Belly River Trail to Cosley Lake

HARD 15 reviews
#85 of 135 trails in

Belly River Trail to Cosley Lake is a 17.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Babb, Montana that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 17.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,876 feet Route Type: Out & Back




nature trips






wild flowers



no dogs

7 days ago

Early June 2019 Goal: to hike and camp somewhere near the Canadian border because I was heading to Banff in two days. At the mercy of the rangers pick he picked this one. He suggested I camp at Cosley Lake. I had a hotel in Kellispell MT and got my back country permit the day before at Apgar. LOTS OF DRIVING! I parked at the River Belly TH. I ate breakfast in the parking lot and started my hike around noon. The bear signs were immediate and everywhere from footprints, tree scratches and very fresh skat. I did not see a bear. The trail was in good shape for the time of year. Most of the snow had melted. I discussed with the ranger that there is a water crossing but there is only a rope to help you get across. So we decided I should stay right at the River Belly Ranger station at about 7 miles in. And take the suspension bridge. I got distracted by the cute ranger station and the beauty I continued straight. I realized I went the wrong way when I saw another sign that said “Cosley 2.6” miles.... that is what the sign said at the ranger station too!!! so I continued... over a suspension bridge and up and over a little patch of snow. Then I arrived at the lake... I was a bit confused when I got to the lake, it was hard to see the rope, and I was shocked at how much water I was going to have to cross without a bridge. I took off my pack and wadded into the water... thigh deep! I continued on... once on the other side of the water the only thing I could think about was getting my clothes off! There are two food hanging stations and two different locations to cook and prepare food and 4 really nice campsites. I made it to camp. Hung my food and changed my clothes set up came and ate dinner. I watched mountain goats until it got too dark to see across the lake. Slept horrible. The waterfall across the lake kept me up all night! I know! Such a thing to complain about. The next morning. I went the right way across the suspension bridge and made it back to my car by noon. Thought about climbing bear mountain, but decided I still had a long way to travel. I did see a moose, tons of deer, mountain goats, what I think was a Pine Marten. Lots of prairie dogs, all I do is think about my next trip. .

11 months ago

This trail is dope, do it. Stay the night at Cosley

11 months ago

Great hike. Not hard pretty flat.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This trail is amazing! We started at the Belly River Trailhead and hiked into Cosley Lake and stayed one night. The trail descends gradually at the beginning, and flattens out for the majority of the hike. A few miles in, the trail opens up and you're greeted with giant fields filled with dandelions (if you go early in the season). We stopped for lunch at the ranger station, which is a little over 6 miles from the trailhead. From there, you'll cross a cool swinging bridge and eventually reach Gros Ventre falls. You might be hurting by now if you have a big overnight pack on, but hang in you're almost there! When you reach the head of Cosley Lake you won't be disappointed. Its a pretty good sized lake surrounded by beautiful mountains, can't really go wrong there. Hope you enjoy! And don't forget your bug spray :)

20 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Monday, July 02, 2018

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friday, June 09, 2017

Monday, August 29, 2016

Featured Trails