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Moose Lake Loop is a 5.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Hope, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,578 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

lake

views

wild flowers

Hidden in the eastern reaches of Kaniksu National Forest, this leisurely 7-mile loop pushes toward Blacktail Lake before climbing up Moose Mountain and dropping down to Moose Lake. Start by heading southwest on the Moose Creek Trail from the parking lot at the end of Forest Service Road 1022. After 0.6 mile, turn right on the Blacktail Lake Trail and begin climbing up a hill separating Blacktail Lake and Moose Lake. At mile 2.4, bear left to hit the Moose Mountain Trail (the right fork brings downhill to Blacktail Lake, 0.6 mile away). Moose Mountains peak is preceded by a revealing ridgeline serving up vistas of both nearby lakes and the surrounding mountain country. Once at the peak, the trail bends to the east while descending another ridge toward Moose Lake. Along the way, youll hike down a staircase of rock, through a clearing and past marshland encroaching the lake's shore. Primitive campsites are situated elsewhere along the lakes shoreline, and the lake itself provides fishing for small, yet active, brook trout. Return to the trailhead via looping back with the Moose Creek Trail.

backpacking
muddy
snow
10 days ago

Time: late June, 2020 Trail: Moose Lake Loop. Hiked to the summit via Blacktail Lake Trail then down to the lake and spent two nights there. Hiked the 2 miles back to the trail head the third day. Conditions: the lower elevation parts of the trail were soggy from snow melt and the high elevation parts were semi covered in compacted snow. Lost the trail several times near the summit on the way up and down, but wasn’t a big deal as we knew the direction we were heading. Expect to get to wet feet during the hike. Summit: great view. Used to be a lookout tower on Moose Mountain; there is a sign at the summit to commemorate it and its tender. Lake: peaceful and serene. It was wet all around the shore except for where the bear box is. There is a spot to camp there with room for several tents. Expect a number of visitors though as this site is where the shorter part of the loop ties into the lake. Fishing: good. Caught a couple dozen 6”-9” trout over the span of a couple days. Used a spinner rod as it is difficult to reach the deeper waters with a fly rod from the bank. Used a variety of spinners. Wildlife: squirrels, birds, fish, white tail deer. Saw moose tracks and sign. Bugs were surprisingly mild; didn’t get one mosquito bite. Overall: an enjoyable and relaxing hike provided you have the right gear to stay dry.

hiking
1 month ago

Not an accurate rating because we didn't actually get there, but AllTrails required a rating. The road is still impassible with snow. If there wasn't such a steep drop-off, we might have kept going, but wisdom told us to turn around. We were in a 4 wheel drive Suburban. Others in 4 wheel drive turned around, also. We will try again in a few weeks.

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

Pros: Trail is well defined the entire way, gradual incline, mountain and lake views availible Cons: Access road contains rough sections with sharp rocks, Moose lake has grassy , swampy shoreline I did this trail for the first time late Sep. of 2019, and the conditions were quite damp, so my feet and legs were wet the whole time. There was fog obscuring parts of the view from the mountain top, marked by a cairn, but I enjoyed very much the amount of thriving vegetation and doing some mushroom hunting, along with the fact that the loop trail was very well defined and easy to navigate. Moose lake itself is pretty, but I would anticipate that the campsites availible would have heavy bug presence and murky water along the shoreline, as it is quite grassy in the area. Nearby Lake Darling is similar and I have had some unpleasant experiences there in the past. I hiked the loop roughly halfway, up to the summit and back the way I came to do some Mushroom collecting, but in the future I would probably do the entire loop as a circle, for variety and to avoid trail congestion. The access road is well used, but requires careful driving in a low clearance car due to rocks. This hike would be great for family use or with a mixed ability group.

