Birch Lake Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews
#8 of 39 trails in

Birch Lake Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kalispell, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles
1,049 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers





This is a great hike to see large open views of Flathead Valley. On clear days you can see 4 different mountain ranges: Bob Marshall, Swan, Mission and Salish Mountains. Views of over 60 miles are normal on summer days. Birch Lake is a good lake for trout fishing and camping. The lake is 3-4 acres and in a beautiful small valley. The trail also branches off to Crater Lake and connects to the longer Jewel Basin trail network. The trail is a long slow series of climbs and switchbacks but not overly strenuous. The trail goes through some forest but mostly follows the mountain edge and allows for great wildlife viewing and Huckleberry picking when in season.

3 days ago

19 days ago

Fun and relatively easy hike on the way there, but the way back is a little bit harder due to steep uphill sections. Great views, mountain goats, and a gorgeous lake!

I wouldn’t bring small children or clumsy dogs because of the trail being loose rocks and steep drop offs in some places.

1 month ago

This was a great hike that was definitely on the easy side of moderate. On a hot day you can take a swim in the lake at the end of the trail - a real highlight! Views were a bit hindered from the smoke but that's true of most trails right now.

1 month ago

Stunning short hike. Love the fresh water. Most likely will see mountain goats. Last time we were up there a male was charging humans. I witnessed it charge a male in our group and heard from four others hikers this had happened to them as well. Had never seen this before.

1 month ago

- beautiful trail with great views of the valley and the basin (we will be back!)
- easy footing
- id place this on the easy side of moderate. Initial switchbacks from trailhead weren’t bad. Steep parts are as you hike down to the lake, so keep in mind you’ll have to hike back up those to get back
- well tracked trail, easy to follow, gets thin in spots but not problematic
- got to trailhead at 9am Sunday morning, parking lot was barely full
- parking lot was very full when we finished hike around 12:30pm
- bugs didn’t get bad til we were heading down around noon and it was starting to get hot
- birch lake itself is really nice
- dirt road to camp misery trailhead was uncomfortable but manageable in an Elantra
- bring sun screen!
- bring water for doggos, none on the trail for them until you reach the lake

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I actually did this as a park of a out and back to crater lake. Highly recommend stopping here and taking a quick tour around its beautiful.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What a beautiful hike! The view of the valley and area lakes and river is breath taking. Birch Lake is a pristine lake that is beautiful! Fish were jumping the day we were there. Bring your fishing poles if that is something you enjoy doing!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The trail offers amazing views of both Jewel Basin and Flathead Valley. Birch lake is quite the reward though. Beautiful water with excellent views. Limited water sources until you get there though so take note if you are bringing your dogs.
You can continue up the Alpine trail to 2 other lakes as well. Definitely recommend this hike!

Monday, July 17, 2017

I really liked this trail. If you decide to go on to squaw lake or crater it is very over grown. We had to turn back around at squaw lake. But this was definitely worth the hike. Beautiful overlooks and plant life.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This is a beautiful hike with great views. There is also a trail that goes around the entire lake. Not a difficult hike, and totally worth it!

Monday, July 03, 2017

A great trail for all levels of hikers. We had little kids with us and they did great. Great views of the Flathead Valley and just the right amount of people on the trail.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Loved this hike! Definitely some sketchy parts of the trail that were slick gravel with a huge drop off on the side, so not for younger kids. Gorgeous lake!Rainbow trout, waterfalls, and snow this time of year! Watched mountain goats sled from the top of MT. Aneas, and could see 3 other lakes at the backside of Birch Lake. One a bit lower that was fed from Birch lake, and then 2 on the other side of the mountain at the back of birch lake. Not to mention being able to see Echo lake, Flathead Lake, Lake Blaine, and a few others from the trail about midway up. Bring your fishing pole or even your camping stuff!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Absolutely love this hike. It's pretty easy, short, and has stunning views the whole way.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

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Sunday, July 02, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tuesday, September 13, 2016