake for some awesome views. First four miles is a bit blah but after that things get pretty nice. Great trail pretty easy.

hiking
10 months ago

They have cut out the trail. It was a great hike!! One for the memory bank!

hiking
11 months ago

This trail was a long, steady climb that was easily doable as an out-and-back. The first 4 miles are all clear and very gradual. Mile 3-4 has just recently been cleared and there is still a significant amount of debris off to the sides. The last 2 miles are very overgrown and a good amount of bushwacking is necessary. The only strenuous part of the hike is about the final mile, it changes from barely noticeable incline to steep as stairs. At the lake, the water was very refreshing and from what I could tell the fishing would have been excellent. Overall, great hike, I did it as a day hike but it could easily be a good overnighter.

11 months ago

Just hiked this today, very nice, 2 forest service crews have been working on widening the trail for a week,very good job,makes it much easier. The fishing was great,used lures and flies and was killing them on both. The water was very refreshing to swim in,all in all w wonderful day!

backpacking
Friday, July 14, 2017

Did this as an overnight and climbed Hunt Peak from north ridge line, then explored McCormick Lake the next day. Limited camping options around fault lake itself. The trail is VERY BADLY overgrown with alders, so it feels like a bushwhacking expedition on the trail. The views are awesome, especially from the ridge-line.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beautiful overnight hike to a secluded lake. The road gets pretty rough about .5 mile before the trail head, but overall the road is in good condition. We made it in a Corolla and had to go really slowly at the end. There is a creek crossing right before the trail starts, but you can find a dry path over the rocks if you try. The incline is pretty moderate and steady for the majority of the hike and gets a bit more taxing the last mile or so. The lake is secluded among the cliffs with an incredible view of the mountains opposite it. Bear box is available for use and a visible campsite not far from that. Lots of overgrown areas on the trail that you'll have to hack your way through, but it's overall fairly well marked the entire way. Gorgeous views throughout!

backpacking
Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Great Labor Day weekend for an overnight at Fault Lake. The directions AllTrails sent to Google Maps were perfect, and you'll have no trouble getting to the trailhead in a vehicle with a bit of clearance as some areas of the FS road had water bars that were a bit too deep for a standard rig.
TRAIL - well-marked, well-travelled trail with a LOT of green bushes right up against both sides. While the things is almost 3000 feet gain, it is well spread along the first four miles, while the last bit, the bit in the more alpine area, is a little more of a push. Huckleberries galore once you break out of the bushes.
LAKE - gorgeous lake with nice campsites and a bear box. We got a tip to look North from the lake and up a bit to a couple VERY nice penthouse camp sites on the knob with commanding views of the lake. We had the place to ourselves that night; the evening was charmed for sure.
SURROUNDINGS - a walk up the knob to the north of the lake provides great views of the area, and bailing out over the western side leads you into the northward drainage with a beautiful and secluded campsite a bit further up.
OVERALL - great lake, beautiful alpine sights, sounds, and smells, more berries than you could pick, and a decent workout if you are letting your teenage son set the pace!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Great hike, beautiful views. Trail is over grown in some areas so you'll have to push the branches out or the way. Pretty easy going until the last mile to the lake and that is pretty steep.

hiking
Thursday, August 11, 2016

To get to the trailhead, continue up Upper Pack Road about 12 miles. PASS THE FIRST NF-293 LEFT HAND TURN. Do not turn up the first NF-293 "Jeru Ridge" road, as I have personally gotten lost up there for hours. They are branching logging roads in very very poor shape, and most of them lead to nowhere. Unless you go up there with the intention of exploring in a heavy duty, high clearance vehicle, do not take that turn! The road you want to take is the second NF-293 road just before crossing the bridge on Upper Pack. It is a gravel road. At the switchback, continue straight. In about a mile you will reach a small parking lot! Just a little note so others don't make the same mistake :)

hiking
Monday, August 01, 2016

Beautiful trail, beautiful lake

What this trail has is amazing views of the mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and of course fault lake. There are camp sites at the lake. The scenery is amazing from the trail head all the way to the end.

Half way up there is a waterfall with cascading rock faces and a small pool. Amazing to look at, probably could stop and soak your feet for a while here.

The trail is in good enough condition, but could benefit from some maintenance. The trail is obvious 90% of the route, there is a bit of confusion in the dry creek beds near the lake, but you will still probably find your way. The trail is mildly overgrown in places, be prepared to push branches out of your face. Also there are lots of loose rock in places, make sure you have strong ankles or supportive boots.

The last mile of road to the trail head is advised for high clearance vehicles only, but right now the condition was very good. There is also a large bear box near the lake for food storage.

hiking
Friday, September 11, 2015

Great trail with constant views of surrounding peaks, a great overnight backpack. I was at first very hesitant to attempt the road to the trail head as it says "High clearance vehicles only." Although this sign is accurate, I feel it isn't as bad as one might think. I was able to get to the parking area (which is about half a mile or so from the Fault lake exit) in my Toyota corolla, but I would recommend going VERY slow and using caution. The hike itself is great, and most of it is a gentle climb up the mountain without any steep or sketchy areas (very good for hiking with a full pack). There are a few campsites around the lake, but this area is popular and space is limited. I did not hike up to the upper smaller lake, but I believe this may have a few camping spots as well. There is a bear box on this site for food, but as always please keep a clean camp and do not feed wildlife. Cheers!

camping
Friday, July 04, 2014

I did this trail last year, awesome trip and the view of the night sky from the lake cannot be beat. The trail head is easy to find but the road up to it has large parts washed away so bring a truck or suv. A creek crossing gets you on the right path and the trail is a steady climb that will test your legs. Maybe about a mile from the lake the trail become a sharp uphill and narrow with lots of rocks. I found myself stopping consistently just to take in the views around me, totally breathtaking. Theres a small camping ground next to the lake and a running creek that flows down. Also a bear box for storing food. A must to for any backpacker!

hiking
Thursday, August 02, 2012

This trail is easy to find and follow, start with a creek crossing ( easy hop across a few rocks) then follow double track trail for first few miles, becomes single track for remainder of trail. Several creeks that are easy to hop over and a couple of muddy spots that required a little more effort to avoid, will likely dry up soon. The final portion of trail leads you thru beautiful Alpine meadows, the trail becomes a little harder to follow due to rocks, there are some signs to assist as well as some Cairns to help you find your way.
I seemed to stop every few hundred feet just in awe of the views that surrounded me. Beautiful creek and some small falls greet you just before you reach your destination.
This would also make a great starting point for a longer backpacking trip thru the Selkirks.
See link for more pictures.

1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Saturday, October 10, 2015