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

Pros: Trail is well defined the entire way, gradual incline, mountain and lake views availible Cons: Access road contains rough sections with sharp rocks, Moose lake has grassy , swampy shoreline I did this trail for the first time late Sep. of 2019, and the conditions were quite damp, so my feet and legs were wet the whole time. There was fog obscuring parts of the view from the mountain top, marked by a cairn, but I enjoyed very much the amount of thriving vegetation and doing some mushroom hunting, along with the fact that the loop trail was very well defined and easy to navigate. Moose lake itself is pretty, but I would anticipate that the campsites availible would have heavy bug presence and murky water along the shoreline, as it is quite grassy in the area. Nearby Lake Darling is similar and I have had some unpleasant experiences there in the past. I hiked the loop roughly halfway, up to the summit and back the way I came to do some Mushroom collecting, but in the future I would probably do the entire loop as a circle, for variety and to avoid trail congestion. The access road is well used, but requires careful driving in a low clearance car due to rocks. This hike would be great for family use or with a mixed ability group.

hiking
over grown
10 months ago

Hiked the loop on Labor Day and it was an awesome hike. Challenging enough to be a great workout with the reward of the vistas from the summit above Moose lake. No bugs, no other hikers, sunny and breezy beautiful day. We had the mountain to ourselves.so of the trail on the way up is not for the faint of heart. I have a fear of heights so that added to the adrenaline rush when the trail was narrow, rocky and a sheer drop off the trail. It was a bit nerve wracking on the descent due to the overgrowth of shrubs and huckleberry bushes. Hard to see bear and it would have been a prime place for one to hunker down. Lots of sign of bear, large wolves, moose and elk.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
11 months ago

Hiked the full loop on the 8th & 9th of August this year. (2019). Climbed to Moose Peak first, even with all the smoke in the air had views of both Spar Lake and Moose Lake. Continued off the peak into the marsh surrounding Moose Lake. Coming down from Moose Peak the trail is very narrow and steep. Good boots and trekking/hiking poles would be advised. The trail crosses multiple scree fields before reaching the valley which then levels out and makes for a pleasant 20 minute walk to the lake. Crossed a few streams and made camp on the North end of the lake. Awesome campsites right on the water. Easy hike out the following day. Lake was not suited for swimming as there was a good 60-70 feet of thick (suck-you-under) mud before you reached open water. I lost one of my sandals LOL. Side note there were absolutely no bugs to speak of, slept out under the stars.

hiking
11 months ago

We started on the trail going first to Moose Lake and planning for ascent to Moose Mountain and returning via the loop. We had got a later start than planned, so were not on the trail until 2 pm. We had no difficulty getting to the lake. The vegetation on the trail after it left the the edge of the lake was quite thick and overgrown. As the trail began a slight ascent and curved upward we were met with what we perceived as a clear warning growl. We paused to reassess and heard the growl again. It was coming from just 5-10 yards ahead of us in the direction we were headed The dense vegetation made the trail hard to see and it was impossible to see what was growling at us. We made a fair amount of noise, and my brother thought he could see something in the bushes but hard to tell. In the end we turned back, because we never heard it leave or move. The lake was beautiful and serene. Sorry we didn’t make it to the mountain, but better to be safe. We drove down the road aways and hiked up to Lake Darling and back.

hiking
11 months ago

Gorgeous wildflowers in bloom. So many varieties up around the summit of Moose mountain. The trail was surprisingly overgrown going to Blacktail Lake. No problem but fairly thick and a bit of a nuisance. Huge pile of bear scat on the bridge near Blacktail Lake. Lots of bugs but if you spray yourself well, no bites.

hiking
Mon Jul 01 2019

Beautiful views at the top. Moose lake was also very nice

hiking
Sat Oct 06 2018

I tried to do this hike today, but could not get to the trail head. There was heavy equipment working on the road, and it was closed to outside traffic.

Tue Aug 07 2018

I did the loop today (Aug 6) which fitbit counted as 7.5 mi. I did it clockwise hitting the lake first then climbing Moose Mt. Took just over 4 hrs with stops for snack, lunch, and photos. It was fairly easy except for ascending and descending Moose Mt. which had some steep stretches. Awesome views at lake and along the mountain ridge. Too early for huckleberries but bushes are aplenty along much of this hike. The trail was very overgrown and bushwhacking was required in a few areas. Road to the TH is rough for the last 3 miles and it’s slow going if you want to protect your tires.

