Lake Darling and Mount Pend Oreille Loop is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hope, Idaho that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.
The trail number is 52. My iPhone got me lost using the directions from this app (took me to the middle of a field near sandpoint), so I just looked up lake Darling on my google maps and it got me there easily (I also followed signs to the trailhead). The hike in to the lake is pretty easy and not too long. There were huckleberries to snack on along the way. The lake is lovely! I didn't see any wildlife, but my German shepherd probably had something to do with that
Easy trail you can walk in a morning and enjoy the lake and then hike out to your vehicle. If you decide to walk the full loop, prepare for a more than moderately steep climb to the top of the ridge.
Overall, loved this trail. Driving there is a bit of an adventure on long single track road. Well marked signage to get to the trailhead. Great hike to Lake Darling. It would be a great first backpacking trip or to take kids. The campsites even have a bear box so you don't need to hang food. After the lake, it's overgrown but a good hike up to the ridge with incredible views and the bear grass was magical! Coming down the other side of the loop is a real adventure. Would not recommend for small kids or baby carriers. In fact, I strongly recommend trekking poles, long pants, and your spirit of adventure! Many downed trees and mud pits. Take a change of clothes for dinner in Sandpoint!! But overall, I would do the hike again.
Was there on 7/10/16, trail to Lake Darling was great. Over grown on part of the train up to Mount Pend Oreille. Awesome views, the wild flowers were fantastic! We did the loop back and the last part of the trail had a lot of down trees that we climbed over, very over grown. All in all great trail!
This trail is very well maintained for the first 2.5 miles into the lake. The 3 miles to the summit was a little wet from snow run off and there was still snow up there on June 25-26 2016. Lake darling has amazing views and the summit is incredible. There where lots of moose that come into camp. Yelling at the moose didnt do much. Lots of signs of bears. This hike requires LOTS of bug spray and bear spray. It is well worth the hike!
The trail is very well maintained but be sure to bring bug spray! There are lots of mosquitos. I saw two bears near the trail on 20 June 2016 so be careful, they are out there. Bear spray is a must. Very beautiful views the whole way up. Can't wait to do it again.
Was a fantastic hike. Took my wife and two teenage daughters up in the fall of 2015. Great area for huckleberry picking. We hiked in and camped at the lake then hiked up Mount Pend O'Reille with our dinner. Incredible views from there. We were kept awake at night by a huge moose doing laps across the shallow lake. Fresh bear skat kept up singing camp songs on the way out. There was a picnic table at the small campsite and a great bear box for storing food.
Pretty easy and straightforward to get to the trailhead. Hike is fairly easy with a consistent climb about 2 miles in. The lake had millions of tadpoles and small frogs, about 3/4'' long. The ground was literally moving as we hiked around the lake. There was a lot of fresh bear sign on the northwest side of the lake. We had multiple bull/cow/calf moose come into camp at night/early morning within 20 yards. Lots of mule deer as well. Downside, you cannot get in the lake due to a minimum of 6'' of sediment and much deeper. Overall fun backpack trip.
PS. Bring your fly rod, plenty of brookies.
The trail to the lake was full of huckleberries. Given the huckleberries, there was some black bear sign. Ran into only 2 other people on the hike near Mt Pend Oreille junction. We wish that we could see once at the top but there were too many fires in Washington.
Trail from Lightning Creek to Lake Darling is a very easy 2.5 mile jaunt through nice forest. Great trail for first time hikers or groups with children. There are usually deer around and there is also the occasional moose. Beautiful lake.
Trail from Lunch Peak to Mt. Pend O'Reille is an absolute blast. Ridgeline trail with tremendous views in all directions. Last half mile to the peak is a bit steep, but the view from the top is worth it. There are also remnants of a fire lookout on the top of Mt. Pend O'Reille as well as a lookout at the trailhead that can be rented. Access is best from Trestle Creek. There can be moose on the ridgeline trail. Wear a good boot or a shoe with good soles and carry water.