Roman Nose Lakes

MODERATE 29 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.

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

camping

fishing

hiking

lake

views

wild flowers

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
8 days 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.

20 days 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.

23 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
4 months ago

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
10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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

hiking
10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2016

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
Sunday, June 26, 2016

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.