Sun Aug 05 2018

Very pretty hike to the lake. Lots of flies around if you stop for too long but otherwise a great day with pretty views.

hiking
Fri Jun 22 2018

Did this hike and Estelle Lake today. There was a little packed snow and mud on trail but easy to reach both lakes. Beautiful hikes. We did see a bear as we where pulling out of the trail head parking area so be prepared.

hiking
Sun May 27 2018

I tried to do this hike today. The road is still snowed over about 9 miles from the trail head. I'd give this another 2-3 weeks before trying.

Sat Aug 19 2017

Very hard to get to trailhead. Approximately 16 miles on washboard rode. Trail is clean beautiful trees, lovely lake, you can make it a short 4 miles or add other hikes on.

Sat Jul 08 2017

Great hike for kids and puppy! Both went for a swim in the lake. The drive up to the trail head is long and bumpy!

hiking
Wed Jun 28 2017

Moose lake is a beauty. Was unable to complete loop due to snow covering trail between Moose Lake and blacktail (think that was the trail name? which is part of the loop). Lost trail about halfway up mountainside and had to backtrack. Still a nice hike.

Wed Jun 14 2017

about mile 14 up trestle creek there was a snow/landslide that is not possible except via atv.

hiking
Tue Oct 11 2016

We hiked this 10/9/16, great trail the view of moose lake from the ridge is outstanding. There were still some huckleberries left.

backpacking
Mon Aug 08 2016

We hiked as much of this trail to take us from the Moose Lake trail head to Moose Lake for an overnight backpacking trip (2mi). The trail is very well marked and easy to hike (there was one blown out bridge that was easy enough to navigate). Huckleberry bushes line the trail for grazing. At the lake there is a nice fire ring and logs to sit on and there is a bear locker. No one else was there on a Friday after work. Take waterproof pants if there is any chance of rain due to low close bushes along the trail. Take care - it was dusk and just at the trail head we saw a mountain lion. Worth the drive in.

hiking
Fri Jul 29 2016

Easy 2 mile hike in, lake shallow around edge and bottom muddy but beautiful larger lake. Friends mother even caught 3 fish!

Wed Jun 15 2016

Not bad for the first hike of the summer. There were a few trees down which had to be navigated but not too difficult. Didn't see any wildlife. There were a few anglers when we arrived. There was some unmelted snow drifts along the trail (early June)

camping
Sun Jun 05 2016

This is an easy hike in with a lot of options for side trips to surrounding lakes and ridge lines. I backpacked in during the first weekend of June and there were a lot of downed trees on the trail and a bit of snow still. There is a lot of great scenery with Lake Estelle, Gem and Blacktail lakes within a few miles off the main trail. This area is good for a day hike, overnight outing, or longer. Be prepared for the usual small flying annoyances (flies and mosquitos) and the occasional moose sighting. While in the area, be sure to check out Char Falls and the Lunch Peak lookout.

Mon Jul 13 2015

Beautiful, easy trail. Great for the whole family.

hiking
Sat May 30 2015

Just hiked this trail with our four year old and 13 month old and two dogs, very nice easy hike, only difficult part was one of the bridges is snapped in half so you can either go across the the stream using rocks or the bridge it's just a little steep! We also saw a grizzly bear in our way back down, so be prepared for anything!

hiking
Thu Jan 15 2015

We hiked all over this trail to the various points it offers. We even took off our outer layer and took a swim in one of the lakes. We were all alone and it was beautiful up there. The road was a bit too rough for my car to feel safe driving on, but the trip was very worth it.

horseback riding
Sat Sep 20 2014

My partner and I rode horses on this loop which according to the trailhead sign the ride is 9 miles long. All types of terrains from flat to very steep with loose rock going over moose mountain. I walked my horse over the top. I do not recommend riding if you and your horse are not fit or experienced. The beauty of the mountains was breath taking. Bring extra batteries for your camera!

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