Roman Nose Lakes

MODERATE 37 reviews
#3 of 23 trails in

Roman Nose Lakes is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bonners Ferry, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
912 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

lake

views

wild flowers

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked on 10/7/17. Snow on all trails, but still easy to ID trails. Great views at both lower and upper lakes. Camped overnight at lower lake. Five established campsites, all with nice pads for tents. Four have only one pad -- one has three. This group site is located with lots of parking and vault toilet.
VERY well maintained trails -- obviously lots of work to prevent water erosion. Wood boardwalks at both upper and lower lakes -- nice touches.
Long drive -- figure at least an hour from Naples cutoff.

8 months ago

Incredible colors, fantastic atmosphere, dog friendly, and fun for all levels! Can't wait to go back :)

hiking
8 months ago

wonderful hike. 3 lakes for the price of 1. Slightly advanced to the upper lakes but still family friendly

hiking
8 months ago

Went this morning, we hit snow about a mile from the trailhead. Absolutely gorgeous, just weren't prepared for the cold this early. The trail was still easy to find even with the snow

backpacking
9 months ago

We took our five year old on his first backpacking trip. Trail signs are non- existent, so bring a map with you. Great places to camp right along upper lake. We camped right where the trail meets the lake on the first night. After a short hike along the lake, we found a better spot, and moved there for the second night. I accidentally left my running shoes at our first site. When we went back the next morning, someone had taken them. Keep your gear in a secure place. This is a great place to hike in with little ones.

9 months ago

50 min from paved road to the trailhead. Well maintained gravel road (402, 1007). Definitely don't attempt 632 in a road vehicle. Lots of folks enjoying the trail on a Friday, parking was full and had to be creative to find a place to park. Trail map needed more descriptive distances and the trail needed better signage. It's easy to miss the trail that heads to the upper lakes. The lakes are stunning!! Trail is easy. Huckleberries plentiful.

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome place! The trail is very easy to follow despite missing signage, and I can imagine people getting a little turned-around if they choose to get off the trail to get better views of the scenery. There's a good posted map at the trailhead to snap a picture of for navigation. Trail scenery was beautiful. Its an easy/gentile climb to the upper lake on a well-traveled path.

Saw a couple of whitetail bucks, several marmots, a very curious weasel, and plenty of squirrels.

My magnetic compass did NOT like the area and gave me bad indications. I am new to Northern Idaho, so this may be common local knowledge, I don't know. I actually had cell service on the upper lake but not during the drive west of Naples or for most of the trail.

The fishing was not great. Lots of really small brook trout. By 'small' I mean most are 3 inches. I fished the upper lake and the lake next to the trailhead. It was best in the morning and tapered off during the day.

Huckleberries were abundant and delicious! Some campers and swimmers on the upper lake. Few bugs but some biting flies if you stand still long enough. I've heard there are a lot of cougar sitings at Roman Nose so, as a cautious newb to Northern Idaho I carried bear spray and an airhorn. On a Friday there was just enough people traffic that I wasn't worried about lions and bears. Other hikers had canine hiking companions with them. I think the distance estimates I've read are too long: I hiked casually from the trailhead to the upper lake in 30 minutes.

I came for the fishing but will go back for the hiking, scenery, and wildlife viewing.

10 months ago

Hiked and fished all three lakes 8/1/17. Pretty good trail but missing some directional signage so pay attention. Not much traffic midweek but I hear they've got heavy traffic on weekends. Good fishing. Beautiful lakes. Great place to be.

10 months ago

Do NOT take Ruby Creek Road. I read the other review saying that and thought maybe he was being dramatic, and it couldn't possibly be that bad....Famous last words. That road is horrendous!

Nice hike though!

hiking
11 months ago

July 8, 2017. Hiked to all three lakes. Only a few small patches of snow left on the trail. Jumped into the upper and lower lakes and water was refreshing but not quite ready for swimming. The middle lake's trail was overgrown and had several trees down. Lakeside access was limited so was not impressed with the middle lake. Flowers are in full bloom especially the bear grass. Hike is moderate and scenic throughout.

hiking
11 months ago

Lots of snow as of June 23, 2017. Do not take Ruby Creek Rd to get to the trailhead. Your vehicle will hate you. It is rough, washed out and not maintained. The hike is beautiful and I would do it again.

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

This hike is phenomenal. We took our 3 kids (9,8 & 7) to both the lower and middle lakes 3 times this last year. It's a regular hike for us now, and it's been a great place to pass time. My husband and I both love to shoot changing leaves, moss and fungi with our camera- as well as great panoramic views. We've uploaded some photos of our kids on the hike a couple of the times we've been there. It isn't extremely difficult if you're used to hiking with a wee bit of a climb. Just keep an eye on your kiddos- again- some may be just fine on a hike of this length- but others may have a hard time. Keep them close and have fun. Lots of great photo opportunities on this hike! We've uploaded some photos of our hike with our kids from the last 2 visits this past year.

hiking
Thursday, October 13, 2016

As of 11 October 2016, Roman Nose Lakes has snow on the ground. Road conditions most of the way were acceptable. The hike beyond the lower lake was through the snow.

backpacking
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

little overpopulated for me, but great views and a hike that's not too difficult.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

This is a quality hike with a decent amount of uphill. Once you get to the lake there are several trails that go around. This is a great place to go and explore. The huckleberry picking is not bad just have to go off the beaten trail. The fishing is the lake is poor, small trout if anything.

hiking
Thursday, September 29, 2016

The trail head for this hike is a considerable drive over forest service roads. Unless there is snow on the ground, it should be accessible by most vehicles. The trail head is a bit complicated to find. I would advise studying and printing out maps. (You are not likely to have any internet connection where you are going!)

This area is going right to the top of my favorite places to hike. I spent an entire day here at the end of September 2016. The colors and scents of autumn are magnificent. The Roman Nose Lakes area has hiking for all levels of hikers. The walk to the lower lake is very easy. It could be accomplished by small children, the elderly or infirm, or even someone in a wheelchair. There is a good parking area and rest room facilities at the trail head.

The hike to the middle and upper lakes is a bit more challenging. It has some moderate inclines, and is quite rocky in some places. The trails between the lakes are a bit of a labyrinth. The signs have all fallen down, so it is advisable to study a map of the area or carry a map with you, so as to avoid any confusion.

There are two routes to take to the upper and middle lakes, one is a shorter and direct route. There is also a more scenic route which climbs along the ridge above the lower lake. Both routes are very beautiful and worth the time to hike. I visited all three lakes, explored numerous diversionary routes, and took both main trails in the same day. My total hiking distance was just over 9 miles. One could easily spend several days hiking and exploring the area.

backpacking
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Nice subalpine location with three lakes and rugged peaks. You can drive to the first lake and there are car campsites available. Upper two lakes are a 1 hour or less hike with little climbing. Trail is well worn but markers have fallen off for the upper lake turn off. When you see the a trail break off to the right and go down, that's the route to the upper lakes. If you continue straight you'll just end up on the back half of the scenic loop. Upper lake is only spot with backpacking campsites. It was full on a Saturday night with over 15 people at the lake. In early July the lower end of the lake was muddy and those campsites were undesirable. Plenty of mosquitoes so bring bug juice. Caught a few small brook trout, but they were cautious. You can scramble the boulder fields up to the peak in a little over an hour for a great view.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Loved this trail, but it was confusing finding it. Added directions in the photo section as the directions provided are out dated. Once on trail the upper lake was not well marked so be sure to take the first right after scenic loop split otherwise you will complete the loop before you realize it!

hiking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beautiful views! We hiked from the trail head to Lower Roman Lake. A couple of downed trees across the trail. We then hiked from the Lower Lake to Upper Roman Lake. We heard and smelled a bear at the T to head to upper lake. There are still a couple of snow patches to cross. The area at the end of the marsh bridge is still flooded. We didn't see any other hikers on the trail.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

One of our favorite hikes however the road to the parking lot is impassable right now, with approx. 3 feet of snow. We used a winch to get through part of it with our truck only to find more deeper snow around the corner. You can park and walk in from there, we are thinking it's about half a mile from the parking lot.

camping
Sunday, October 11, 2015

This is a great hike. Lots to see in a short hike. Trail junctions are not marked very well. Good camping at upper lake.

hiking
Friday, August 28, 2015

Nice trail not to bad steep the first bit but not to hard. Very smoky this week it was clear on the next Saturday if you like rocky views its beautiful

birding
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

This trail was very fun. About an hour of Forrest service road driving to the trailhead. You hike 2 miles at a decent incline then each of the upper lakes is .5 miles in from the y. Well maintained but has some loose and shifting rock. Easy for hikers but if you're not so nimble it may not be right for you.

hiking
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beautiful area, just be sure and take the appropriate road for your vehicle. We went up the 417/402/1007/2667 route and my Scion XD did fine. The hike is easy and gorgeous!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Great hike for young kids. Just don't let google route you. You don't want to go up ruby creek road, unless you are taking an atv,.

camping
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

One of my favorite camping places. 3 lakes are a long 18 mile drive on a gravel, washboard road, but it's worth it. Upper lake is my favorite. Easy hike about 2.5 miles from trailhead. The upper lake sits at the bottom of a 900' cliff that used to have an old fire lookout tower on top. It blew over about 10 years ago. The peak is Roman Nose. Lots of wildlife around and fairly good fishing. Lake is stocked with Cutthroat trout. Tough climb up the boulder field on the side of the cliff to the top of Roman Nose but the views are awesome. The edge of the cliff from the top is a shear drop off so be careful.

hiking
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beautiful lakes in high country. Muddy and snowy on part of the trail, especially upper lake in early July. The saw a moose at the middle lake. Long drive on a dirt road to get there, but worth the trip.

hiking
Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Easy access to a set of sub-alpine lakes. You can drive to the largest of the three lakes and it's just a short hike to the other two. It has been years since I've been to the lower lake, but the trail to the upper lake climbs the ridge behind Roman Nose Lake #3 and goes through the old Sundance Burn. As you approach the upper lake, it can be a bit muddy, but the Forest Service has been putting in bridges and walkways. Also as you approach the upper lake, you will enter the timber again. Very nice set of lakes although it can be really crowded.

fishing
Monday, August 23, 2010

it was a easy trail going to hike up into higher mountain lakes in a few days. go in the evening when the wind dies down for fishing we came off the trail and the fish were biting we'll know next time. had a good day taking pictures.

hiking
Thursday, May 27, 2010

A quick fix of alpine backcountry can be found north of Sandpoint,Idaho in the Kaniksu National Forest.Roman Nose Lakes offer incredible views,hillsides covered in wildflowers and maybe a catch or two of high mountain trout.Upper Roman Nose Lake is the reason the area's name becomes apparent;the peak overlooking the lake looks like nothing so much as a prominent schnozz.

Load More